I had a complete tour of Pierre and finished before lunch! I was driven to the Capitol building and had a quick look around. Beautiful building, they don’t make em like that anymore. After, my hosts took me out on their pontoon boat and we enjoyed a late morning cruise on the river. Back at the house i got into my bike shorts and filled my water bottles and packed my CLEAN clothes onto my bike. After a refresher on how to get to the bike shop and grocer, I thanked my hosts (that were wonderful) and hit the road. With the nice relaxing morning and restocking supplies I had just planned on going to the first campsite on the way out of town. I arrived at the place I was going to camp and after eating an apple with some prosciutto, I left. It was a good fishing spot but I couldn’t imagine spending the afternoon,night and morning there. So what started as an easy twenty mile ride soon turned into a sixty mile ride. Arrived at the town I planned to stop for the night at and made my way to the store to refill my bottles and ask about camping. At the store I suddenly felt like the minority being the only white bread amongst all the native American people. It was a little sad to see the people coming out of the store with their soda and potato chips and I got the feeling that I was in the outer city ghetto. My suspicions were confirmed when I received the change from my purchase. It was the kind of Seven-Eleven dollar bills that have been through a lot, not the nice crisp fresh from the ATM or bank bills. ( anyone know what I mean?) As i was loading my water bottles and getting ready to ride to the dam to camp this guy( was sitting in the curb before I went inside the store and had some tats,eyeliner, and really bad acne) asked what my destination was and I told him about my trip and where I was ending and as I was about to ride away he asked for .75 cents. I had the ,he’s a druggy don’t give it to him, vibe so I gave him one of those no change excuses I learned in San Francisco back in the day and rode off.
As I was riding past the casino (the only other open place in town) I was thinking about how when I was young I really wanted to be an Indian. ( not a cowboy) Now I’m not so sure , it seems like a tough life out here on the prairie.
I went a mile or two out of town and found the park on the lower side of a really large dam. The sign said boat ramp, picnics and camping but when I got to the camping area it said it was closed. I was almost out of daylight and didn’t care or know what else to do so I road past a guy cleaning today’s catch of fish and found a place out of site. ( I hope) I waited to see what kind of action I’d see and had some fishermen in there trucks coming or more likely going and I felt ok with my decision to camp where I shouldn’t. After setting up my tent with all the steaks in preparation for the chance of storms tonight I cooked some frank and beans on the stove and put on a sweater and my rain pant to deal with the strong winds that are blowing in.