… would be a really nice place to stay if I could afford it. But it’s the first motel that I’ve seen in 120 miles and it only had one room left so I didn’t want to take any chances.
Last night was a bad night and this morning I felt like death. I really could have stayed there a second night too but at that rate I’m never going to accomplish anything.
With last night’s protein broth not doing me any good at all (the remainder of the packet went down the sink this morning), I tried the porridge but half of that went into the bin. And as for my grape juice, well, I shan’t bore you with the gory details about that. But that was disappointing.
Eventually I managed to drag myself outside and into the car and staggered off to finish the rest of the James River trail. It didn’t take long and then I was back on my route again.
The first half was boringly flat as you might expect but things gradually started to warm up. I can particularly remember my elation when I saw a proper hill.
The lady Who Lives In The Satnav took me down some interesting roads and through some interesting towns, including one called Ventura which, had it not been for the cars in the backyards, would have been placed quite properly back in the 1880s
As the day drew on I started to hit the hills and that was comforting. A stop for fuel and a chat with the lady who ran the place, and then off again.
At about 16:00 I hit the big city of Pierre where I crossed the Missouri (the photo that I took was rubbish because there was nowhere to get for a good view) and entered Mountain Time, losing an hour.
But while I was stopped trying to find a good photo spec, I was passed by almost every police car in South Dakota (I seem to have crossed into South Dakota somehow without noticing it) with blue and red lights flashing, just like in some of these “bad river” films. They shot off up one road, came back down and shot off up another one. It made me realise that I’m not all that far from Keystone.
Now I’m really in the mountains. The foothills of the Black Hills of Dakota, following the trail (quite literally) of the old Deadwood Stage. It’s well-signposted with quite a few things to see from the 180s and 1890s.
Eventually I arrived at the township of Philip. A place which has two claims to fame, according to the motel owner. One is that the coldest temperature in South Dakota in modern times has been recorded here, and the second is that the warmest ditto.
It’s a one-horse town of course but with a huge cattle market, and smells like it too. I’m glad that it isn’t me, but I took a shower just the same to be sure.
The motel owner is very friendly and spent quite a while chatting to me which was nice, and later I went for a walk around the town – but that didn’t take long.
But now I’m exhausted. I had a huge wave of fatigue during the afternoon that I managed to fight off (just about) until I found my second wind. So even though it’s only 20:00 I’m off to bed on my rather springy mattress.
See you in the morning.