Friday, July 1, 2016

70: Wide open spaces

A sign worth observing
The eastern portion of South Dakota is made-to-order for folks who like things neat and tidy. The east-west roads stretch out ahead of you in nice straight lines, and there are crossing roads (mostly not paved) that intersect them regularly (someone told me they probably line up with the sections, and that seems about right). These crossing roads are numbered consecutively - we are up to something like # 425 now - and so you could pretty much get around here easily as long as you know that the numbers increase west to east. Some of these north-south roads are pretty heavily traveled, even with the gravel, but some of them - not so much!

We stopped in Hitchcock for lunch, and were invited by some folks to join their table. What a small world connection we found today! Barbara and Jon were visiting their mother, Esther. Barbara lives in northern California now, and when we said we were from Redlands, she said she had a friend there! So - if any of my Redlands readers know Lynn and Steve Wolden, tell them that Barb Christwitz says "hello"!
Esther, Barbara snd Jon

We also stopped in to visit the museum, which is just chock full of western memorabilia, old household items, toys, riding tack and historical items from Hitchcock's past. Ray and his mother have assembled most of the items, and he maintains the collection.  We got to meet her when we stopped by to fill our water bottles from their well.
Mom Rita

The Hitchcock Museum
A  prize saddle in the collection

Great collection of old toy cars
This is our last night in South Dakota. Tomorrow we'll hit the state line and cross into Minnesota. We are staying in a great little hotel in Willow Lake, the Home Town Hotel.They have the most unusual guest amenity I have ever seen - a tanning bed! Only in South Dakota, I think.

By the way, the anticipated headwinds did not materialize - we had a much better day than expected, though still pretty long in the saddle.

The day's report:  Miller to Willow Lake, 82 miles, 3361 to date

Nice place to stop and rest

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