Walnut Grove and a lot of heat

The title of today’s entry says it all.  We saw the small town made famous by Laura Ingalls-Wilder and rode in some real heat today.

I still don’t have the cord for the camera so I didn’t bother taking very many pictures.

We started the morning at Mankota, MN.  It’s supposed to be the Land of 10,000 lakes.  The only one we really saw was the one in the picture below.  I’m not sure it really qualifies as a lake.  It was situated conveniently between out hotel and McDonalds.


As you can tell from the picture, the clear blue skies of yesterday have been replaced by the thick gray cloud cover that has been following us on this trip.  Along with the clouds came 53 degree temperatures.  We bundled up, the best we could and hit the road about 9:30 after the standard Holiday Inn Express breakfast.

We were making pretty good time today running across US-14 until we came to a small town called Walnut Grove.  I needed something to drink and to get off the trike for a few minutes.  I pulled into the only food place in town according to the GPS – Nellie’s Diner.  I just wanted some water but the special was pepper jack cheeseburger and fries.  OK.  I’m weak.  Pepper jack cheeseburger is a major favorite so I ordered one.

To occupy the time waiting for my food to cook we started reading stuff that was on the tables and in the “tourist” rack..  It turns out that Walnut Grove is somewhat famous due to the fame of “Little House on the Prairie”.  I had missed that series somehow.  They even had a museum.

One of our group admitted to being a huge fan of the TV series so we had to stop.  It turned out to be a good break for all of us.  I scored my first smashed penny and my first hat pin at the gift shop.  I was happy.



Back on the road the temperature was finally starting to go up.  Problem was that once it started to climb it never quit.  65 became 75 which became 85 and by the time it was finally done the bike told me it was 102 degrees.  Off with the jackets and on with the as much sunscreen as we could smear.  Hot is hot.  Fortunately we made some good choices as far as staying hydrated and we cruised into Fort Pierre, South Dakota with the temperatures still reading over 100.

I took some time at the hotel to pry the dead bird out of the vent of the trike.  It had been in there for the last 30 miles and due to the temperature had already started to bake.  I had to break out the took kit to get something strong enough to get the medium well bird dislodged from the fairing vent.

A quick dinner at Perkins (the only place within walking distance) ended our adventure today.  We’re sitting here listening to the fireworks over the Missouri River about 4 blocks away.  The trike is telling me that we are almost 1,100 miles from home.  Tomorrow we’re headed for Gillette, Wyoming with the exact route still undecided.  The weather man says the high tomorrow is only going to be 85 so we should be a little more comfortable.  We might even stop at Sturgis.  With any luck I can find someplace with the right cord for my camera.



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