Day 33: Dodging a Bullet

October 5, 2002
Corsica to Sioux Falls
93 Miles Google Map

Is that thunder I hear, or is the weather god angry at my narrow escape this evening?

Had breakfast at “Carol’s” in Corsica. The restaurant is up for sale which might be the reason Carol seemed rather cheerless, not even noticing me (and in my Big Bird jacket, no less!) until another patron pointed out my presence. But no matter. I was just happy to have a home-cooked meal! By a quarter after eight, I was heading south out of town on the two mile stretch of U.S. 281, which connects with the east-west running Highway 44. There was a stiff breeze in my face, but soon I turned east and it was no longer a concern. 

Today was a classic example of how the early bird catches the worm — or at the very least, has more options. I was at my destination, Parker, by mid-afternoon. It had been an uneventful ride and I was looking forward to checking in at some friendly, locally-owned motel, then maybe doing another one of my walks about town. However, the information I’d been going on was wrong: there were no accommodations to be found. Nada.

What to do? Turing around was not an option; there weren’t any places to stay between Parker and the motel back in Corsica. Nor is it in my nature to retreat. I would have to make a run for it to Sioux Falls, some thirty miles to the northeast with the threat of thunderstorms in the area.

A helpful local gave me directions on a backdoor way to get to the part of the city were the motels were. I thus began a determined three hour ride over lonely county blacktops. This in addition to what had been a regular day’s effort. The anxiety of getting caught in bad weather provided extra adrenalin. Then about five miles out from Sioux City, as evening began to fall, dark clouds appeared in the distance with flashes of lightning. Rain started spitting down. Under my breath, I was pleading hold off… hold off… please… hold off…

I made it with a half hour to spare. Enough time to get unpacked and start this journal entry. Outside a major storm is passing through and I shudder to think of what might have happened if it had caught me out in the open countryside. There probably would not have been any convenient place to take shelter.

Tomorrow we’ll see how well the equipment (bike and my legs) survived the marathon journey. I’m hoping everything will check out — it may be another long day.

Distances
    Today:          93 Miles 
    To Date:  1,676 Miles / 2,697 Kilometers

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