A Heart Of Gold

Hank – All good things must come to an end so we finally had to say goodbye to Deb and Dan and everyone. We left late in the day because we were only going 25 miles to Volin, SD. It was hot and humid so it wasn’t a very comfortable ride. There was only one hill and we had some headwind, which helped cool us a little.

We rolled into Volin around 6:30 pm and went into Kavern’s for a cold drink and dinner. I asked Maria, who took our order, if there was a city park we could tent in. She said there was one just around the corner and we should be able to camp there. She offered to text the mayor and make sure it was okay but we told her not to bother since that’s been our experience in so many other small towns.

Next thing you know a couple walk in and the woman asks, “Are you Hank and Kathy from Washington state riding those bikes out there?”

We’ll, of course she knew that since we were the only strangers in the place and our license plates had our names. And that’s how we met Pam and Dave Simmons. Pam has a sunny disposition and a heart of gold. Dave is easy going and laid back. When Pam heard we were going to camp at the city park she was having none of that. She said they gave a spare bedroom and bathroom at their place and that we are more than welcome to spend the night there instead of in a tent. Again, this adventure is all about meeting people like Pam and Dave.

We also became friends with Maria and Dan Kavanaugh, the owners of Kavern’s, and Pat and Kathy, and Bruce and Sandy who were also customers in the place. Bruce was hilarious and a lot of fun. He also has an interesting history. He joined the Navy back in the 60s. While at boot camp the Navy learned he was a certified lifeguard so they pulled him from his boot camp duties and tasked him with teaching new recruits how to swim. When it came time to graduate from boot camp he sat in the grandstand while his classmates marched by because he never learned how to march. He’s also a retired FAA pilot inspector and both he and Sandy are former pilots. We got to talking so much with everyone we didn’t leave for Pam and Dave’s house until almost 9:00. We stored our bikes in the garage and brought in what we needed. First up was showers followed by laundry. We talked until almost 11:00.

Kathy – Yes, it was hard to leave Deb and Dan after a great 4th of July break with them.  We took five days off from riding and it was just what we needed.  We both were excited to continue our trip, but also had mixed feelings because we were not ready to leave our friends.  So off we went and the excitement of riding again quickly diminished with the heat, 100% humidity and headwind the entire way.  Our average speed was only 8 miles and hour.  The 25-mile ride ended up 27 miles because we hit a gravel road that went on for many miles.  We decided to back track and found an alternate route around some of the flooded roads and the gravel road to get to Violin, South Dakota – population 161.

If you ever get a chance to stop by Violin, South Dakota – do it!  You will meet some of the kindest and welcoming people ever.  Pam and Dave did not hesitate to offer strangers a bed, shower, laundry, and any food or drinks in their house.  Their hospitality was fantastic.   We had great conversations with them and are thankful for our time with them.  Pam gave me an angel pin for safety during our travels.  I added this beautiful pin to my saddle bag.  It is next to the St. Christopher’s medallion that Paul & Shelia gave to us before we left Spokane.  Hopefully these will keep us safe during our travels.  Thank you Pam, and Paul & Shelia!!  Everyone in Violin was beyond nice.  We literally could have stayed awake most of the night talking to these people.  We truly enjoyed our time with everyone.

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  1. Okay, is it Volin or Violin?


    1. It is Volin.


  2. I love hearing about the different folks you all meet


    1. Meeting great people is the best!


    2. Thank you John! 😊


  3. Kristen Forbes had the baby tonight at 9:45 pm. Both are doing marvelously Isaac says


    1. That’s wonderful, Keith.


    2. That is fantastic news Keith! Thank you for sharing. Please tell them all congratulations. 🎈 Love you, Kathy


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