Well we didn't end up in Oz but it stormed all night long, rain and winds pounding our sturdy (new and improved!) tent.
Today, South Dakota finally lived up to my preconceptions: it was flat. Flatland. Flat as a frying pan.
We had decent weather - had a tailwind! - most of the way. I got real hungry near Vermillion and stopped at the Hyvee, the Safeway equivalent, for a sandwich and a mango. Funny how set in your ways you get. Like the shelves were organized differently here than in a Safeway, the fruit was stacked differently, even the way the pharmacy was set up. Anyways I sat in the cafe and destroyed the mango, juice dripping everywhere. Definitely earned some stares with this one. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
We ran into another tourer, Brad, there too (seriously we find'em in the strangest places). He had just caught up with the Lewis and Clark trail in Sioux City. I didn't talk to him long because I was very focused on that coffee and those calories.
It started to drizzle, then pour, as we left Vermillion until we were maybe 20 miles from the destination. My case isn't really waterproof anymore so I just stick the phone in my jacket's back pocket. The temperature stayed around 70 though and the water was warm so the riding was still pretty easy. I chewed a whole pack of gum in 10 minutes like I always do.
When I crossed the bridge into Iowa, Rachel was heading back across it. She couldn't find the state sign.. And we never did find any notice. So we maneuvered to the interstate and took a solid selfie there. From there, we had planned on riding five miles through Nebraska (man, no other state has taken the kind of shit this state gets. Singularly, every person we talked to told us not to go) but some friends of our warm showers host for the night spotted us and invited us out for beer. We happily obliged. Buffalo Alice ("BA's") is highly recommended. Plus Adam, the bartender and also a biker, fed us from his unlimited supply of tootsie rolls. Rachel ordered a pizza (girl finally got her cheese) and we rode south to Tom's house. He grilled up some awesome pork burgers and we talked with his wife Mandy and listened to his adorable son Jackson bang stuff together in his room.
Completely worn out from the night before, sleep came almost instantly.