Mileage: 93 miles
Weather: Sunny and low 60s to start. Sunny and low 90s to end. Winds out of the SSW.
Highlights of the day:
The riders enjoyed a very pleasant tailwind to start the day. It was quick work to get everyone to the first SAG and leftover pizza. Cold leftover pizza at 8:30. It’s a wondrous culinary delight on tour. Honest. You should try it some time. Ten miles later, we turned right and the winds weren’t quite as favorable. Depending on the wind direction (it does shift around a bit) and the road (weaved a bit between E & SE), it was either a strong crosswind or front quartering wind. It wasn’t that bad. If anything, it helped make the temperature seem cooler. We’ll take that and say thank you!
The plains of Wyoming segued into grasslands as we entered South Dakota. The hills are taking on a much greener color without any apparent assistance of irrigation. It’s a marked difference from what we saw across Idaho and Wyoming. Speaking of South Dakota, we crossed our third state line into our fourth state of the tour. Lots of state line photos with bad lighting. Darned sun makes for a strong backlight. Still, celebrations ensued and we rolled on.
The approach to the Black Hills brought trees back into the mix. They’re the first we’ve seen in awhile, aside from the sturdy few we saw standing out in the middle of a field. I often wonder just how and why they get there. Stubbornness? Birds?
The route started at the top of a plateau or at least something I’m calling a plateau. Suffice it to say it was a relatively flat and high. After ~ mile 10, the route generally went down hill all the way to the second SAG stop at mile 68 – dropping approximately 2200’. The riders seemed ok with this. But all is not free. After fueling at the Fresh Start Café & Store, it was uphill for 4 miles, a respite for about 5 miles and then one last mile long climb. The route ended on a fast, non-technical downhill that led into town. And Dairy Queen!!