Custer to Edgemont

Neither soaking rain nor ferocious wind nor heat of the day shall keep us from pursuing the completion of the 109 miles of the GEORGE. S. MICKELSON. TRAIL! (After all, we got the tee shirt)

All bundled up in as many layers as we had, we were all still cold this morning. The sun and blue sky offered a promise of warmer temps for us but that was hard to appreciate as we shivered at the ride start.

Today we would bike the trail in the southern Black Hills for 45 a mile day. With wind. And lots of it. We were buffered around quite a bit at the beginning part and would get rocked later in the day. Scenes along the way were beautiful and interesting as we pedaled past ranches and open fields.

Our first break was in the town of Pringle (no relation to Pringle potato chips) where we got to see the bike Sculpture. 

In addition to being aware of soft sandy parts on the trail, and hard rutted areas caused by last weeks 600 cyclist event in the rain, we had to watch out for cow patties as cattle do often cross the trail.

Then we entered the prairie and were hit by cross wind so fierce it rocked us back and forth and almost caused some to topple over. Some tumbling tumble weed drifted across our path to remind me of Roy Rogers ;’-). By now it had heated up and we were peeling off layers against the 80 degrees that developed. Without that wind, we may have been scorched. Pick your poison!

Linda in the wind — see her hair?

We reached the top of this hill and were told we could see Nebraska. 

Nebraska is over there…

We fought the wind all the way to our ending spot in Edgemont and were stopped (let’s say for a rest) just outside of town by trains exchanging engineers. All was no so bleak as we were treated to cold Gatorade by the switchman.

We even had a choice of flavors

Though they say this part of the trail is more downhill than uphill, some of us questioned that! But I suppose that may be due to the wind we had for the entire day that had us beat by the end of the ride.

Dinner and an interesting presentation by a photographer and author Paul Horsted brought our day to a close. Happy and tired!

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