On our way to the Black Hills of South Dakota back in the summer of 06, a group of us from all around, met up at my friend Stick's Iowa home. It was the staging point. The morning after all arrived, we rode from Algona up into Minnesota for breakfast and picked up I 90 west. We messed around a bit that day ... Saw the Corn Palace in Mitchell S.D. We did all the goofy stuff a group of friends do when traveling and stopping. Our destination was the Oasis Inn a couple of miles past the Missouri River at Chamberlain S.D.. Well, the party mood was strong all late afternoon and evening. It had been a great day. The next morning I was up before the sun. I am an early riser when on the road. After showering, I went out to the bike to check and putter around. It was now not so dark with the predawn light. All the markers of the birth of a great day were in play ... warm, air had a life of it's own and the stars were starting to fade from existence for another day. I knew a hotel parking lot was not the place to be for the grandness about to happen. So I pushed the bike around the building away from the sleeping masses and started her up. Rode east to the river. On the south side of the highway just before the Missouri, is a hill with a communication tower and shed. There was a dirt road that started up the hill and petered into a two rut path to the top. I rode up the curvy path to the semi flats of the hilltop. The Missouri River sprawled out running north to south cutting through the valley below me. Beyond, slightly to the left as viewed for my perch, was the sleeping town of Chamberlain, nestled on the river bank. The further east I looked, the rolling unevenness of the land diminished and beyond was the endless miles of prairie. I watched the horizon ... with cotton cloth in hand, polishing my bike, talking to her as I often did when alone waiting for the sun. And the sun did not disappoint. That fiery crest started it's rise over the prairie. For that first moment the land is that of gold. The blue of the sky so true chasing the darkness of space from it. Earth side, long shadows start casting from the town buildings and valley far side ... Only to be short lived as the sun now starts it's climb in earnest. The Missouri below me shimmers. The best part of the day ... and yet so early... I continue to watch as I mount and start the bike, then turn my attention to the decent off the hill. As I rolled into the parking lot, there were now a few up and out by the bikes. I shut down not too far from where Stick was getting his bike packed. He's watched me come in from the road, stopped what he's doing and asked where I'd been. Now Stick is a whimsical fellow and there is character about him. I told him of my early morning adventure. Stick said nothing at first and just looked at me for a moment or two. Picked up something from his bike and as he turned to go back to his room, he smiled that old Stick smile and said "I knew there was a reason I liked you" and walked away.