Ride to the Black Hills

Discussion in 'Road Trips/Touring' started by oldhippie, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

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    If the weather gods are on our side, the better half and I are heading down to the Black Hills and coming back through Medora. Leave around lunch time and hopefully make it to Devils Lake. Gotta get outta here before someone at work dies or gets sick and they cancel my vacation:p.
    Should be a short 6 day round trip and when we get back swap for the car, pick up the little guy I mentor and we'll head to Drumheller for another short 6 day trip.
     
  2. geezer

    geezer Senior Member Contributor

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    Have a great trip and ride safe.
     
  3. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

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    Day 1 we didn't leave 'til after 1pm and rode as far as Devils Lake. A few threatening clouds around Selkirk and Winnipeg, but thankfully no rain. Took the border crossing at Neche/Gretna. That's the first time my bike had been searched but not no big deal. The west winds were ridiculous, good 30mph gusts that threw us side to side in our lane. Riding into it wasn't too bad though. Nice farming country to ride through all the way to Devils Lake.
    Had to settle for a dumpy Days Inn for the night as all the good places were full.

    Day 2 started off not too bad riding between and around Devils Lake. Now I see what all the fuss is about with trying to drain some of that water off.
    The strong west wind picked up again by lunch so we changed our plan and headed south west to Bismark and then west to Dickinson where we're staying for the night. We snagged tickets to the live show at Medora (just got back from it). That is one show that's well worth the trip and price.:bigsmiley8:

    Tomorrow (today) we'll head south to Sturgis unless the winds get ridiculous again. Those side winds really beat up the wife and make it very unenjoyable for her. We'll see what morning brings and adjust our plans if need be.
     
  4. captkirkis

    captkirkis Active Member

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    Enjoy the Black Hills.... It's sooooooo beautiful up there...... You might just get lost in the beautiful scenery...:s. I went up there last year and spent 5 days and 1000 miles riding around the hills and didn't see everything I wanted too....:D Can't wait to get back there sometime in the future...:D:D
     
  5. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

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    Day 3 - Had met up with a couple of riders who mentioned there was construction on the road south of Belfield so we decided to leave Dickinson, ND south on hwy 22 / SD hwy 79. Nice rolling hills, too bad they repeated for a hundred miles. My wife really found this stretch boring, and I admit it was. So when we turned on hwy 120 we stayed on it to hwy 85. Stopped in Buffalo for lunch at a great little saloon and eatery if I remember correctly called No. 3 Station. After filling ourselves and the bike we headed south on hwy85 to Spearfish and then I-90 to Sturgis. Scenery was a big improvement over ND hwy 22/SD hwy79.
    Stopped in Sturgis for a short walk around and to pick up a couple of 70th Anniversary T-shirts from Sturgis HD. Then off to Rapid City and a room for the night. The heat was getting to my wife so we decided to wait for the evening to ride to Mt. Rushmore. Waited a little too long though and by the time we got there it was getting too dark for a good pic so we headed back to the motel for the night.

    Day 4 - After a late breakfast we headed out to Mt. Rushmore for a look and some pics, then off to the Crazy Horse Memorial. Really enjoyed the display of native art and artifacts. The plan for the area is impressive and I'd like to see the memorial when it's finished.
    Went to Hill City for lunch and then rode out of the Black Hills via the Iron Mountain Road. I seemed to recall I'd read somewhere that this was not a road to ride two-up on a loaded down tourer with all the tight switchbacks. Nicer scenery but Froggie didn't like that road very much.
    Wished we had more time this trip to ride all of the Black Hills, but didn't have that time this trip. So back to Rapid City by hwy 79 to get on I-90 east. Was hoping to get as far as Pierre but only made it to Murdo, SD for the night.
    Murdo had the first restaurant this trip that we walked out of after seeing 6 orders getting cold waiting to be served and the waitress running around doing everything but. Wandered down the street to a steakhouse and bar for what turned out to be the best steak I've had in awhile.
    Back at the Super8 I met up with a group of 3 couples from Sioux Falls, SD who were just heading home from doing a loop around North and South Dakota. Turns out they were at the show in Medora the same night we were.

    Called home and our oldest daughter told us our youngest daughter, Callie, had a gun pulled on her at work today. Turned out to be an off duty cop who didn't have enough to pay for his fill and, when told he'd have to leave his vehicle there and return with proper payment, he took exception to it. Instead of taking out his badge he pulled his gun and waved it around then left. Three Winnipeg Police cars showed up and, armed with a copy of the store video, went after him. Haven't heard anymore about it but I think he may have a hard time explaining that little power trip to his superiors.

    Day 5 -Murdo has an antique auto museum that boasts having one of the original General Lees from The Dukes of Hazard TV show as well as Elvis' Harley. Too bad we'd arrived too late and left too early to check it out.
    We left Murdo on I-90 east and turned north to Pierre on hwy 83. After a short break to stretch our cheeks, we continued north on hwy 83 and turned east on hwy 12 which we rode to Aberdeen for lunch.
    My plan was to take hwy 281 north to Jamestown but didn't realize we'd passed it when entering Aberdeen. Didn't want to turn around so just rode east to Groton and took hwy 37 north to meet with ND hwy 1 and up to Valley City, ND. SD hwy 37/ND hwy 1 follows the James River for approx. 30 miles. Looks like it's been spilling its banks for a while as there is a lot of swamp and drowned trees along this route. Still a nice ride with a mix of farmland, bush and swamp along the way.

    Pit stop in Valley City for gas. While filling the bike there was a family in a minivan and, as they were leaving, you could hear the mother screaming and swearing at her little kids to shutup. Really impressive example of why some shouldn't be parents.

    Took I-94 to hwy 32 and turned north. Planned on getting to Grand Forks for our final night on the road and didn't want to take the interstate. Enjoyed the scenery on this stretch with lots of mixed farmland with bush mixed in. Forgot to turn at hwy 200 and ended up adding another 20 miles to the ride. Oh well. Turned east on hwy 15 to meet up with I-29 at Thompson and on to Grand Forks for a much needed room with a jacuzzi. Man, were we sore when we got off the bike at the Holiday Inn. We couldn't have ridden safely any further. Took a much needed walk to The Texas Steakhouse for supper.

    Day 6- Awoke to a downpour. First rain we'd seen all trip. It didn't last long though. As we left Grand Forks though, we could see another heavy shower heading our way but the skies were clear just to the north. So instead of heading to Minnesota to take hwy 59 north, we high tailed it for the Pembina border crossing (and to stop at the Duty Free for some Malibu Rum for us and cancer sticks for some friends). No problems at the border just the usual questions and we were on our way.
    Once past the border into Manitoba, we turned toward Emerson and followed hwy 200 north. Didn't bring a Manitoba map and found the HOG 2010 Touring Handbook to be severely lacking so I just followed signs and made turns towards towns I'd heard of and just rode. Turned east onto hwy 201 to hwy 59 where I turned north. Came upon the sign for hwy 216 to Grunthal so took that road to hwy 52 where we turned east to Steinbach.
    The scenery from Emerson to Steinbach is a mix of grain fields, cattle farms and bush and the roads are in good shape. Had to stop in Steinbach for lunch at Tim Hortons before heading north on hwy 12, then east on hwy 215 through Beausejour. Hwy 44 east to Milner Ridge road (hwy 214) and the final home stretch on hwy 11.

    Spent a couple of hours cleaning the bike then getting the car ready for us to leave for Drumheller, Alberta sometime Tuesday.

    My beauty held up nice for the whole trip.... and the Ultra Glide ran flawlessly too.
    Can't wait for the next 'little' bike trip.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  6. B-1B_Guy

    B-1B_Guy Junior Member

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    Call me (PM'd you my number) me when you get to Rapid City. I'll share the best ride routes with you.
     
  7. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

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    Glad to hear that you had a safe and fun trip. Next time I ride out to Winnipeg I will have to make a detour and look you and your wife up.
    kemo
     
  8. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

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    I guess I shoulda looked at where you were at and pm'd you before we'd left home. Thanks for the invitation and with luck we'll catch you next time.
     
  9. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

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    Sounds like a plan Kemo. When you do just ride up through Whiteshell Prov. Park and exit by Seven Sisters. Nice scenery in the park, but the road isn't the best in places.
     
  10. geezer

    geezer Senior Member Contributor

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    Glad to hear you had a good trip and got back safely.