Visiting Mt. Rushmore
We arrived in Rapid City yesterday and went straight towards Acme Bicycle. The day had started out great, with about 20mph winds going with us, but they died down around noon so we were back to our typical 12-15 mph pace.
On the way to Acme, Nikki, our host’s daughter, saw us bicycling by and texted Cammie, our awesome host here in Black Hawk, SD saying “I think our guests are in town!”
We went to the bike shop where we had a slough of problems fixed. We had a list of 7 things we wanted looked at. They were all solved. 1) Get a new tire- we’ve been running on a Wal-Mart tire since Huron, SD. 2) Get a replacement/extra tube. 3) Replace two broken spokes on the front tire. 4) Buy replacement spokes. 5) Have our pedals re-aligned- When we stopped at the awesome bike shop in Owatonna, our pedals were put back on crooked, so we have been out of sync! Thankfully, they are now fixed. 6) Extend the front stem- This is the part that holds the handlebars- I have
been having neck/back pain from slouching over too far while riding, so hopefully this will help some. 7) Have the tires spokes tightened so that the wheel will rotate more properly.
So, we got all these problems fixed, which was kind of expensive, but not at all compared to what it could have been if we had taken it to a more stuck-up bike shop. Quite helpful and cool people. In fact, the guy who worked on our bike owned like three tandems!
We pedaled on from there, after purchasing the crazy multi-flavored new Clif bars from the bike shop, and arrived at Cammie’s house. We have been hanging out with her all day, and she is absolutely hilarious!
She drove us to Mt. Rushmore, a location that we were definitely not going to bicycle to. We went all up and down the Black Hills, which were Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! It is so great to see trees again! It seems like it’s been a week or two since we have seen trees! This sounds absurd, but it is true!
Mt. Rushmore was really cool- as an American, I have always wanted to visit the giant rocks, but, unlike Niagara Falls, it seemed kind of anti-climactic. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was cool and everything, I just don’t quite understand the whole patriotism thing. It was also weird to me that the monument is permanently incomplete. For such a task of epic proportion, you’d think they would put in the effort to finish Abraham Lincoln’s left face. But, it was still cool.
We have been keeping track of liscence plates on our trip, and we finally saw Delaware today! I think we’ve seen almost every single plate so far. We are missing one or two, but I am certain we will find them!
Today has been a great day full of beautiful sights, good company, and muscle relaxation. I was hoping to do a more extensive blog post, but it is now almost completely dark out, which means it’s time for us to go to sleep.
In case you were wondering, I have had nightmares about rattlesnakes the last couple of nights. I did some research on them on a few different websites, and apparently 80% of all bites happen to men who are intoxicated. Anyways, I’m not particularly paranoid, just aware. I’ve seen quite a few dead snakes on the roads we are bicycling on, and the last thing I want to do on a bike is run over a living one.
Tomorrow, we head for Spearfish, a town that everyone has said is absolutely beautiful!