Camped next to me yesterday in Chamberlain was a very interesting man. We did the usual friendly talk about the bike and my ride and I found out he was on the road on a poetry tour. We chatted about his hitch hiking days when he was younger and we also talked about water and nature. I told him I was a retired starving artist and we talked about all the great art forms that just don’t get the attention and support they deserve here in the states.(he’d always say”poetry is poverty”) After I came back from dinner and watched the last of the sunset, we talked some more and he ended up giving me a book of his that is about a trip across America on highway twenty. I’m sure our traveling paths will cross again one day and we can talk more about all the little things in life that people seem to miss out on with the daily grind and the way thing are “supposed to be”. ( maybe I could get some writing tips too) I can’t say I’ve ever met a poet before so this is another first on my trip.

At breakfast in town I sat at a booth near one of two groups of guys. One group was the older farmers talking about oil prices and fertilizer and the other was the younger group talking about golf. Like I did in North Dakota, the older guys rolled dice to see who would pay for the coffee. The book I’m reading (about a guy who drives the Lewis and Clark trail in a VW camper) was talking about all the farmers and there baseball caps and overalls. Apparently, not much has changed in South Dakota since the book was written in the 80’s. A guy walks in the cafe and asks the waitress “could I get five quarters for my dollar”. One of the old guys sitting there says “you shouldn’t have said that, she would’ve given you six”. They all had a good chuckle after that and she sternly reminded the old guys who brings em there food. It’s fun to sit in on these small town conversations, everyone is friendlier in a small town.
After breakfast I went by a service station and asked the guy in the garage to borrow the air compressor. With aired up tires I rolled to the grocery store for fruit and more stuff to add to my trail mix. The other day I bought some M & M’s and yogurt covered almonds to add to the mix thinking it will last longer. I was wrong about that, all it did was make me eat more trail mix and faster than before. So today I bought raisins and cashews to water down the “feedbag” and hopefully that will calm the snacking frenzy down.

Out on the road today it was pretty routine so in place of me going thru the whole ride I’ll just do a list.

Beautiful scenery
Big hills
Friendly waves and hellos
Moderate trail mix snacking
Abandoned houses
Baby cow that was on the roadside until chased it back behind the fence
Lots of jokes in my head
Some whistling
Corn and other crops
Disappointing town with no open stores
Sunburn where I didn’t evenly apply sunscreen
Answering the call of nature on the side of the road*

* denotes #1 not #2