Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bearlodge Mountains to The Badlands.

Day 12
335 miles.

A lot of stuff goes through your head when your riding, especially this long. You think about pretty much everything; friends, family, past relationships, stuff you did in the past, stuff you want to do in the future, what you should cook for dinner, etc... Many of these things come up time and time again, you try to think what went wrong, why was that so good, what it? One of the many things that I can't help but tank about is my grandfather. He died before I was born, long before, sometime in the early '60's. From what I can remember my mother telling me, he was getting ready to do a motorcycle trip on his Indian from Denver to Mexico. He slid out, hit his head, went into a coma for several months, and then passed away. He was also a very skilled mechanic and builder, he built a ferris wheel from scrap metal while he and my grandmother were living in Hawaii after the war. I can't help but wonder what he'd think of my trip; would he think I was a pussy for having rear suspension, a Japanese bike, wearing proper safety gear or would he be stoked and tell me stories of his motorcycling days. I like to think the he'd get a kick out of it.
I left my awesome campsite and headed towards Sturgis. I really didn't have a desire to go there, but figured since I was near I might as well wee what all the fuss is about. I rolled into town around 9:30 and it was pretty quiet. A few fat bikers walking around in orange t-shirts and their fat wives by their side is all I really saw. Then I saw signs for the Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, I had to got there. They had a really nice collection of bikes up into the late '70's, they even had a Honda Hobbit moped, although the seat was ripped.
I left Sturgis as fast as I could, I didn't want any of it to wear off on me a nd headed towards Deadwood to eat breakfast. It's a very watered down, tourist friendly type Western town, complete with casinos offering cheap buffets and big winnings. I had a nice meal, used the Internet and got outta there and headed towards Mt. Rushmore.
I saw the Presidents and then headed towards Crazy Horse. PI didn't go up close, but I viewed it from the road. There was a sign at the entrance the said, "Never forget your dreams". I like that. I continued on and road through Custer State Park, it was a lush oasis between the dry Black Hills and the dry and barren Plains.
I got out onto the Plains and it immediately felt like I was riding through an oven. I was drinking water constantly and sweating like a pig. At the gas station my brother Erik called, it was great to talk to him and it took my mind off the heat.
I was now headed towards the Badlands, i now knew why it was named so. It was pushing nearly 105 degrees and it was almost 5pm, I charged on and got to the ranger station and asked them where the free campground was. He pointed it out and warned me that the bison liked to graze through there in the morning. I cruised through the park and then headed up to Wall, to check out Wall Drug.
I ate an overpriced beef dinner there, bought a few postcards, took a few photos and filled up on their famous ice water. I must've lost track of time 'cause when I got to my bike the sun was almost down and I still had to ride 18 miles to the campground, 12 of which were on a dirtroad. I boogied out of there, not before my bike gave me trouble starting. It sounds like the battery is starting to die, I hope it doesn't leave me stranded at the campground. I got to the dirt road right at the "magic hour" and everything looked amazing. I made it to the campground just as the last bit of light was leaving the sky. I set up camp in the dark and watched the full moon rise over the hills. Another night with no rain fly, just me, the stars, and the mosquitos outside.

Bug Report:

Good morning South Dakota.

A sweet lawn mower.

Indian Chief.

Moto Guzzi Eldorado.

Imperial boardtrack racer (notice the pedals!)

The infamous Black Shadow.

BSA Starlite. Super cute.

Honda PA50, with a duct taped seat.

RIP Great One.

Triumh Tina.

Cool Matchless with a really cool sidecar.

Norton single.

The bike that destroyed the British.

Kenny Roberts' 250.

Sears Allstate with Puch engine.

Some Texas oil barren's bike.

Senator Dave Zien's bike, look him up.

Lead, SD.

Trout Haven.

Hilter Smokey.

Mt. Rushmore.

Mt. Rushmore.



More tourists.

"Never forget your dreams".

Interior, SD.

Badlands, SD.

Badlands, SD.

Style. Class. Comfort.

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