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30 June 2013, 11:59 PM CT, Bismarck, ND

Let's start with a question. Take a look at this picture.

Here's the question -- did I ride through rain? You can see the thunderstorm ahead on the right. You can see the rain edge exactly straight ahead on the road. The road runs straight, it doesn't curve before the storm. So, did I ride through rain? The storm could move right, it could move left, it could shrink, it could expand. You will find the answer later in today's post.

I started the day in Sturgis. Lisa had suggested a ride I might enjoy near Sturgis, Spearfish Canyon. I decided to move on, and not do Spearfish Canyon. I was very tired upon arrival last night. By the time I got everything done and got to lights off, it was midnight. I do not set an alarm when I am riding, I want to feel rested, so I get up when I wake up. I woke up a little after 9. That is the latest I have slept on the trip so far, and the longest. I guess I needed the sleep. I have been averaging six to seven hours, and last night it was nine!

I missed the breakfast in the motel, it was too late. So I went to a McDonalds and had a McMuffin. It was almost 11 by the time I hit the road, so I just headed east.

My first destination was the Badlands. It was interesting how the land turned from the Black Hills to completely flat, then the Badlands suddenly appear. I rode the Badlands Loop which almost immediately descended into the Badlands. After a while it went back up on the flat countryside and you could look out into the Badlands. I entered from the west.

Let's look at more pictures. Here are two where I am looking at the Black Hills getting smaller.

I found these picnic table covers interesting.

Here are two pictures looking at how flat the land has become. The third picture below is taken from the same spot, just looking from the other side of the road. You can see the Badlands beginning.

My brother Larry had told me that the weeds are kept short along the road in this part of the country by farmers cutting along the road and baling the cuttings. I guess this is an example.

Here are a bunch of Badlands pictures.

Pierre is a Capitol city. Here it is.

Yes, I had my chocolate shake. I am good on that, one per day average. I rode 473 miles today, higher than average. I had a late arrival in Bismarck, it was almost 9:30 CT, sunset was about ten minutes later. I lost an hour today, I crossed from Mountain Time to Central Time between Sturgis and Pierre.

The answer to the question -- yes, I rode through rain. The storm expanded or it moved left. I suspect it expanded. I am riding straight north, and the storm probably did not move west. It proably got bigger. I am just a few miles north of Pierre, SD. When I was in Pierre, I checked radar, because a storm was passing just to the east of Pierre, I had a few raindrops from it. And, at that time, there were no storms to the north. This was a new storm, so it was probably still expanding. Only one or two miles after I took the picture, I stopped again to put on my rain jacket. It was obvious by that time that I would be in the rain. It was already well to the left of the road.

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