Day 63 – New Route and additional 40 miles to the North

Over the last 100 miles I have shared with many locals my planned route through South Dakota. Most of them commented that I may want to reconsider my path along the south portion of the badlands. There were many reasons communicated, but most of them were because of the harsh terrain and zero civilization for about 120 miles.

As I wrote while walking through Missouri, my priority is self-preservation and not breaking any records. Off the record; I might add that my average daily mile count is only 2 miles less than the time set by Gary Haus (The Walking Man). My new route is now about 40 miles to the North. This will add an additional day, but it will all even out by the end of the walk.

I had the opportunity to meet Dean (Amy’s husband) this morning. Dean had offered to take me back across town to the hwy heading North. This became necessary because I changed Motels yesterday, which required me to travel to the far other side of town. The new motel had fast internet and cold air-conditioning. Dean met me outside at 6:30am. What a great all-around guy! Dean sort of reminded me of George Strait, but a little different.

After stopping at a convenience store, Dean took me out to the North bound highway. We had some great conversation and Dean patiently answered all my questions about the area. I really do like South Dakota!

After dropping me off, Dean pulled up again shortly thereafter. It seems that I left my water in his truck… 😦

Walking in this part of the country in the morning is almost spiritual. Such beautiful country, rich with history, and not a soul stirring within miles. My attitude usually changes about 1pm when the sun starts burning and the wind settles down a bit. The long days and hot afternoons can deflate the sails. Early in the trip this was easily solved by finding shade and taking a long nap. From upper-Missouri on, this hasn’t been possible…because there is no frigging trees. Not to mention that the chiggers, ants and other insects are relentless!

About 2/3 of the way through the day, I absolutely had to take a break. But where? I had already passed several snakes today and the side of the road is just tall grass. My only option for some shade, was cozying up to a hay bale on the side of the road. It provided a great place to nap…until the farmer pulled up on his tractor needing to get through. Time to go!

Today’s trip did provide some scenery other than flat farmland. I had to cross several decent size hills and the White River. Can you guess why they named it that? Yip…it’s almost completely white!

The final leg of the trip was probably the hardest. From the top of the hill coming into town, everything looked about 2 miles away. Realistically it was about 4 miles that just seemed to take forever.

After arriving at Hutch’s Motel, I cleaned-up and iced the knees for a bit. Next door to the motel just happened to be Hutch’s cafe and Hutch’s Lounge. If they had a Hutch’s Fuel-stop, they would almost have a virtual business monopoly in town! I did decide to go grab a burger and relax. As with most of my South Dakota experience, it only took about 30-minutes until I was talking to everybody in the place. Tonight, the place was packed with about 50 people and they were singing karaoke. Woo Hoo!

Many of the locals mentioned that I should stay and celebrate Independence Day on the 3rd in Vivian, SD. Vivian is about 10 miles north of Presho. Sounded like fun, so in Vivian I shall stay & play!

Before I was prompted to sing karaoke, I said my goodbyes and snuck out of there early.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Amy on July 7, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Love reading your blogs! You may not have to worry about looking for work when you are done with your trek, a columnist I think I see 😉 Dean is going to love your description of him (a.k.a. George) ~ it’s always been a competition thing with George, jk… seriously, keep up this great journey, how wonderful to see good people doing GREAT things! Enjoy & God Bless…


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