4,000 for 40 – Sep Ride 1 – Day 2

Rained out – Drive to Hill City and Mt Rushmore, then short out-and-back ride from Hill City in the afternoon

Tuesday September 13, 2016, 14 miles (23 km) – Total so far: 35 miles (57 km)

It’s still raining and COLD in the morning. Supposedly, the showers should ease this afternoon, but at 9am, it is not looking good. In a brief break between showers earlier in the morning, I darted out of my tent and packed up everything. I managed to keep all my gear dry, but who likes packing up a soaking wet tent when it is 30-something F? Yuck! I pack up Jenny’s wet tent, too. But tent duty is more suited to my skills than baby duty! I assist with Sister C’s tent – it’s too big to do alone!

Breakfast with Jen and her family is a big thing. They all like to eat. It’s all healthy stuff, too. I generally don’t eat breakfast and am always amazed when people can eat so much before 10am! But at least it entertains everyone for awhile and we can all stay warm in the games room.

We decide to abort today’s ride. The plan was just to have a short half-day riding up to Hill City anyway (about 16 miles), then use the afternoon to go to Mt Rushmore.

So we flip-flop the plans and go up to Mt Rushmore first. It is really cold today – never getting over 40F. But there are still heaps of people at Mt Rushmore. It’s not as disgusting as the time I was here in June… but I still really dislike the place and some of the conversations I overhear. I was never a hand-on-heart patriotic type before I moved overseas. Fifteen years as an expat has given me even more of a global perspective, and so a big-arse carving celebrating rich, white men on land that the US Government stole from another nation just rubs me the wrong way.

The good news is that Jenny is able to meet up with an old colleague who now works here. We also get to stretch our legs on the walk around the place. But, man, is it ever cold!

Then, in the afternoon, after we get checked into our cabin (and I into a tent site), we do get in a short out-and-back ride on the Mickelson Trail. It’s cool, cloudy and breezy, but it is still nice to get out amongst the pine and granite.

We hang in the cabin in the evening, but three adults and two roaming babies in a one-room place is quite noisy, messy and crazy. I am not too sad to retire to the tent, even though everything is damp and cold! I love that my loved ones can have kids, but it is nice to be able to leave the chaos behind at the end of the day 🙂

**Sorry, no pics of Mt Rushmore. Jenny’s mom has some on her camera, but I didn’t bother!

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