July 24, 2011
24.07.2011 - 24.07.2011 28 °C
Not much to report today. I left Grinnell at 6:30 under threatening skies. There were large thunderheads to the south. I rode into Des Moines and got through the city quite easily because it was early on Sunday. I stayed on I-80 for a few hours until I almost reached the Nebraska border. I managed to get that far with just a few light showers.
There is a lot of interesting history in the part of the states. Yesterday I passed the town where Ronald Regan was born and raised. There was also the Herbert Hoover Museum before I got to Grinnell. Today I saw a sign showing the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who I wrote Little House on the Prairie. There was also a town where George McGovern was from.
As I got towards the Nebraska border, I was torn between riding across Nebraska or travelling north on I-29 to hook up with I-90 which would take me right into Rapid City tomorrow. #29 was actually closed north of I-80 but there was an alternate route to hook-up further north. I opted to do the latter and headed north towards Sioux Falls and Sioux City. When I got to Sioux Falls, I was shocked at the flooding that had happened there. South of the city it became evident that the Missouri River was still in flood. There were islands in the middle of the river with trees and roof tops sticking out of the water. In Sioux Falls, there were a number of riverside hotels that were totally flooded. All around town you can see the remains of sandbagging. It looked like they don't want to get rid of them in case the river rises again. There were a number of places along I-29 where the highway has been sandbagged.
The temperature wasn't too bad today. It stayed around 25 most of the day. Later on close to the end of the day it crept up to 30C. Travel on I-90 was an easy ride with fairly light traffic and very few semi-trucks. I made a couple of stops at rest areas to cool off and drink some water. Other travellers were friendly. I met one chap from Idaho who was riding a Wing. He had been on the Four Corners ride and had started in Blaine, then rode to San Ysidro, Key West and finally Madagaskwa, Maine. He did it in two weeks.
I got to the town of Mitchell where there were a lot of hotels. Not being sure of what was down the road, I decided to get off the road at 3:30 p.m. The hotels that interested me did not have restaurants nearby. There was one good looking Mom and Pop place that had a place to eat across the street but there were two police cars with flashing lights in front of the office. I decided to give that a pass. I ended up at the Best Western and got a room for only $55.
There was a Mexican restaurant next door that had some very good food.
Tomorrow It'll take a few hours to ride into Rapid City and maybe visit Spearfish Canyon.
Distance today = 676 kms
Distance todate = 14, 191 kms