A Real South Dakota Day

Joey here.

One never should pray for zero-sum benefits like tailwinds.

That would be praying for someone else to get a headwind.

We got rolling this morning at sunup. We needed to cover 100 miles before dark.

The first leg of our trip was 22 miles due east, into a strong headwind.

This was the view behind us. In front, the low sun was blinding. The road had no shoulder, but in rural South Dakota there’s so little traffic that we felt comfortable in the motor lane.

The wind shifted south but still slowed us. By the time we reached the crossroads for our turn north, Jeffrey was tired, cold, and half deaf from the roar of the gale.

As soon as we turned: quiet. For the remaining 80 miles, the wind was at our backs. Our speed doubled. What a pleasure!

It’s been a long time since our flag was blown in our travel direction!
Rural schools were abandoned as farms consolidated and families left the land.
Not so long ago, First Nations controlled all this land.
We prefer this sign to the more common, “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.”
Birds and cottages on Cottonwood Lake.
The white birds remind us of pelicans.
Today we saw several beautiful live pheasants, and three pheasant victims of traffic violence. The welcome sign explains the Donald Duck sign we saw yesterday.
Uh-oh. The motels in Redfield are fully booked by the work crews cleaning the local ethanol plant. We’re grateful to resourceful Jasmine, who loves the idea of the Ride and the mission of Human RIghts First. Jasmine phoned some contacts, then her mom, who called around and found us a place at the Cowboy Inn.
L to R: Mary Kay and Terry.

Our hosts upsized and wanted to sell their old house. Mary Kay said the house is so tall that no one wanted to move it. (Relocating houses must be a thing in this region.) They converted it into a very nice guest house instead.

We’re sharing the house with Tim, an electrician on temporary assignment at the nearby sunflower seed processing facility.

Tim is a native South Dakotan. His hobbies include team roping, in which one horseback rider ropes a steer’s horns and the other ropes the animal’s back legs. Tim is the leg man. He’s been riding a horse since age 4.

Tim taught Jeffrey about chislic, the local climate, the cost of keeping horses, and other things from his world.

Jeffrey explained the Ride and how the right to request asylum is meaningless if the applicant doesn’t have the tools (in particular a lawyer) to help prepare the case. Tim gets it.

South Dakota is two thirds the size of Italy, with half the population of our 23 square mile home island, Manhattan.

This was a real South Dakota day. Long distance rural travel. People of quality, not quantity.

2 thoughts on “A Real South Dakota Day

  1. Another marvelous and interesting post in your very special efforts for this worthy cause. (I remember when my grandparents, from the Midwest, relocated their farmhouse.) Travel safely.

    Liked by 1 person

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