Wall is famous for Wall Drug, which started out as a drug store (pharmacy) and has evolved in to a huge shopping-centre-like complex. For us, the 2 most important things were 5c coffee and, the thing that started their rise to fame, free ice cold water.
Walking round the small part of Wall Drug I did was slightly overpowering. It reminded me of Oren’s description of Honest Ed’s back in Toronto – A huge place with everything that you can spend days trying to find the exit. I decided to just go to the restaurant, sit down, relax and have a lot of 5c coffee to energise me for the ride to Rapid.
The ride started with a great descent from Wall to the town of Wasta. We lost a lot of elevation and flew down the shoulder of I90, almost making the minimum speed requirement for an interstate of 40mph. As with every downhill until we get to the other side of the Cascades, there was an uphill right after it where we gained back all the elevation we had lost and then some. The climbing was not too bad as I knew that this would be our last day on the bike before a few rest days letting our legs recover.
We got to the town of New Underwood, home of the world’s smallest biker bar, and took a break. The bar was unfortunately closed, but that meant that there was no problem laying on the picnic tables outside to rest. It’s always wonderful to get to do so and it’s definitely nicer on a picnic table than the floor. Something about the ants crawling all over me doesn’t really appeal for some reason. I used the time to finish up the 3rd Harry Potter book.
I had seen the final film with Abdul & Danielle in Madison, so decided that it was probably about time to read the books. The first 3 are nice and short and took very little time to read. The 4th one is when they start to get much longer (650 pages v 300), but that means that they have more backstory than they managed to fit in to the films.
I90 just after New Underwood was wonderful as it had just been re-surfaced. Unfortuantely, a few miles after that the shoulder started to get pretty bouncy. The section right next to the rumble strip on the side of the shoulder was good, so that’s where I rode. C didn’t feel comfortable riding there and stayed on the slower, bumpier section. Without trying to ride faster I found myself going 10-15% faster than C and so had to actively slow down at times.
We got off I90 at the entrance to Rapid and there was about 10 miles across town to get to Jennifer’s. We had a headwind to ride into as well as the afternoon sun, and C wanted a break. McD’s was on the way so 20-30 minutes there and we were good to brave the headwind again in our final push to a warm shower and a change of clothes.
Just before we got to Jennifer’s an SUV pulled up next to me and asked me if I was looking for somewhere to stay. He mentioned that he was also a cycle tourist and had in fact gone round the world. I thanked him but said that we had already got somewhere. It was yet another example of C’s belief that we are minor celebrities.
Our evening, and the rest of our stay with Jennifer was amazing. When either I or C goes back to write blog posts for rest days I’ll expand more. Suffice to say we saw everything we wanted to and more during our 2 rest days. From Mt Rushmore, to the Black Hills and Devils Tower all within a few hours of driving. It was magical.