Just learned about a phenomenal opportunity to submit myself to a couple days of torture--riding across South Dakota on Lonesome Highway 212, through some of the most isolated parts of the US of A. On a bicycle! Just think, I'd pass through Belle Fourche, Fruitdale, Nisland, Newell, Mud Butte, Faith, Red Elm, Dupree, Lantry, Eagle Butte, Parade, Ridgeview, LaPlant, the Missouri River Bridge, Forest City, Gettysburg, Seneca, Faulkton, Redfield, Frankfort, Doland, Clark, Henry, Watertown, Krantzburg, and Dawson. All those miles (412 of them) and only go past one Wal-Mart, in Watertown.
The fun starts August 12, high noon, unless you're doing the "Hell and Back" version (824 miles), going both ways, which starts August 10. If you've traveled this road, you know what a zen-like state you'll be in when you arrive in Minnesota.
It's the Gut Check 212. Check your gut! Starts here and ends here. The record is 20 hours and 48 minutes, ridden by Bruce Martens in 2010. Way to go, Bruce! Just short of 20 miles per hour. Yikes.
We kept that IOU on the fridge for months, but somehow it all paid off, as a late night driver arrived with a specially made chocolate pie. The pieces may look large, yes, but when the pie is fresh, it's wise to move quickly just to show the depth of your gratitude. Our gratitude is deep.
Funny, we've still got the IOU. We'll keep you updated!
The little shoots of rhubarb that were giving their green thumbs-up to the warm weather that we had last week are now feeling a little frosty. The 50's are gone, and the 30's are back, even the 20's. Yikes. Meanwhile, the melting snow and new rain and snow are forming a small lake in my garage and back yard. Blah. My little bag of kitty litter for cleaning up oil spills is now trying to suck up a backyard pond.
At least we have it better than Sisseton, where they're dealing with 10 inches of new snow, wet, heavy, and full of moisture for these water-soaked folks.
There's no stepping away from the disaster in Japan, from the earthquake, to the tsunami, to the threat of nuclear disaster. This video illustrates the power of the wave of water in one small community. There's plenty more to see, but the mix of flooding and observers watching their homes get swept away is moving. How we move forward to help is the next question. A good first step? The Red Cross.
"Amarillo" (with two L's) got Ryder Heitz, a seventh-grader from Newell Middle School, an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, for the Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee on June 1 and 2. She also had to spell 31 other words correctly, as the contest lasted 32 rounds.
The state contest took place at Dakota State University in Madison, SD, sponsored by the Madison Daily Leader.
The word "extravaganza" took out local winner, sixth-grader Lexis Sherron, at round 31 after going toe-to-toe with Ryder for round after round. Lillie Dennis of Patrick Henry Middle School in Sioux Falls took home 3rd place after stumbling on "incorruptible," and Riley O'Neil got 4th when he misspelled "dungaree."
Pronouncer was yours truly, with judges Stacey Berry, Deana Hueners-Nelson, and Donna Hazelwood. Jay Niedert was the host, and the whole event was organized by Marcia Schoeberl for the Madison Daily Leader.
I am getting somewhat weary of the snow. It's snowing again today, after snowing last night and the day before. Blah. It's covered up some of the messes that the last thaw made, but all those messes will have to appear again before it's all over. I'm hoping to see some progress in the coming week. Go Snow! Come on, Spring!