It’s recommended common sense to take a day off every once in a while when you’re traveling by bike, pushing your mental & physical endurance for days in a row. We here at twoarmparty have easily strained mental endurances, and our physical endurances (while we might claim otherwise) need the rest. It’s like cabbage soup for the legs or Cotton Swabs for the soul or whatever they call it. We prefer to take our rest days where we’ve got abundantly generous warmshowers contacts or one of Quinn’s parents to put us up for the night and treat us all like we’re their own kids. Either that, or we sit in motel rooms during May snow squalls and watch Will Smith movie marathons. Either way, gratuitous action flicks are a highly relaxing part of our rest days. In Pierre, where we stayed with Sol across the street from the Capitol Building, shot clay pigeons, went kayaking, and ate dinner with the sister of the governor, we saw “Wolverine”. It’s only fair that Andy write more about Pierre since he’s the one who capsized the kayak attempting some kind of “maneuver”. Saturday night in Sioux Falls, Mr. Shamlian flew out and treated us to “Terminator 4” among a bevy of other generosities. (Thank you, Quinn’s Dad!). I personally preferred Terminator to Wolverine, but I’ll spare you my unneccessary and unqualified review becuase, you know, that’s not what this blog is about. There seems to be a trend to our methods of mental stress relief though. From now on, we’re only going to see movies starring men that are half metal and cameos by completely computer generated famous actors. What I liked more about Terminator is that when the robot with the human heart (and soul!) escaped through the woods on a motorcycle, he fell off when he ran over something. Reality! Not like it really matters when our primary objective is staring slackjawed at things exploding for two hours, shoveling popcorn, twizzlers, raisinets and cherry Coke into our mouths. That’s roughin’ it.

Sioux Falls seemed disappointing until we finally made our way out of Malltopia. I’m pretty sure there’s more than one Applebee’s here, and something like 5 different mall complexes. There may only be three or four freestanding Starbucks, but there’s likely one in the Home Depot, Barnes & Noble and Sam’s Club. It took a little advice from a highly generous and effective massage therapist for us to find a real restaurant in the real downtown of Sioux Falls. Main Street was being freshly cobblestoned, and live music piped from several of the spots across the street from the flashing marquee of the State Theater.

Oh wait, did I say Massage Therapist? That’s Carol Mellema. We met her in line at the coffeeshop in Rapid City (on the other side of the state) on Monday morning after coming out of the Black Hills. She was quick to realize we were on a long distance bike trek, (it’s pretty obvious) and instantly chatted us up about it. “I did that when I was 17! When are you going to be in Sioux Falls? Stay at my place.” It wasn’t quite so much of an offer as it was a demand. I hadn’t had my coffee yet, and wasn’t quite on the ball, so I just sort of stared at her as slackjawed as the kid who served us popcorn for Terminator. We’d already had plans to meet Quinn’s dad in Sioux Falls, so I had to turn her down on her offer. “Well I’m a massage therapist. When you’re in Sioux Falls, look me up – I’ll give you free massages!”

I looked at her like she was crazy, probably, but that’s the way everyone always looks at us unless they’ve done something like this before. Thirty-some years ago, Carol took off from New York City on bikes with two guys when they were teenagers. She ran out of money near Sioux Falls, and stayed here for the rest of her life. She’s got six kids, two grandkids, used to be a schoolteacher, and has a growing massage practice. She doesn’t have a website yet, but that’s only because I haven’t gotten back to New York to build it for her yet. She even massaged the kink out of Quinn’s Dad’s hamstring. We left, piles of jello, and spooned ourselves back into the rental car to further live off the land at the 14 theater multiplex. If you’re in Sioux Falls, look up “Massage Thyme” and tell Carol that twoarmparty sent you.