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The Route


Illinois! 3000 miles!
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on our way to chicago today we hit 3,000 miles.  woo hoo!

post on our milwaukee weekend coming soon.

if you get bored, check out my flickr page with all my twoarmparty photos (some of which show up on the blog)

Best sign since Idaho. Most surly since Utah.

Best sign since Idaho. Most surly since Utah.

We do love us our state signs, but we’re not too happy in this photo because the 18 miles to Wisconsin from Minneapolis turned into 40 miles, the last 12 of which were into a 15-20 mph headwind. Here’s a tip for traveling cyclists – when you’re in cities, get detailed city maps. Otherwise, you might get lost. Just sayin.

The day after Memorial Day, Caroline rode with us for the first leg of the day – less than 20 miles north, over the border into Minnesota. The sun shone bright & warm when we left Okoboji, but clouds crept up on us. The skies cooled and the winds simmered. We didn’t push ourselves hard, so Caroline could ride comfortably. It wasn’t all too hilly, but it wasn’t long before she started breathing heavy and probably started thinking about when to turn around. Shortly after she took our picture at the Minnesota border, the winds started pushing us, but not from behind. She bid her farewell, visibly tired, and hopefully not too regretful that she rode with us at all. She still thinks we’re an inspiration, but probably thinks we’re a little bit out of our minds, too. That’s ok. We get that a lot. It was fun to have someone else to ride with for a little bit. We hope you got home ok, Caroline!

If it was any difficulty for her getting to where she got, she at least had the benefit of the winds on her way back. It didn’t work so much in our favor. Giant windmills pointed the same direction we were headed, spinning quickly for the same reason we were spinning so slow. These days seemed to take forever, battling the invisible, unforgivable wind. Thousands of acres on either side of the road grew sprouts of corn stalks like enormous double-chocolate brownies lighly dusted with green mint sprinkles. Maybe I’m just hungry. We had aimed for Redwood falls, but fell twenty miles short, in the town of Springfield. Checking the weather and the route, we realized it was reasonable to spend the night there. The public library’s computers wouldn’t let us (or anyone for that matter) update our blog, otherwise we would’ve updated from there. (Also, you couldn’t check facebook or any online dating sites or anything.)

In Springfield, I had the Simpson’s theme song stuck in my head all day and we finally had Broasted Chicken (delicious!), plus “Jimmy’s Stuffed French Toast” for breakfast. When I asked what exactly “Jimmy’s Stuffed French Toast” was, the waitress’s eyes glittered and behind a broad smile, she described two pieces of french toast with two sausage patties crammed between them, smothered in melting american cheese. Watching her wander off into an epicurian delight, I pointed out the obvious – “You love it, don’t you?” “Ooh, I doo. I doo.” Andy & I both ordered plates, his with hash browns. “I’ve only seen one person finish the whole plate WITH hash-browns.” Andy, of course, would have no problem with this. “Do you want regular or sugar-free syrup with that?” “Sugar Free?” “We’ve got a lot of old people here”. It was true, just by looking at the table of men next to us playing some morning blackjack. Also, the waitress at The Outlaw Bar & Grill the previous night had told us that there were 22 funerals a few weeks ago. (She writes obituaries for the local newspaper). On the other hand, there were 17 weddings in the same week. Life goes on.

Through this whole state so far, we’d taken county roads that skirted towns from far enough of a distance that we thought we weren’t passing them, keeping us under the impression that we were still in the middle of nowhere. After leaving Arone’s Mom’s place in Spicer, on the edge of Green Lake, we couldn’t avoid the fact that we were leaving nowhere behind us. There was a time when it was 30 or 40 miles before we’d pass towns of a few dozen, with not even a dirt road turning off into the horizon. Gradually, since we turned north out of Iowa, we’ve started passing towns of several hundred (and those are the small ones) every five or six miles. It used to be five or six miles to the next *ranch*. Now, water towers grew on the horizon at every turn. The turns are still minimal (lots of long, straight roads), but the gas stations are much more frequent.

Sue, Ken, Andy, Quinn. Arone Dyer's Mom! Arone put Ken & Quinn's bikes together.

Sue, Ken, Andy, Quinn. Arone Dyer's Mom! Arone put Ken & Quinn's bikes together.

Our first stop out of the middle of nowhere was Litchfield. After five days of fighting headwinds over great distances, we anticipated two moderate days with hopefully decent weather, but had greatly overestimated the distance to Minneapolis – only 93 miles instead of the 150 we thought it was. That was a long one day trip, but it put us too far ahead of schedule. Again. We had bright skies and light winds at our backs. Splitting up those two days was going to be so easy it was almost boring.

We stopped in Litchfield for the lunch of sandwiches Ms. Dyer packed for us. Very nicely manicured lawns around here. I spotted the mailman across the street and dropped off a handful of postcards with him instead of trying to find a mailbox somewhere. The two of us probably gave a little yappy dog the moment of a lifetime – it didn’t know which one of us to chase.

Up until now, it was usually another few dozen miles until we found anything remotely interesting. And sometimes those things just turned out to be intersections – which were pretty damn disappointing – like the time in Wyoming we hoped there was a gas station for us to wait out the Witch of Jeffrey City’s thunderstorm that was chasing us. Today though, there was a gigantic ball of twine only 6 miles from Litchfield! And this was a whole new TOWN!

Ball of Twine. Big.

Ball of Twine. Big.

The biggest ball of twine in the world MADE BY *ONE* MAN.

The biggest ball of twine in the world MADE BY *ONE* MAN.

I’ve wanted to see the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota since my childhood, when the cult hit “Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” by Weird Al Yankovic topped some sort of chart somewhere. Most people had told us not to bother, it wasn’t worth it. I was prepared not to be impressed. I mean, it is just a giant ball of string, afterall. How impressive can that be? Frankly, I like preparing myself for disappointment. For example, most slackjaw-inducing movies I see, I expect to suck. That way, I tend to like them more when I see them. The biggest ball of twine in Minnesota? It was impressive. Totally worth the stop. Also, we could afford the stop. Today’s 50 mile ride was like a ride around Central Park. We hit up some bars. One of the two in Darwin, MN had no one in it but the bartender, and he wasn’t very chatty. The few words he did utter came from a gruff, minimalist voice that only speaks to you if it has to. It would’ve been an gutteral experience talking to this hard-boiled guy except that he didn’t say a single word to us. It was pretty weird.

6 miles of not-so-much-desolation later, we hit the town of Dassel, population 1,000 or so. The guy working the museum at the Biggest Ball of Twine way back in Darwin recommended we stay near the lake there. We might’ve found a different lake. There are 10,000 in this state, apparently. It didn’t look like there was much room for camping, but we asked a guy clearing the brush from his lawn where we might set up a tent. “Well, you can go right back there on my property, if you want. There are bathrooms in the park across the street.” Ralph Anderson was his name. He’d lived there for 40 years, on Long Lake, a tanned & ripped 62 year old man. After we set up in the bright afternoon sun and started working off our farmer’s tans under the hot sun, reading our books and relaxing by the rippling water, he came up & offered us some ice cream, popcorn & drinks, and showed us where the bathrooms in his house were.

It rained during the night, cooling the air off enough so that I got back into my sleeping bag, the mosquitos driven away by the less-than-favorable temperature. In the morning, we rode to the “Latte Da” coffeeshop back in town. We’re consistently reminded of what “Minnesota Nice” really means. When the lady working the counter at Latte Da spilled a whole bag of coffee grounds on the tiled floor, she let out a huge “Oh, SHOOT!”. The table of ladies next to us all rose in chorus “oohhhh, shoot! Ah, darn.” Even though Minnesota punished us with winds & weather for two days, we’re starting to forgive it now.

Back by the popular demand of at least one twoarmparty.com reader – more motel sign photos! Again, I dropped the ball on this one, and insist that if this is your thing, you gotta go out to Oregon & Utah and see the motels there. They’ve been the best & most concentrated we’ve seen so far. Or, you can sponsor me to go out to Oregon & Utah again and document the signs on my own. I’d be into that.

These signs are the few we’ve seen between Lander, Wyoming, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, where we are right now. There’s a bowling alley tossed in there for variety.

The Bowling alley in Lander

The Bowling alley in Lander

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This is the place in Lander we stayed at for two days while Quinn fought her cold.

This is the place in Lander we stayed at for two days while Quinn fought her cold.

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Makin it quick…  yesterday we rode about 75 miles to Springfield, MN…  we were sick of the headwinds that keeps following us, so we decided to stop halfway to Spicer and camp for the night.  We went to the library to check the weather and then got some dinner at the Outlaw Bar and Grill where we met a wonderful woman, Brittany (also our waitress) and her fiance.  They helped us find a place to sleep, told us about the cheap campsite but also pointed us towards a local named Gary who let us sleep in his backyard.  He wasnt living in the house, but he owned the property and it was across from a gas station so we had a bathroom and a nice, FREE private place to camp.  This morning we got on the road bright and early (riding by 7:30) in hopes of staying out of the mid day headwinds and getting to SPICER, MN at a reasonable hour.  So, here we are, on another beautiful lake (Green lake) in Minnesota.  The state of 10,0000000000 (okay, just 10, 000) lakes. with my very good friend Arone’s mom, Sue.  Arone is a mechanic at Bike Works in NYC.  Sue is fantastic, she just put the lasagna in the oven, had THREE showers for us to monopolize and a washing machine that’s been running since we arrived.  She has put us up for the night and we all get our own room.  Sweet!  no snoring to listen to.  Thanks Arone for having such an awesome mom!  and thanks, Sue for putting us up for the night and being so generous!

So after a big dinner, Sue took us for a Dairy Queen, then drinks at the local bar, and then..to top it all off, we relaxed in her hot tub, looking out on the lake and up at the stars.  It was perfect.

We had planned to take two days to get to Minneapolis and then after doing more research, we realized its only about 95-100 miles from here.  This could easily be done in one day, but we decided to take the morning to relax in Spicer and head out around noon for two short, easy 50 mile days.  Sue rides as well and so she’s going to join us for a bit this afternoon.  The second time that someone has joined us now!  Awesome.

Thank you again, Sue and Arone for having such and awesome mom!

Ken and Sue out on her dock on Green Lake

Ken and Sue out on her dock on Green Lake

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It’s been so long since we were in Pierre, South Dakota that I don’t remember much about the ride in.  We went through Hayes, a town of about 40 or less.  For lunch, we sat in the shade of the local church and made sandwiches.  The next building over we filled our water bottles and I found out it was the school house but they were closing it down that year.  I guess they’re going to bus the kids to Pierre? That is the closest town but it is still about 40 miles away.  Or maybe Hayes just decided they don’t need to educate their children.  Whichever, it is still a sad situation.

We rode into Pierre and stopped by a Perkins for some soda.  Then we were like “It’s Perkins!  Forever Breakfast!” so we got a Belgian waffle with fruit and whipped cream and a selection of 3 different syrups.  We chowed down on that for a bit then called our contact, Sol.  He said he had to work a bit longer so we just killed some time sipping soda at Perkins.  I felt bad for the waitress because her boss kept getting on her case about our glasses being empty.  But by the time she turned her back after setting down the refreshed glasses they were pretty much gone.  I should have just asked for a pitcher.  Not too much time passed and Sol unexpectedly showed up at the Perkins to meet us.  This is the first time anyone has ridden their bike to meet us.  In fact, it’s the first time anyone has met us.  We usually just ride to their home.  So, we made our acquaintances and crossed the Missouri River to Sol’s house.  He had already made a menu for dinner and started right in on it while we got cleaned up.  We have had some pretty unique meat while on this trip but Sol’s meal was up there with the best.  It was made up of venison steaks (which he and his friends hunt and split up to freeze), battered and fried walleye (which is the fish of choice in Pierre and he had caught it earlier in the week), red beans and rice and corn.  He was afraid he might have to eat alone after meeting us in a restaurant but we made short work of his delicious offerings.  Afterwards, we went to the local ice cream stand for dessert but the line was out to the street.  literally.  The ice cream stand is the local hang out for all the kids and adults.  We didn’t have time to wait in line because X-Men Origins: Wolverine started in 15 minutes.  It was a good movie.  Definitely cheesy but entertaining and kept fairly well with the comic storyline.  Afterwards we just walked back and went to sleep in preparation for the following rest day.

Sol's dinner

Sol's dinner

Our afternoon in Pierre was spent in the company of Sol, his uncle Randy and Randy’s wife Michelle (Mick for short).  Mick is the sister of the South Dakota governor and is the one sister of 10 children.  They took us kayaking on the mighty Missouri River.  Kayaking is a very relaxing thing to do on rest days.  You just sit on top of the water and paddle occassionally but mostly you just let the current take you at it’s own pace.  Kayakers do look funny, though, because all you see is their top half and it looks like they should be standing up.  Like if they were to get out of the water they would have the kayak around their waist like an intertube.  That’s besides the point, we saw pelicans and shorebirds and gulls making thier nests for the coming season.  A bit further up I saw a big concrete structure in the middle of the river.  I asked what it is and it turns out that the bridge we were about to wade under is a drawbridge.  But instead of the bridge separating in the center and being pulled upwards, it pivots and turns and is tethered to the concrete structure.  I notice a rope ladder is attached to the structure and point it out.  Randy yells at me “Hey Andy! Why don’t you climb that thing!”  without having to think about it at all I shimmy up the ladder and am standing on top of the drawbridge tether thing.  Randy looks worriedly at Quinn and said “I didn’t know he takes dares!”  I don’t know the appropriate term for the structure but it’s about 25 feet high and is still decorated with Christmas decorations in May.  The current was pretty strong but the structure was blocking it on the southside.  I had Sol hold on to my kayak and directed myself towards the lee.  I think it’s called the lee.  Sol kept saying to aim for the lee or league but league is a depth measurement so I don’t think it was that.  He meant the area where the current is blocked.  After making sure my kayak didn’t drift away and that there wasn’t anything lurking just below the surface of the water waiting to break me, I tossed my sunglasses to Ken, took a deep breath, gave praises to the river so it wouldn’t turn on me, and leapt.  The sun was shining that day but not enough to warm the water.  It was probably about 40 or 50 degrees, which doesn’t sound too bad but damn is it cold.  Not as cold as the river of mountain runoff Ken and I jumped into while at the hot springs in Boise, Idaho but it will still wake you up in the morning.  Trying not to spend too much time in the water, I jumped back in the kayak fairly quickly and went on my way.  Now that Randy found out I’m pretty much up for anything he said I should try and paddle between the pillars of the bridge, where the current is at it’s strongest.  I said to myself, “what the hell.  i like challenges.”  So I began paddling as hard as I could to fight the current and barrel between the pillars.  Then I heard Randy say something and I stopped to hear him.  Bad idea.  As soon as I stopped paddling the current took me for a spin and capsized the kayak.  I must say, for never having kayaked before I learned quickly how to get in the boat from the water.  Usually people enter from the back and sort of crawl over the top.  I’m pretty sure my legs just forged themselves into a flipper and I propelled myself out of the water directly into the seat.  It didn’t take very long to bail the water out, and thankfully we were right by the dock.  I had had enough boating and sitting in cold water for a day.  We got cleaned up and were invited to Randy and Mick’s for dinner.

Kayaking on the Missouri

Kayaking on the Missouri

my crash course in entering the boat from the water

my crash course in entering the boat from the water

They live about 10 miles outside of town on a lake that is about 200 miles long.  We get there and are looking around a bit and someone says something like, “the only thing we haven’t done on this trip is shot guns” and Randy’s immediate response is “let’s go out back and shoot some pigeons!”  Living in New York you tend to harbor a certain hatred for pigeons.  At Trackstar (the bike shop I work at) every year the pigeons decide to make a nest in our back window.  They just sit there and coo and flap around and make babies and lay eggs and disturb the arduous work that is always at hand in our tiny little shop.  So when Randy said we could shoot them I was all for it.  Then I sadly realized he meant clay pigeons.  But shooting a gun is shooting a gun and I jumped at the opportunity.  We got everything set up and got a box of ammo and Randy was giving us some lessons on how to shoot.  Mostly he said it was instinct and when you bring the butt of the gun into your shoulder to click the safety off at the same time, with a snap.  We definitely do not have that instinct.  It only took Ken a couple shots before he hit one.  We were all amazed.  Including Ken.  Then it was my turn.  Randy loads the clay pigeon shooter, I yell “Pull!”, Randy yanks the cord and the spring breaks on the shooter.  He can’t fix it without tools but has a quick solution, “I’ll toss ‘em up.  Just yell ‘pull’ when you’re ready.  Oh, and if it goes towards that house over there…don’t shoot.”  So I ready myself again, yell “pull!”, he throws it up in the air, I am blinded by the sun but still see the pigeon, and just pull the trigger in the general direction of the pigeon’s trajectory.  I didn’t see it, but they say I hit it.  Now it’s Quinn’s turn.  Randy goes over the same stuff again about it being instinct and all that while Quinn has the rifle lowered to her side on her hip.  That is the position you want to start in, but you also want to bring it up into your shoulder to aim then shoot.  I think Quinn may have seen Scarface too many times as a child because she held the rifle just like Tony Montoya’s little friend with it dangling at her side and not really aiming at all.

After we were done shooting, the fajitas were ready to eat.  The fajitas were made up of the leftover venison we had from the night before and antelope.  Another bush meat for us.  They were nothing but spectacular with sauteed peppers and onions.  After we all ate it was obvious there wasn’t much else to do but eat ice cream with german chocolate brownies and sleep.  We bid our farewells to Randy and Mick, thanked them for the meal and such a great rest day and headed back to Sol’s.  The next morning Sol had to work so he couldn’t ride out with us like he wanted, but he still made a huge pot of oatmeal with raisins for us.  We loaded up and rode away.

Pierre (pronounced pier, or peer) is the capitol of South Dakota.  A lot of the capitols we’ve been to haven’t been too great and we wonder how they become the capitol.  Sacramento, for example.  That is a terrible city but it’s the capitol city of California.  I don’t get it sometimes, but Pierre gets six thumbs up from the two arm party.  Mostly due to such gracious hosting but the city itself wasn’t too bad either.  It’s also at the 100th meridian, which means it is the geographic center of the country.  There was some monument celebrating that fact but we couldn’t find it.

Ken would also like everyone to know his comic genius so he asked me to mention this.  The night before we were talking about all the wildlife we had seen except buffalo.  Randy said there was a buffalo farm on the way out on the highway we were going to take so we wouldn’t have to backtrack or go out of our way.  We rode by and had to stop to make sure they were buffalo and not cattle.  They were pretty far away.  Once we had established they were buffalo Ken says, “Look, those buffalo are roaming.  Their cell phone bills must be expensive.”  Budum pum!

more photos when we’re not in the middle of nowhere

I really want Ken to write about this, but I just wanted to write quickly from my perspective and put up some photos from today.

we left sioux falls yesterday..a beautiful day, feeling great after resting and headed into Iowa.  We were given directions to stay off one of the more major roads and so we took them, extending our trip 5 or 10 miles but making for a nicer ride.  it was beautiful.. so many pig farms, beautiful trees.  so nice.  well, my left knee has been bothering me for some reason and i felt great until about noon when it started to hurt.  i took 4 advil and it didnt help.  by 2pm, i was in so much pain.  no stopping tho, i mean not more than a few minutes here and there.  we had a long way to go, so i just used my right leg a lot and tried not to think about it.

well, it turned out not to be an 85 or 95 mile ride – no fault of anyones, it was just longer than expected.  but it was 109 miles INTO the wind, with my knee in so much pain.  my god, pretty or not, it was a looong day.  and we were headed for a lake.  a lake, in iowa… ummmm all we’ve seen are farms.  Ken, are you sure there’s a lake??  okay, i believed him, but could barely see straight by the time we got a mile from our destination and actually saw the trees surrounding the lake.  we arrive and the wonderful people that we stay with have an entire house for us to stay in!  holy crap.  and they’ve cooked us dinner and have a fully stocked fridge with beer.  i felt much better about the long day now.

they took us across the lake,  to the bars where we all stayed out till 2am, dancing and well, drinking more with the locals.   the next day we slept in the latest yet on this trip and had an awesome day on the lake.  i fell asleep on the dock. andy went out kayaking and later in the day, more of the family came and we ate enough food for 12 people.  thank you!!!

ken will write about who this amazing family is and how he knows them..

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a good life out here.

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this was the house that we had to ourselves

this was the house that we had to ourselves

ahem... distracting

ahem... distracting

Caroline, Sean's wife, joined us for the first 20 miles of our ride into Minnesota.

Caroline, Sean's wife, joined us for the first 20 miles of our ride into Minnesota.

first of all – we haven’t forgotten about our rest day in Pierre.  It was spectular.  So much so  – Andy stillll isnt finished writing about it becuase there is so much to tell.  That will be coming soon.  In the meantime, I’ll do some updating.

After leaving Mitchell, hungover and moving slow, we made our way to Sioux Falls.  It was a really long day into the wind.  We had no help from mother nature and were fighting it the whole way at about 12 mph.  Ugh.  My dad flew in from Syracuse to meet us in South Dakota.  He put us up in a great hotel with a pool and hot tub and lots of free breakfast to take for our trip.  He was getting in around 5pm, so we were really trying to get there when he did, and we nearly made it.. about 45 minutes late.  We arrived, soaking wet (or at least I was because it was too warm for rain gear) and covered in mud from all the cars driving by and ken riding in front of me.  Again, mostly me here, i dont think the guys were that muddy, and I was trying to keep my distance too.   We were greeted by my dad and soon a hot shower.  It was perfect. 

It turns out that Sioux Falls has beautiful neighborhoods, awesome giant trees and a very cute downtown area.  BUT, the rest of it is (i mean this in the best way possible)horrible, disgusting urban sprawl.  Everywhere you look, walmart, target, bestbuy, restaurant chain after restaurant chain and lots of creepy windowless casinos.  We had to search out the healthy good food..

My dad was not only nice enough to fly out to South Dakota and put us up in a hotel, but he also took us to eat a number of times, bought us bike stuff, and to see Terminator 4.  (So bad!  They all looked really good, but so damn cheesy, come on!)  It was a great rest day.

Going back to rapid city, in a little cafe…. we met the most wonderful woman that at the age of 17 had done this same trip.  But from east to west.  And she ran out of money in sioux falls and that’s where she’s been since.  (she also toured with two guys)  Well, this amazing woman, Carol, came over to us and started asking us about our trip and insisted that we stay with her in Sioux Falls where she lives.  We were all set with my Dad, so instead she insisted that we visit her and get free massages!  oh. my. god.  yes.  Carol was a kindergarten/first grade (one of those) teacher for 18 years and then decided to become a yoga teacher and a masseuse.  …and a damn good one!  We went to her house in a cute Sioux Falls neighborhood and took time out of her Saturday with family…she absolutely insisted.  So generous.  She even talked my dad into letting her work on his pulled hamstring.  Carol, Thank you so much!  best massage e v e  r.

It was a perfect rest day, another one.  So awesome of my dad to fly out to the middle of nowhere to hang out and talk for a day.  He even had to get up at 3am to catch a super early flight sunday morning.  He took such good care of us.  Thanks Dad!

This trip has tought me many things, but some of the main ones are… people are great!  So much more great than you’d ever expect (esp in nyc).  and so are family… I really miss them and really, really appreciate the visits from my parents.

 

Off to Spirit Lake, IOWA

Here in Mitchell, South Dakota we finally saw THE CORN PALACE! My old boss from DIRECTV wouldn’t stop raving about it before we left. Corn Palace! Corn Palace! You have to see the Corn Palace, Ken. OMG! Well we’ve made it here. Mickey & Randy in Pierre gave us the last two nights of suggestions for places to spend the night, and we’re here in Mitchell, and we could see the spires of the incongruously Islamic-themed Corn Palace poking above the rest of the buildings for blocks. Whole blocks!

WOW!

WOW!

So what is the Corn Palace? I don’t know. We never went inside. But we were told later that it’s nothing but a gym. That sure would’ve been a let down. The outside though, that’s where it’s at. The facade is made entirely of corn. And there are murals around the entire thing that are changed every year. The lady at the gas station that charges you to use the bathroom told us all of this. Then we bought some beef jerky & postcards just so we wouldn’t have to pay to use the bathroom. (Her water & sewage rates had increased, so she put a fee on the bathrooms for non-paying customers.) Inside the corn palace is nothing but not much, plus photographs of all of the murals from years past. Did you know that this is the only Corn Palace in the world? Mitchell, South Dakota.

On our way in, headwinds had battered us, but not as heavily as they would the next day. Mickey had researched a campground for us, but a far better option is always to hang out at a local watering hole to see if someone would eventually offer us their space. One lady at Dr. Lucky’s was on the verge of letting us sleep in an open apartment above the bar (we pass out easily), but her husband nixed that idea. You know what else that bar had though? Karaoke. It was worth staying until after dark for that. More people filtered in. Some seriously good Karaoke was sung. This old lady belted the crap out of some Reba McIntyre. Honestly. It’s no Hope & Anchor, but these people had some pipes. A group of teachers celebrating their last day of school sung songs to eachother and tipped us off to another campground up the street. It might’ve been further away than Mickey’s campground, but it was on this street, as opposed to three or four turns away – and we figured the less directions, the better, being few pitchers deep (including one bought by the bar). We didn’t want to be wandering aimless in the middle of the night. I sung Sinatra’s “That’s Life”, Neil Diamond’s “Brother Love’s Travelin’ Salvation Show”, and The Beatle’s “Oh Darlin’.” Three of my standards. “Oh Darlin’” made my voice hurt. It always does.

The teachers left. Some of them asked if we wanted to go to the Kongo Klub. “What’s that,” we asked.
“It’s a nudie bar.” Actually they were more polite about it, calling it “Adult Establishment” or something.
Andy & I looked at eachother. It was 10:30pm. Quinn knew what was coming. How could we possibly refuse this invitation?

Stripperaoke. We missed it in Portland, but pretty much got the same thing here. It wasn’t until almost 2am before we hurled ourselves back into the tent, apparently singing “superfreak” as we rolled up to the campsite. It’s definitely going to be downhill from here. I don’t see how it can get any better.

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