When the Best Western Breakfast Lady in Murdo found out where we were heading she warned us about chipseal. “They started in Vivian,” she said cheerfully. “The chipseal is supposed to go to Reliance but I don’t know how far along they are.”
Wonderful – not only do we get to contend with strong Southerly winds and high temperatures but now we get to ride through 37 miles of fresh oil.
About 20 miles from Murdo the fresh chipseal appeared. It wasn’t too bad in the tire tracks – kind of like riding on a gravel road. Fortunately we only had 20 miles of fresh chipseal. When they were brushing off the chips we appreciated that the wind was from the South.
Most of the day we were parallel with Interstate 90. While stopped at Presho, South Dakota, these guys pulled up for fuel. They were returning home to Wisconsin. The cars made a very distinctive sound when they traveled down Interstate 90 a few minutes later.
As we traveled East, a strong wind was at our side for the first 55 miles. It was miserable.
The first 50 miles looked like we were in the Midwest. Giant fields of corn, soybeans, sunflowers and sorghum. The farmers are moving their equipment to get ready for the harvest.
Finally at Reliance, South Dakota our route turned North and we were able to enjoy a tailwind. We are staying in Fort Thompson which is next to the Big Bend dam on the Missouri River. Big Bend dam creates Lake Sharpe. We are also on the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Reservation. Sadly, Fort Thompson appears to have a lot of poverty.
- Murdo to Fort Thompson, South Dakota.
- Distance: 76.9 miles (124 km)
- Climbing: 2164 feet (660 m)
- Temperature: 45 – 87°F (7 – 31°C)
Our hotel is next to the Lode Star casino. We ate our dinner at the casino. Here’s to you Oscar!