Sunday, 11 July 2010

Day 52 Murdo to Kadoka

Saturday 10th July
Daily mileage 60miles Average Speed 11.5mph Ride Time 5hr11min
Total Mileage 2052
What a day, where do I start! Determined to make an early start we were packed and ready to go after our free continental breakfast which was probably better described as a free basic breakfast! We clocked up 22 miles and went from the central time zone to the mountain time zone gaining another hour before stopping at 1880 Town which is a tourist attraction and is an old style town with all the saloons and cowboys etc and it also hosts various artefacts from the movie Dances with Wolves.

It was extremely hot and so we decided to go in for a break from cycling and some shelter. It was very tacky but something different I suppose! We watched two cowboys, the McNasty Brothers, perform a live music and comedy show then a firing guns demonstration out in the fake street, very random. We cycled a further 8 miles into Belvedere and on the way we chatted to a couple who were sitting on the roadside as their van had broken down. They kindly replenished our water bottles and we were on our way. We stopped in a gas station and Scuba Steve was advising us that severe thunderstorms were on their way and we should watch out for them. This was hard to believe as the sun and blue skies were producing a high temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit!

We slapped on more sun cream and cycled on to Kadoka, 12 miles up highway 16. After a few miles we could see a storm building in the clouds just to the left of us and it was clear there was thunder, lightening and heavy rain. It looked as though our road was going to just miss it to the right so we cycled as fast as our legs could manage and were topping approx 20mph average all the way to the town. As we arrived we looked to have just passed it with nothing more than a few rain drops so it was time to relax. We found a library and checked the internet which implied the storm was severe but it had past and as we were only 19 miles from Cactus Flats where we had intended to camp tonight we tossed a coin and decided to go for it.

We had made it about 5miles out when the sky ahead of us looked pretty nasty to say the least. We knew there was a junction with the interstate in 2 miles so we put our heads down with the intent of ducking under the bridge as soon as possible. The rain turned into hale stones which got larger and really hurt as they came pelting down on us. As we arrived at the bridge I was slightly hysterical with a panic attack and there were approx 20 other cars, motorbikes and vans all hiding under the bridge, it was just like something out of a movie! A nice family opened their car for me to sit in to catch my breath and we changed into dry warmer clothes. Gradually the storm moved on and it was only us and the motorbikes left hiding from the rain. Listening to their weather radios it appeared there were two more storms on the horizon, one in front of us and one to the south. We waited under the bridge for nearly two hours deliberating whether to go on for 12 miles or back to Kadoka for 7 miles.

As the black sky ahead appeared to be getting more and more active with lightening we decided not to chance it and go 7 miles back to a motel in town. We made it just in time and as we were recovering in the motel room another storm hit and the lightening actually blew out the tv and the lights for a few minutes. As we sat staring out at the storm not one but two other cycle tourists pulled in to the car park Stephan and Jesse. They arrived an hour or so after each other and were not travelling together but all of us left New York and are heading for Seattle and have taken exactly the same route so far, how bizarre! We chatted for a while swapping stories then as the adrenaline drained we slept.

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