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TRIP 2005

Update #19 - May 23rd
Brookings, South Dakota - 5643 miles (9029 KM)



As I had mentioned in my last update, I was planning to stop for the day in Storm Lake, Iowa. Plans changed. There was still a good tailwind blowing from the S.E. so I opted to keep on the road till I got to Cherokee. Besides, Storm Lake was actually off my planned route across Iowa and it was about 10 miles south of the highway I was on.

I got into Cherokee around 5 p.m. after riding around 100 miles from Clarion. I found my way over to the law enforcement center to see if I could be connected to a local minister. I met a really nice deputy sheriff. He contacted his pastor at the ELCA church. The pastor, who was a cyclist, came by the station to talk to me. There was a lot of activity going on at the church because of graduations so he offered to get me a room at one of the local motels. He also arranged for me to get a good meal at the restaurant across the road.

I got on the road early the next morning. There was a good wind blowing from the south again. I got into Orange City around 2 p.m. The city was having it's annual Tulip Festival. It was neat seeing everybody in their Dutch costumes and wooden shoes. I stayed on to view some of the dancing and also the parade.

The neatest thing that happened actually occurred between the dancing and the parade. There was a washing of the three block downtown area. There were huge cattle troughs filled with water every fifty feet or so on both sides of the street. About a hundred boys and men would run to the troughs, fill up their buckets, and then throw the water on the streets. More water was thrown at each other than on the streets. The youngest boy was around 2 years old. Following the boys and men, there were about a hundred girls and ladies who had brooms to sweep the streets.

Because of the festival, I didn't think that I would have a good chance to connect with a local minister in Orange City. I rode an extra 14 miles to Sioux Center. Through the police department, a room was donated at a local motel. The room wasn't really good. It was in the basement and I had to carry the gear and the recumbent down 2 small flights of stairs. Even though the outside temperature was in the 80s, the room was quite cool. It was a little uncomfortable for me being that my core temperature is a little below normal.

The hot water heaters had been turned off for the year. I thought that I would go to the office to see if they had a portable heater that I could use. This was a mistake on my part. The manager thought I was crazy. A few minutes after I got back to the room, the manager came banging on the door. He thought that I was crazy and he wanted to evict me on the spot. I needed a place inside to stay since there was a tornado watch till late in the evening. I had to apologize really fast and the manager gave me the room key back. Because of the coolness of the room, I didn't sleep well.

I decided to go to a local church before heading out. There weren't too many choices of churches. Most of them were Reform Churches. The church I chose to attend was the biggest. I wasn't really impressed. It was a "stage-show" church. There was a praise team and band. The pastor spoke a nine minute prayer after the music and before the offering was taken. The message had some humorous stories in it. To me, it was a cold church. No one really spoke to me before the service. When it came to shaking hands, only a few people shook my hand. Afterwards, I didn't stay on for Sunday school because nobody offered to invite me to the church. The neatest thing happened about two blocks away from the church. One of the guys who was there at the church stopped his truck to talk to me. Before leaving, he asked me if it would be alright to give me some money. He gave me $25.

Once out of town, I really got slammed with the wind. The wind was coming from the west at around 25 mph. I didn't think that I would get very far but I was able to make 42 miles to Canton, South Dakota. I stopped to visit the First Baptist Church. After the service, the pastor invited me to stay at the parsonage next door.

This morning, I had to get on the road around 6:30 a.m. because the pastor's second job was to drive one of the school buses. This was the last day of school. I had a pretty good ride to Sioux Falls. I hadn't been in Sioux Falls for about 7 years. From Sioux Falls, it was a tricky ride along county roads to Brookings. I'm staying the night with friends. I made 80 miles today. Because of how good the new recumbent is my daily average miles per day is around 70 miles. Last month with the old recumbent, the average miles per day was in the high 50s.

After stopping in Brookings, S.D., I'll be riding north to the Canadian Border and then turning east for the ride through Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Here in South Dakota, I'm planning to ride through DeSmet, Huron, Redfield, and Aberdeen. In North Dakota, I'll be riding through Ellendale, Edgeley, Jamestown, Carrington, New Rockford, Minnewauken, Cando, Langon, Cavalier, and Pembria. In Minnesota, I'm looking at riding through Karlstad, Roseau, Wanbad, Baudette, International Falls, Cook, Virginia, and Duluth. In Wisconsin, I'll be riding along the northern lakeshore of Lake Superior to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After Michigan, I've got some planned stops in Ohio.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change.




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