Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 22: Hot Springs, SD, to Rapid City, SD

Today's Mileage: 75
Average Speed: 12.0 mph
Max Speed: 41.0 mph
Average BPM: 137
Max BPM: 182
Calories Burned: 2509 [3540 according to]
Moving Time: 6:06
Blog & Ride Details

Today may have been the most beautiful and eventful portion of our cycling tour ... thus far. We pedaled through Wind Cave National Park and the Black Hills National Forest, visited Crazy Horse, and climbed up to Mount Rushmore. We saw buffalo, elk, hawks and prairie dogs. We got caught in a hailstorm. The gift shop of the Old MacDonald's Petting Farm, where Andrew and I sought shelter from the ice pellets, flooded with nearly 3 inches of water during the 30-minute downpour.

There was a total of 5125 feet of climbing between Hot Springs and Rapid City - labeled the third hardest day on paper by the ABB staff.

Crazy Horse, which has been under construction for over 60 years, looks about the same as it did about a decade ago when I visited it during a family road trip. If my memory serves correctly, I believe that my dad and I had calculated it's completion date using my own age as a reference. I'll be 90.

Here is my cycling-relevant interpretation. I call it "Crazy Bike."

Thanks to the wonders of technology, behind-the-scenes footage of my photo recreation of "Crazy Bike" is available on YouTube.

Less than 20 miles and several thousand feet of climbing later, we stood in awe below the mountainside monuments of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln.

"Isn't it amazing that nature created that?" Texas Tom asked. Beth added, "And even more amazing that nature knew who the presidents would be."

Chuck Kim was quiet a moment before he asked, "Or is it that we picked presidents who look like them?"

Of course, the Geldings picked George Washington's nose.

Along the Avenue of Flags at the Mount Rushmore Memorial Park, Maddy posed with Oregon, the origin of our journey ...

... and New Hampshire, the end of our journey.

The destination is happening along the way.

Toronto Mark, who shot the above video, called today "epic". With one word, he summed up everything I could possibly say about today.

More images from Hot Springs to Rapid City:

Click here to view my entire photo album of Day 22.

The Ride Leader's Official Report:
Across America North:


ccocochris said...

WOW!! you must be getting pretty tired of seeing the word WOW as my comments....but I really don't know what else to say, because every day with every new thing that u write about and every new picture you share all I can say is WOW. WOW for the experiences you are having and WOW for the magnificent sites you are seeing. So WOW!!

Monique D. said...

Hail? Crazy Horse? Mount Rushmore?!! Omg, this is awesome!
Oh & i have 3 comments:
#1. I think Maddy should pose by monumental stuff more often...i enjoyed those pics for some reason. Kinda sweet...kinda funny.

#2. I love love LOVE the last picture! Now THAT'S my Katie!!!

#3. And whyyyyyy didn't you pose by NC?? We all know you love NY but dang, can we get some love?! ;)