Okaton, South Dakota
Outside Huron our back tire popped. To make a looooooong story short, we tried hitchhiking, we tried calling the local police department, we tried calling our Couchsurfing host in Huron, with no success. We started losing hope in America and in people because, even though we were clearly broken down, and about 20 miles outside of any sort of civilization, people averted their eyes when they saw our thumb out. I started singing a song LOUDLY to the wilderness.
“South Dakota, you ain’t got no soul
You don’t know how to walk, and you barely know how to roll”
It seems like often the people who honk angrily at us are the ones who are most overweight. However, I think for every driver who does not get over to the left for us, there are at least 5 who do. Plus, motorcyclers have started waving at us, making us feel real legit. I think that a lot of the motorcyclers think they are all tough stuff for biking through the heat… until they see us.
Anyways, eventually the Herbalife Distributors of Huron stopped by to offer us some samples of their products. When they discovered that our back tire had exploded from wearing too thin, they offered us a ride to the local Wal-Mart, where we would be able to purchase a new tire, much to our shame.
We got it fixed and ended up sleeping on Eric’s floor in his apartment, but not after listening to his beautiful Cello skills. At around 7:45 the fire alarm went off, so we left towards Highmore. We arrived in Miller that afternoon, quite exhausted, and decided to go to bed early and wake up early. Ever since then, we have been going to bed early and waking up early to avoid this excessive heat warning. It is just after 8:03 and we are about to go to bed, ready to wake up at 4 AM.
After camping out in a Donation-based campground in Miller, SD we headed for Pierre, SD. We didn’t quite make it all the way, because the intense, intense heat seemed to be suffocating us as we were outside of town. We ended up getting ANOTHER ride 17 miles into Pierre, where we spent the night at the Pierre United Methodist Church. We walked down to the Missouri river, which was HUGELY flooded. Pierre looked warn-torn, covered with many police cars and sand bags in the downtown area. We walked back into the church and slept on the couches in the Sr. High youth group. We woke around 5 this morning and raced the heat.
We had a 35 mile stretch from Pierre down to I-90 where we knew that there were no rest stops whatsoever. It took us about 4 hours, with us arriving right around 10 AM. We didn’t take many long breaks, arriving in Murdo around 1PM, which was about 8 miles from Okaton, our Couchsurfing spot for the night.
The last hour of the trip was by far the most hot and the most exhausting. But, we arrived in the Ghost Town of Okaton, SD, home of the famous rock shop. We are hanging out here- there are only 13 people living here, 15 if you include us. I’m not sure how many percent of an increase that is, but it’s got to be a lot.
Tomorrow we will be waking up early to head towards Wall, SD.