Weekend Trip to the Black Hills

Discussion in 'Road Trips/Touring' started by DakotaRob, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

    351
    0
    0
    Just got back this evening from a quick trip to the Black Hills. I've been moping around the house this summer after spending my vacation time on a family trip back east. I was bummed I wouldn't get any solo time on the bike this summer. The wife got tired of my grumbling, and since the kids are visiting the grand parents for two weeks, she told me to hit the road (for the weekend, that is, lol). I've been out in western SD many times, but never on the motorcycle, so that's where I would go.

    My whirlwind trip started at 1pm on Friday, when I saddled up for the 400 mile ride to Rapid City where I would be staying Friday and Saturday night. It's great to live in South Dakota, but really (EDIT) to be that far from the nice part of the state! I wanted to get there ASAP, so I opted for I-29 north to I-90 west. It was hot! 105+ with the heat index, and even cruising at just under 80mph, the air hitting me was hot as blazes. First stop was Mitchell, SD after 133 miles, then the next stop was Murdo, SD after 140 miles. Gas in the bike and more water and gatorade for me! From Murdo, it was 135 miles to Ellsworth AFB on the east side of Rapid City where I had lodging reserved.

    I did end up having to make a stop in Wall, SD about 50 miles short of my destination... not sure if it was the searing heat, or the non stop Wall drug billboards that made me exit. :) But the quick 15 minute stop from the heat helped me recharge enough to finish the trip.

    A couple quick photos... didn't linger anywhere for too long, afraid my boots would melt to the pavement! A few more posts and photos will follow...

    Please read this...
    [note]
    A Friendly Reminder - Harley Davidson Community
    [/note]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011
  2. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

    351
    0
    0
    Saturday morning started early with a quick trip to the car wash to get the 20 pounds of bug corpses off the bike... who ever called the batwing fairing a 'bug collector' wasn't lying!

    I was relieved to see overcasts skies (but hooray, no rain!), and the weather report called for that all day with temps only hitting the low 80's in Rapid, and cooler in the Black Hills. I almost had to put on the leather jacket, but I suffered through the chill in my mesh jacket. :D

    Headed west into the Hills and stopped off at Black Hills HD. Everyone is in major setup mode for the upcoming Sturgis rally. They have a pretty large facility to begin with, and have set up two huge tents. If you don't have a bike for the rally, I'm sure they've got one for you!
     

    Attached Files:

  3. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    5,800
    153
    318
    Sound like a great trip and I bet you lost some weight too...:)
    The heat has been bad, lately, here too. Its been 2 weeks since I last rode.:newsmile08:
     
  4. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    3,224
    48
    13
    Looks like a fun trek & I know it was cook'n. Just returned from SW MN trip & we pretty much baked the entire trip. At least it's a "tad" cooler in NE.
     
  5. tubguy

    tubguy Active Member

    154
    28
    3
    Did you buy one of those furry Jackelopes!!!!! They make incredible pets

    Tubguy:D
     
  6. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

    351
    0
    0
    A few more details and pictures:

    I left the HD dealer and headed over to Sturgis... It's a pretty sleepy town for another 10 days, lol. The t-shirt vendors were just getting set up. One of the locals I chatted with said it's a crazy ten days, but still pretty fun, ad everyone needs to experience it at least once. I'll save that for another year. I also stopped by the Full Throttle Saloon, you can see in the picture how busy they were.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

    351
    0
    0
    From Sturgis, I headed over to Deadwood. That was a fun ride, mostly four lane and lots of twisties. I don't get a lot of practice living on the flat side of South Dakota, so I took it easy on the first couple turns. Traffic wasn't bad either. Deadwood was pretty busy, lots of tourists milling about. Cool old town, someday I'll go back and wander the streets.

    I continued on a few miles to the town of Lead. Wow, what a contrast. As busy as Deadwood was, Lead was the complete opposite. There were some pretty neat displays of old mining equipment at various spots around town.

    From Lead, I headed south on 385 towards Hill City with a stop at the Pactola Resevoir overlook.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

    351
    0
    0
    After going through Hill City (lots of tourists there, yikes!) I headed to Custer State Park and the Needles Highway. I had never been through there, and I know it's a popular route. The road was a lot narrower than I figured it would be, but easily negotiable on a bike. The one lane tunnels carved in the rocks are pretty cool too.

    Traffic wasn't bad until I got to first long tunnel, and for some reason, I thought I should stop and get a some photos... That was a mistake! I parked the bike and walked up the road to snap a couple pictures...

    As you can see by the photo of my bike, one cage decided they would park as close to me as possible. I'm still not sure how he got into that spot. You can't see it in the photo, but on the other side of the car, he's about 6 inches from a rock wall. If I had seen him try to pull in there, I wouldn't have let him. :shock

    Then as I'm standing there impatiently waiting to get on my way, the couple comes back and the woman tries to open the passenger side car door and get in. Her husband told her to stop and wait till he backed out... Oh brother.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

    351
    0
    0
    LOL I'm trying to convince my wife that riding the hog is a great diet plan... she's not convinced since a lot of rides end at a greasy spoon diner. :D

    Didn't see a Jackalope... I knew there was something I meant to pick up on the way home! :s
     
  10. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

    351
    0
    0
    I was relieved to get away from the crowds on the Needles Highway, and after getting turned around a couple times, I found my way over to Iron Mountain Road. I hate to admit I had to stop and ask for directions... can't believe google maps on my iPhone couldn't get me out of Custer State Park, lol.

    Awesome views of Mt. Rushmore from an overlook on that route. It's off in the distance and you get a good view of the entire mountain, not just the carving. After a couple more tunnels, and some really cool wood trussel bridges, Iron Mtn Rd drops you out on 244, a couple miles down from the main entrance to Rushmore... There were a billion people there, so I went on by as I've been there several times. About a mile past the main entrance there is a pull out where there is a really cool side profile shot of Washington... Most of the tourists go flying past there and don't even catch it, so it was a nice place for me to relax a bit after nearly 200 miles of cruising that day.

    I reluctantly headed back down the mountain to my room in Rapid City, knowing that in the morning I'd have to head back home. I was relieved to see the the weather report and learn that the heat would not return until Monday. My Sunday ride home was 15 - 20 degrees cooler than the trip west on Friday.

    It was a great trip, 1038 miles when all was said and done. Wish I could do one like this every month! Have to see if the wife likes that idea... :p
     

    Attached Files: