Saturday, August 2, 2008

On the road again






Left South Dakota early this morning during a great sunrise and managed to get a shoot of a curious horse. I am amazed at the the reaction of horses when they see someone on a bicycle especially early in the morning. Most put on quite a show of running, prancing, posing, etc.

Currently in Granite Falls Minn., 3947 miles into the trip. Rode through the "corn country of Eastern South Dakota and Southwestern Minn. Very windy as evidenced by the numerous wind turbine farms throughout Southwestern Minn. After the winds of Wyoming, Colorado, Neb., S. Dak. and now Minn. I am in total agreement with Boone Pickens, wind energy can provide a significant source of energy for the country and we need more wind energy development.

Along the lines of the unusual and curious, early this morning I rode by a farmer's fence topped with old cowboy boots. Not sure the significance of "topping" fence posts with boots but have seen this before in one of the Western states years ago.

Enjoyed my time off in South Dakota visiting family and friends. Many memories of a time long past and a life much different growing up on a farm. Many small farms have been replaced by ever increasing large farming operations driven by technology and massive equipment. Small plots of oats, corn and hay are all but gone, replaced by corn, wheat and soybean fields that go on for as far as the eye can see and in many cases blend in with the horizon. At the same time, many of the operations are family ran and the friendly, hard-working, good natured neighbors I remember as a kid are still there, some of the names are the same, simply a different generation. Many of the small towns have changed with few small stores or mom and pop operations, having been replaced by major stores in larger cities. And yes, the price of gas dominates every conversation. Energy is a major component of our farm economy, from gasoline to ethanol. Be ready for higher food prices come this fall!!!!

Finally, thanks to my South Dakota hometown newspaper, the Canistota Clipper, for a wonderful article on my ride and the early childhood literacy program.

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