Monday, June 19, 2006

Day 17 – Belle Fourche, SD to Whispering Pine Campground, SD

. Monday, June 19, 2006

Temperature: 75°F
Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Wind: SW 7 mph

Ride Info
Altimeter Trip: 5,450 ft
Altimeter Odometer: 43,750 ft
Maximum Speed: 47.0 mph
Average Speed: 15.5 mph
Distance Trip: 67.9 miles
Distance Odometer: 1,245.3 miles
Elapsed Time: 4 hr 19 min 14 sec

Statistically, today was one of the most difficult days with over one mile of climbing. There really weren’t any super-long, super-steep hills. But you were always constantly going uphill or downhill. I was actually looking forward to “roughing it” at the campground as opposed to the comfort of a church or school. The constant climbing and an extended stop at the casino town of Deadwood (read: stiff legs afterwards) really brought my average speed down.

I road with Chip and Jim into Deadwood. Deadwood is an “Old West” type of town with lots of authentic buildings and such. I think Kevin Costner owns a casino in town if I remember correctly. You feel kind of gay walking around an old west casino in our bike clothes. The three of us grabbed lunch, walked around a bit, and then headed back on the road. Click HERE to see what’s happening in Deadwood right now.

I rode the rest of the way to the campground by myself as Chip and Jim were going too slow. I remember getting kind of lost around Lead due to some construction going on. Even though I typically like climbing in the hills, I felt like the ride was kind of dragging along. It seemed to take forever to get to the campground. One thing that kept me going was picking off all the people that headed back on the road before me.

The Whispering Pines Campground was pretty nice. Good showers and a little country store. Tonight was mail night so that was another reason I was looking forward to getting to the campground. The only thing I didn’t like about the campground was that the bathrooms were a couple football fields away. I had to take leak in the middle of the night and didn’t feel like walking all the way to the bathrooms. There were some woods nearby so I did my business there. The next morning at breakfast, I overheard a woman telling someone else that she heard someone taking a leak last night and was praying to God that the pee wouldn’t make it’s way into her tent.