8 March 2016 Western South Dakota. CSBNEWS USA correspondent GS Jade Barrett
«The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel» – Theodore Roosevelt
Dr Donna Lombardini, Keira and myself decided that it was time to once again load up the Great American Bridge Tour Caravan and drive to the Spring Edition of the North American Bridge Championships. It is a mere twenty four hours of actual driving time from South East South Dakota to the Biggest Little City in the World as Reno Nevada bills itself, so we thought best to take our time and enjoy the scenery along the way.
It has been an unusual winter in the Northern Plains of the Midwestern United States, alternating blizzards, strong winds, -14 C days and warm thaws. One weekend saw us leave 8 inches of snow on the ground behind on a Friday only to return to a perfectly dry yard the following Monday. Then it snowed again on Tuesday. Wednesday was 15C and the repeat of the cycle. The plants and trees are very confused.
Since my last report, the Road Warriors have been to Massachusetts, Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Madrid, Spain. We have been competing regularly while working with local representatives to develop education and tournament plans for the less experienced players. These trips help build a sense of a smaller, more tightly knit community – very important when the bridge populations often live over 150 KM apart.
The area where we live has many of these small, but vibrant bridge organizations, fiercely competitive and independent. Sadly, a few of them have shut there doors over the last decade, leaving some of the athletes to drive 60 KM or more to play in a single session weekly game. I salute those dedicated players, and I empathize as well.
Because right now we only have another 1600 KM to go.
First stop: Casper, Wyoming