Great Plains, South Dakota


On a gravel road leaving Murdo angling more or less straight north towards the Standing Rock reservation, I lost service on the phone and hoped I was going on the correct road. There’s lots of dead ends around this section of plains. I had decided to approach the next farm I encountered to ask directions when I got a flat tire. By the time I reached the homestead the front tire was also flat. Clarice who lived there said it’s probably sandburrs. My grandchildren can’t ride a bike around here because of them. Sure enough, that’s what was found as I began to pull these little thorns out of my tires and repair them. I went thru the glue in my patch kit and still 2 flats.   “Are you in a hurry?” asked Clarice.  What can I say….”No.”   I thought I’d just have to walk the bike the next 14 miles to a town and pavement.    “Well you can spend the night with us and tomorrow I need to go to town and I will take you. You can’t ride these roads on a bike without getting more flats.”  They were the essence of hospitality. I had a bunk, a shower, meal and prayers together and even got to go fishing with Rodger, another farmer who was visiting. Next day I was dropped of in the capitol, Pierre, and got my tires repaired there. I learned a lot about prairie grasses, ponds and sandburrs too.                         It’s 9″ x 12″ and watercolor and pencil on paper.

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