Thursday, July 23, 2009

After two and a half days of hard riding and one day of sight seeing, John, my traveling companion, and I finally made it to Gillette, Wyoming where we met up with the 20 riders and 12 bikes that had traveled from California. Our destination for the next day was Spearfish, South Dakota by way of Devil's Tower.

John knew this area pretty well, and was coaxed into leading the group. It was a task that he later admitted was extremely nerve racking, making sure everyone was still together and that his speed (usually 4 or 5 mph over the limit) wasn't too fast for the group.

We made a loop around the formation and then meandered to Spearfish, SD where we checked into our hotel. This would be home base for the next couple of days.

We visited several historic towns, places I call "show towns", including Deadwood, Lead, and Keystone. I label them "show towns" because several times a day actors in 1890 period costumes stage gun fights or will fire their six shooters to get tourist attentions.

Saloon No.10 in Deadwood is an establishment of some notoriety. Wild Bill Hickok, the town's lawman, was murdered there while playing poker. In his hand he held a pair of aces and a pair of eights, what became known as the dead man's hand.

Even though our visit was nearly 2 weeks before the Sturgis Bike Rally, motorcycles were everywhere. One that caught my eye was this custom paint job honoring the US Air Force.

And then there was this piece of chrome we saw at the Rapid City Harley Davidson dealership.

Oddly enough - or perhaps not - the bike's owner is from Ohio.

Mounted on the front of the forks is a chrome plaque dedicating to bike to his brother.

John, myself and Kenny, from the California group took the time to visit Mt. Rushmore...

And the Crazy Horse Memorial...

Then, just like that, it was time to head for home.

The weather for the return trip was dominated by a Canadian high pressure area that kept temperatures cool, barely reaching 70ยบ F. The first day of the return trip was sunny but cool. The subsequent days of our return we rode at the edge of the cold front that brought the cooler temps and didn't see the sun again.

Here are some stats for the trip:

Totals miles: 3,396 miles
Longest day: 622 miles
Average per day: 450 miles
Food: $148.00
Fuel: $206.00
Hotels: $258.00 per person

Spending a week with friends on 2 wheels: Priceless

I had only one small issue with Lady. During the return trip, one of the riders to my rear moved up beside me and asked if I had lost my cell phone. Knowing that my cell phone was packed away, I answered, "No."

Forty miles later I stretched out my left leg and started to place my foot on the highway peg when I realized the peg was missing. That was no cell phone! That was my peg!! Should have used blue Locktite!

I'll replace the peg this week, but if anyone finds a large Kuryakyn ISO peg near the 25 mile marker of I-80 in Iowa, drop me an email.

Finally, a couple of thoughts about a trip like this...

1) Like Irondad said to me before I left, "enjoy yourself."


2) Like Peter Fonda said to the Wild Hogs at the end of the movie, "Lose the watches."

Ride Safe!

You can see the entire album by clicking the slide show above.


Baron's Life said...

Avery nice and detailed post...thanks for sharing it .... It's a amazing that fuel (Food for the bike) cost more than food for a human being....

Black Hills Locavore said...

Great trip blog! The Black Hills are an amazing place to live. Glad you enjoyed your ride and visit. We enjoy seeing all the great bikes over the summer!

Doug C said...

Baron - What a beautiful area! I think I could live there if it wasn't for the winters. We took advantage of free continental breakfasts and lunches, during the dash lunches weren't much more than a quick bite at a fast food place.

Locavore - Such wide open spaces and excellent roads. I'll be going back, this time with the Mrs.

First time I'd seen the term "locavore" but I like it. Started a garden myself this year for the first time in many.

Baron's Life said...

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Lance said...

Doug, great post, and I loved the slide show! Thanks for the reminder that we all need to lose the watches from time to time.