Wednesday, May 28, 2014

11. Day 5 - The long ride that should not have been: Wall, SD to Devil's Tower, WY

Yesterday we set off on what was an easy, touristy fun-filled day.  First we were off to Custer State Park SD, because of the windy mountain roads and tunnel passes.  We saw our first Buffalo!

We think they are on the payroll, they walked right by the visitor center.
Unfortunately, it started to rain so the windy, mountain roads became less fun.  We started getting behind schedule because we stopped to often, chatted with other travelers too much and then rain happened.

Off to Mount Rushmore.  We got there just in time to park the bikes in indoor parking, walk to the monument, snap pictures, then haul butt inside to the cafeteria just in time for a hail storm.  So we ate lunch and lost even more time.  I think as many people may note, the presidents did not look as big as I suspected.

See that big black cloud?  It hung over our heads all day(metaphorically speaking).
Then we decided we needed to make some time to Devils Tower and we would like bail on camping (again) since weather had been iffy and it was getting late in the day.  We hopped on 16 west which should have been an quick ride but then we were confronted with the worst road construction zone I have ever ridden through in my life.  It starts out innocuous enough "one lane road ahead" and it's still paved but a bit messed up.  Then the sign "motorcyclists use extreme caution" hmm, why would they say that?  It turn into an entire dirt road highway full of gravel, ruts, soft dirt and of muddy areas.  Me and mud do not agree.  I am quite thankful that it wasn't raining during this time because I would have just crawled into the woods and called it a day.  The dirt would have immediately turned muddy.

After 10 miles of grip clenching yuckiness we were finally out of it.  Then it decided to rain.  Then we hit a few more construction zones but nothing like that first one.

We finally approached Devil's Tower and there was a KOA so we thought we would try it out. Nice campground, nice people, 0% chance of rain according to the Weather Channel app.  We did get some drizzle and some scary sounding wind but we are still intact.

So beautiful.

My personal chef.
We also used our camp stove.  The Chili mac & beef I had was yummy and so was Steve's beef stronganoff.

Steve's brand new sleep mat will not hold air, so that stunk.  He refused my selfless offer to use my mat and stuck it out.

Steve is still in a slumber now, but I think we may switch our game plan on camping.  Originally we thought we would camp when the weather looked good.  Now I think we will camp only if we have to.

On the technology front.  I am typing this on my new laptop utilizing my own personal wifi hot spot, while my phone charges using the solar panel.  I've got this rustic thing down pat.

Today we need to figure out how to get our dirty chains cleaned.  The bikes are quite messy.  Our goal for today was 360 miles to Red Lodge, Montana, but I think we will instead focus on some bike maintenance and get where we get when we get there.  But still moving west!!

Again, all proof-reading has stopped.  Sorry for errors.

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying following along. Sounds like a great trip so far. - Kendoo