Friday, August 5, 2016


Our time on Interstate 90 came to an end 30 miles after leaving Kadoka.  The mid-west was nowhere near as bad as what we  had been expecting.  It was far from dull and boring.  There was something to see all the time, even the traffic created an interest for us as we were constantly amazed at the semi-trailers, caravans and motor homes zooming past us and disappearing in to the distance in a flash.  Then of course there were the wanna-be Easy Riders (and plenty of the real deal) zipping by.  We always wondered how they could handle the constant wind pressure on their faces and it soon occurred to us that there were no insects, bees, wasps or any debris in the air.  We couldn't do that at home without getting a face full of splat!

We turned off the Interstate to visit The Badlands.  From the flats arose a strange moon-like landscape which almost defies description.  Speed was restricted, and lets face it, why would you want to flash by such an interesting area?   The road through the Park was sublime - no wind, perfect temperature and amazing scenery.
All along the Interstate we'd seen signs to WALL DRUG but we had no idea what that was.  We couldn't figure it out from the billboards.  Our next town was Wall and we decided to visit especially when they offered free ice-water and 5 cent coffee.  It started as the local pharmacy in 1931 and with very little passing trade they decided to offer free ice-water to travellers.  From then on the business grew and it has now taken over much of the town,  suffice to say it now IS the town.  It's a complete village within the shop (which has taken over the entire block) most replicating an era past.
After a good rest and cold drink we forged on and rode through Grand Rapids en-route to Mt. Rushmore.  Again, it was so hot it made riding uncomfortable (101 degrees F, 38 degrees C). We stopped at the tourist trap of Keystone for lunch.
Then it was of up the mountain to see the famous carvings in Mt. Rushmore of the four Presidents - George WASHINGTON, Thomas JEFFERSON, Theodore ROOSEVELT & Abraham LINCOLN.  We could see the icon before we got to the car-park.  It was an exciting moment for us.  The sculptures were built between 1927 and 1941.
We walked through the Avenue of Flags, one representing each State.
We rode part of the Needles Highway, but not the part we wanted.  The clouds were black-as, lightning and thunder in full swing.  We were surprised we hadn't already been rained on but the roads remained dry and we were thankful.
We headed to Crazy Horse Mountain but once there we learnt that the entrance fee only allowed us in to the museum on site. We weren't that interested to be honest and decided against going in. The gate-man allowed us to ride in to the car-park and turn around.  It gave us enough of a view of Crazy Horse and we were satisfied with that.
We decided to get off the main roads and found a dirt track pass on our way to Sturgis.  To be in the quiet of the trees and take a slow pace on the gravel made a pleasant change.
Once back on bitumen we had a magnificent ride through the hills to Sturgis.  We were excited to arrive in the iconic town, home of the famous Sturgis Rally which is to be held in about  two weeks time.
We looked around town and decided it was a dump!  We were hot and tired and figured we would enjoy the place better after a good sleep.   Finding a place to stay was difficult but we eventually found a decent place and it was their last room!  The 'No Vacancy' sign went up on the door as we were taking our gear in. We were just pleased to unpack the bike, shower and rest up.  We'd had a huge day, saw lots and covered many miles.
We got a pizza for tea and sat outside the Super 8 Motel and watched a tremendous lightning storm behind the hills.  We wondered what tomorrow would bring?
A couple of old, weathered bike riders were also sitting out and one said that he quite admired our old BeeEm.  I said she was a Moto Guzzi, a 1975 model.  He said to his mate, "Well, golly, I thought it was a BM.  Looks like we've just had us an ed-u-cation".  I cracked up laughing.

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