Stage 37: Hot Springs to Pine Ridge, SD, 45.07 miles

After yesterday’s long walk I was keen to get running again and though the walk had tired me out I think it helped my legs get some recovery time. I was pleased that my rash had gone down a little over night and though I had blistered skin around my knees it wasn’t as itchy or painful as yesterday. More good news was that Mike’s hamstring wasn’t bothering him as much and though taped was good to jog on. This was out longest distance day so far – and we had a good run for the most part.  It was mainly a little cloudy and though warm this helped keep the sun off, the wind picked up during the later part of the run and from about mile 25 the headwind was pretty strong. In the last 5 miles Mike and I were really up against it but managed to plod on. At times today it felt like we were putting in a lot of effort to move very slowly forwards! Mike Melton crewed all day and did a great job of encouraging us and being ready at every stop – he’s off to run Vol State next week (a race across Tennessee) but we’ve still got him until Monday.

Tonight (and tomorrow night) we’re staying in Gordon, Nebraska – tomorrow we’ll run into our sixth state! Gordon’s a small town but we found a decent cafe for dinner – I had a patty melt (these I like a lot) and a salad (raspberry vinaigrette is great!).

One thing I’ve not mentioned so far is some of the insects and bugs we encounter [breakfast readers be warned]. Today was another buggy day; mainly flies (that bite!) and crickets but also the occasional horsefly, bees and wasps. Before this trip I was keen on organic farming, now I’m veering towards the ‘nuke every insect’ camp. The last couple of days the crickets have really bothered me. As we’re running on the shoulder of the road you’d think they’d stay nearer the grass but the shoulder is covered in crickets jumping around as we pass through. Most seem to be eating what I now think is a cricket’s main food – other, sometimes dead, sometimes not quite dead, crickets. It’s gross. And as we run through them they jump around and ping off us. I’m getting better but there was one point yesterday when I had a bit of a fit about them – poor Mike nearly ended up in the road as I jumped out of the way of a flying cricket (oh yes there’s 2 main types – the jumpers and the flyers.)

The other thing we see a lot of are dead, and nearly dead snakes on the road. This, along with the rash, has stopped me venturing off the road for the Ladies toilet. If there are that many dead snakes there’s got to be a few live ones too, some are pretty big! Thankfully the Roadrunner has a toilet.

3 responses to “Stage 37: Hot Springs to Pine Ridge, SD, 45.07 miles

  1. Steven 'stevels' Smith

    AH! You reminded me of the trip to the Devil’s Tower and Black Hills in ’86 and why we had so many pictures of grasshoppers. The little buggers were everywhere. It’s a plague of locusts (grasshoppers)!

    Good thing you avoiding the woods. It was an exposure to the poison ivy 2 days after the first exposure that sent me to the ER with knees so swollen I couldn’t bend them and a 7 day run of prednisone treatment.

    Here’s the plant to avoid. It’s three leaf ivy that can grow up like tiny oak tree saplings (poison oak) with bright pretty green leaves when fresh or run ivy around other plants, fences or tree trunks.

  2. Hi Jennifer,

    Jax and I were laughing at the thought of a 40-mile walk being a recovery! I’m delighted you’re doing so well and still going strong. The pin is almost half-way!
    We had a really good away day on Tuesday, with singing, dancing and lots of participation. It was great fun. Shame that you missed it. You could have been in Alex’s role-play – he had to do it on his own in the end but was in costume and was very good.

    All is fine back in London. We are still busy. I took Alex to No. 10 yesterday. We are moving in important circles!

    Clara sends her best wishes and was very pleased you managed two apple pies recently.


  3. well done jennifer. pleased to hear the rash issue is contained.

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