Well we loaded up our gear, well actually maybe over loaded our gear, after staying in Chadron NE for 3 nights, we are rested and ready to make our way to Sturgis. We bought a tent and 2 sleeping bags before we left Chadron NE, stacked them on our bikes and headed out! Angela is NOT a tenter, this will be interesting to say the least…
Early for us, we are on the road just after 10am, great highways and not too far north we cross into South Dakota. The roads were in great shape and pretty quiet, we went North West on Highway 385, rode through a town called Hot Springs, sadly not much there, a lot of closed, out of business etc signs. I am sure everyone has encountered or at least see a flock of about 20 little birds, not exactly sure what kind they are, but they fly over the road at a good speed in a large group. I was riding behind Troy, I saw the flock of little birdies come flying out onto the highway, right into Troy and his motorcycle! Scared Troy and a few of those little birdies didn’t make it to the other side. The entertainment factor from behind the lead motorcycle is quite good!! LOL!!
Custer State Park
Riding Highway 87, we entered Wind Cave National Park, it seemed to be more open, not as many trees as Custer National Park. Both were tranquil, as not many cars or motorcycles were on the roads. Thankfully it was the right time of day that we did not meet any animals, face to face, while riding this beautiful highway. There was a rest spot in Custer National Park, we took advantage of, well for the clean bathroom they have there that is for sure! We walked to a look out point, you could see for a long way and rolling hills, greenery and blue sky… Picture Perfect!
The most dramatic way to travel the Needles Highway is from south to north. Begin in Custer State Park at the junction of Highway 16A and Route 87. Route 87 north turns into the scenic highway. The 14-mile highway slowly climbs in elevation as it winds through narrow tunnels and weaves its way through towering granite spires and Ponderosa pine forests. The road is named for the many towering, pointed rock columns that look like needles of rock piercing the sky.
It is a MUST DO ride!!
The last time I was at Mount Rushmore, I was about 10, Troy had never been, we were amazed at the size, the detail and the beauty. We stopped a couple times at some road side turnouts to get some pictures of Mount Rushmore from a distance and then the ever busy road side turn out, that comes with a ports-potty, we pulled over for a close up!
We have been riding for 6 weeks now, talk about taking the long way from Alberta to South Dakota eh?!!
Custer SD, we stop for the night
Coming back down Highway 89, we get into Custer SD about 4:00pm, check into our hotel and room, freshen up and head out to see what we can find in Custer. Lots of history here, lots of bikers, lots of all kinds of people, some dressed in custom or where they…
We went into a bar, since we have parked for the night, order a burger and a beer, go figure, well a cooler for one of us haha, sat at a table by ourselves and before our 1st beer was done, we had met, which would turn out to be, life long friends. As you have seen for the last 6 weeks, we wear our Ride Stop N Go T-shirts (yes we have more than 1 each) every day we are riding. It is a great conversation starter, we get many looks and lots of questions! So no different than any of the last places we have stopped at, we get asked about our T-shirts. This was a group of great people from Seattle who ride together a lot through out the year, all over the USA. They asked us where we have been riding, we started to tell them and we mentioned North Dakota and all the flooding, one of the gals says where in North Dakota, we said Bottineau, she said that is where she grew up! Funny Story… I, Angela, who grew up in Manitoba went to Bottineau often and as a matter of fact, my Dad was born there!! Small World.
Long Story Short, we chatted with them for a bit, agreed to meet for breakfast in the morning, as they were heading Sturgis too!!
We love our life!!Tomorrow we are off to Deadwood, not far from Custer but our last night in a hotel before we tent for a few nights…. I am so stoked to tent… NOT!!
Music by Big Daddy and the Water Rats, a local band from Calgary Alberta.