Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 21 - July 23 - Halfway to the East Coast after another long day

Day 21 - July 23 -  Mobridge, SD to Aberdeen, SD, 103.2miles (166.1 kms) - total so far 1625.6 miles  (2616.1 kms)

Distance: 103.2 miles (166.1 kms)
Total time: 10hrs17mins (including  lunch, ) 
Average Moving Speed: 12.8mph (20.6 kph)
Maximum Speed: 20.6 mph (33.1 kph) 
Calories burned: 4407
Elevation gained: 1785 ft (544.1  meters)

Weather:  Cloudy and cool in Mobridge in the morning with temperatures about 56 degF (13C). Sunny and relatively cool all day with temperature at 77F (24C) when I arrived in Aberdeen.  Wind mostly from the east and so it was in my face all day and it picked up for the last 30 milesjust to make the day longer.

Powered by:  Breakfast - 1  banana, 2 English muffins,1 boiled egg,  and a lot of orange juice; Lunch of a large muffin with peanut butter/cherry chocolates, 2 bananas some Fig Newtons (Fig Rolls),  some nuts,  1 Protein bar; 2 liters of water and 3 liters of Gatorade, 1 Coke, 1 GU gel  

The wind was going to make sure that this would be a long day. Heading east from Mobridge meant heading straight into the easterly wind.  It was strong enough in the morning, died a bit during the mid-day, and picked up again (more from the north east) in the later afternoon.  The trip started with a climb out of the Missouri river and after about 30 miles, the road leveled off and headed off across the flatlands for almost 70 miles.  It's been very noticeable that the predominant crop has changed from wheat west of the Missouri to corn (maize) and now soybeans are becoming more visible.  Hay is still produced in prodigious quantities.  Pheasants abound in the grass margins and I frequently startle them with my passing. I've seen many dead birds but fewer dead deer and antelope on the road.

One of the many Lutheran churches I saw today; many looked like churches in Scandinavia

In terms of the human geography,there is also a dramatic change from west of the Missouri.  Mailbox names are mostly German and Scandanavian, and the churches also strongly reflect this Northern European immigrant heritage, dating from the mid-late 19th century.  The soil is clearly a lot better and farmhouses are more sizable.  The towns look quite prosperous and though small, typically have a few well-maintained churches (one Catholic, at least one Lutheran, and a couple of other Protestant denominations), a nice town park, and lots of trees providing shade to the streets which are now always asphalt.  

Finally time to part ways with Meriwether (Lewis) and William (Clark) as they headed south and I'm heading east

Oy veh - time to get off the shoulder as this full house on a large truck came towards me

Banks "would not lend a shiny dime" because of  "a geographer".  Wonderful!  I wonder who the "geographer" was.  It seems to be Edwin James who was part of an 1823 expedition to the West.

The highlight of the day was crossing the 100th degree West meridian, accompanied by a historic sign dating from 1955.  The text notes that lending agencies would not make loans west of this line since "some geographer had labeled it the EAST EDGE of the Great American Desert.  Neither the geographer nor the insurance Companies has been west of 100 degrees." This forced the state to enter the loan business  but the sign notes that the South Dakota has paid all its debts in full.   "The 100th Meridian is just a bad memory."  I would also note that  generally the bird species that I see are changing.  I no longer hear Western Meadowlarks but still see lots of Red wing Blackbirds including one who was dive-bombing me yesterday. I must have come close to a nest or maybe he was the original "angry bird".

If you're a pheasant and reading this blog, for your own welfare, I would advise you to stay clear of the Bowdle area on the fourth sunday in October. 

The area has seen a lot of heavy rain and flooding lately and there is a flood watch still in effect.

The view for the last 60 miles (100kms) today; nice shoulder, though

Lots of Lutherans in Aberdeen, a town of 25,000

I'll take a day off in Aberdeen tomorrow to catch up on work and so some bike maintenance.  Heading south east from here towards southern Minnesota, Wisconsin and onto the Chicago area.

No comments:

Post a Comment