It got a lot colder the first night then we anticipated. The new light weight sleeping bags were supposed to zip together but they don't zip the way they should, or the way we think they should. It is a challenge staying warm, we aren't ready for this being it's the middle of August. Immediately our plans shift from riding through North Dakota to riding straight to the South Dakota Badlands where the temps should be at least 10 degrees warmer. Heidi and I like to make 'On the fly' changes, I hope this works with biking.
We get started late again today waiting for it to warm up, plus we don't have our camping act down 'at all' yet. The ride starts out cold. It wasn't too long we start getting hot, than we are hotter then heck. We are seeing temperatures in the high nineties. We drive long and hard, not wanting to stop because of the heat and no shaded spots to pull over to. We are toast. I am looking hard for any place to pull over and chill, then I get a firm single jab. We were at a 'No horse' town exit. Heidi says she doesn't care if we have to lay under a cow for shade, we are stopping here. We pull off at a nice unmarked wayside rest that doesn't even have a parking area. The park isn't maintained much but it has nice grass and shade to lay out our leathers and rest. Heidi gets a lot of attention from locals while she is up at the bike alone. We love spots like this.
We ride late into the day trying to get to a camp spot in north central South Dakota that looks nice. The place is a little challenging to get to but is worth it. It has a lake with a nice beach and we were the only tent there. The thought of a long swim kept us going. Again, a lot of map reading and turning around, Heidi is getting more freaked; she's used to me having it all together. I assure her that this is all normal for back road traveling. ??
We park the bike at the camp spot. It is hot with a capital H. Heidi wanders off in a daze looking for shade while she takes off her gear. We get the tent set up then immediately head for the beach. We have the whole beach to ourselves and we are in the middle of nowhere. I ask a park ranger if there is any store in the area. I get a definite "No" but he did say there is a restaurant up the road. That's all we need. The restaurant has tables with a view of the lake and a rustic little bar. We watch a boat pulling 4 water skiers at the same time. Kids sure know how to have fun here. Cocktails and a fabulous meal, Heidi and I are talking about the temperature fluctuations we have experienced and how we should deal with it. We talk about camping protocol, techniques, what we should have 'At the ready' and what we should stow deep. I never dreamed I would ever meet such a compatible travel partner let alone be married to her. Lucky is not even the word….
We are packed to the gills and it's getting to both of us. I shift things around a little. Heidi hands me something else that's needs to be packed. I say "There's no room". Heidi says "It was in there before!" The discussions are heated. We both keep assuring each other that we have so much stuff that we will use up or throw away. It's tough, I constantly think I'm going to break a zipper, Heidi keeps thinking she's getting short changed on space. Heidi suggests we need to have the straps loosened on the backpack while filling it, she is correct of course.