September 14, 2017
3390 Total miles…
After a good nights sleep I was ready to move on. After uploading my post and pictures, I took off into central South Dakota. The rolling terrain went on forever. Take a look in today’s gallery at a couple pictures I took. So once again, the plan was to take advantage of the wide open spaces and fly through the country side. I was moving at a impressive clip when I saw an animal on the side of the road. I was able to pull over and get the camera out before he took off over the fence. It was a big antelope! I decided moving at twice the speed limit wasn’t such a good idea with deer-like creatures roaming the roads. I saw 4 more antelopes today.
One of the things that has been enlightening for me on this trip is a new appreciation for the diverse country I live in. I’ve never been to Iowa, the Dakotas or northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. The motorcycle gives one the ability to observe the surroundings that isn’t possible in a car. Certainly not in a car rolling down the super slabs. Today, I went through huge fields of sunflowers that must have been 40 acres apiece. The rolling terrain virtually absent of building or trees in Central South Dakota was mesmerizing. The corn fields of Iowa were similar but distinctly different. The shoreline of the Mighty Mississippi and the Missouri offers spectacular views. I can’t wait to get intimate with the the Rockies.
The plan was to take a leisurely ride to Mount Rushmore and get a room early. Those plans went out the window when I saw a road sign indicating Sturgis was only about 50 miles out of my way. I wasn’t planning to go there, but what the heck. The big rally was last month but I haven’t ever been and I had plenty of time today. Much of the venues apparently are closed except for the 10 days of the rally. I was able to find a motorcycle dealer open and bought a couple good earplugs. I lost a pair 2 days ago and wasn’t happy with the foam backups I brought along. Grabbed a beer at a local brewery and was on my way to Mount Rushmore. I spoke with a guy at the bar and he turned me on to a great twisty road that led to the monument. I wasn’t disappointed.
Fortunately, the wind pushed the smoke away from yesterday and the view was only slightly obstructed. I got some great shots and then was on my way to find a hotel room. The area is absolutely full of crappy tourist attractions and Mystery Spots but I found it difficult to find a room. I settled on a 2 room suite at Comfort Inn at 3 times the price I had been paying up ’til now.
The plan for tomorrow is to avoid the Montana fires and head south to Wyoming. I will be visiting an old dear friend, Chris Mann (AKA He Babba 33) tomorrow. The forecast shows 80% change of rain and cooler temps. Looks like I’ll get wet. There’s snow forecast for Montana, so maybe the guys can get the fires under control. If not, I guess I’ll have to wait for next year. Plenty more of the country to see meanwhile.