Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Center of the Nation Series day 3: South Dakota

Day 3: Belle Fourche, South Dakota

I feel like I *might* be getting the hang of this. We stayed at the Belle Fourche AmericInn, which had amazingly friendly staff, spotlessly clean rooms, and a fantastic breakfast. How fantastic? Well, they had an omelette machine. Mind. Blown. And they had a waffle machine, which always makes Wil so happy.

Then to the start, just a mile. or so away, behind the visitor's center and ... THE CENTER OF THE NATION MONUMENT. 

Today's course was a double out-and-back, which broke up the laps nicely. The big aid station / rubber band stop was in the middle(ish). 

Clint gave the pre-race talk; we had a few first-time half marathoners with us, which was fun. 

That said, it's also been fun to get familiar with our fellow runners. I especially like the end of each race, where everyone says "See you tomorrow!"  It's like a weird family. 

We started off at the top of the hill, for fun, then ran out along the Belle Fourche River, into a neighborhood behind the levee, then back past the start, and then out a little way in the other direction. Then pick up a rubber band, say hi to the crew, and do it again. 

Today had 6 laps, so we decided to run three and a bit... and then walk. A few injured folks, unfortunately, but most everyone we expected to see was there. 

The course was super pretty:

Nice highlight: Leanne ("Leanimal") reached the Sun by completing her 52nd half marathon in 365 days. She ran her last lap holding yellow streamers. Awesome!

After the race we visited the monument to take a few photos:

And then we headed west into Wyoming. Our first stop was Sundance, where we  stopped in for a drink at the Dime Horseshoe Bar ("home of the burnout during Rally"):

Happily fell "victim" to this:

Visited with a famous former resident:

Plank Delaney and the Sundance Kid

And figured out how long it would take us to get to the start from our campsite the next morning. 

Then, this:

What can I say about Devils Tower except that Wil loves it because, on our first road trip in 2005, he still thought it wasn't real. So of course we went to visit the tower and walk around it. 

We then checked into our Kamping Kabin at the Devils Tower KOA -- adorable:

Then a fantastic dinner at the Devils Tower View cafe (great pie!!!), where we happily sat out a storm squall, and then back to the campground, where we amused ourselves by stalking a flock of wild turkeys

Doing a #bonusplank

And watching Close Encounters  while sitting at the base of the tower. 

In bed by 9 -- halfway done!

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