Father and Son Road Trip- 9 States, 2 Months, 6500 Miles!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by TonyBKK, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Keystone was pretty touristy, but also a fun place for people watching.

    Spotted our first "real" cowboys [​IMG]
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    This freakishly tall fellow was walking down the street cracking his bullwhip and there was another "cowboy" a little out of camera range who was shooting his pistols into the air. Of course my son didn't know, and I felt no need to tell him that they are actors promoting a show. He was pretty impressed by them [​IMG]

    It was getting pretty close to lunch time so after wandering around the town for a bit we hit up a deli on the main strip and enjoyed a small meal and a huge ice cream cone as we took in the sights-
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    Cotton Candy ice cream, and guess what, it really tastes like Cotton Candy, though I'm not quite sure if that's a good thing or not [​IMG]
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    Great spot to relax and watch life go by-
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    Some amazing roads and so much to see and do in the Black Hills that we ended up staying there longer than planned. After the good experience at the White River KOA near Badlands National Park I was game to try another KOA so we rolled in to the Hill City KOA which is just around the corner from Mount Rushmore National Monument.

    Our spot-
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    I always had a notion in my head that KOA's are pretty much exclusively aimed at the RV crowd. Turns out some of them are, but some are really tent-friendly too.

    Always feels good to get the boots off, and Kristhawee was eager to hit one of the pools we saw on the way in-
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    The other nice thing about KOA's is that they are always full of kids, and my son, who is normally a bit shy, became very adept at making new friends everywhere we went. He'd just walk up to the first kid he saw and say "Hi, can I play with you?". Good on ya Kristhawee! Here he is hanging out with one of his new friends-
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    Funny story about the pic above- this huge rock was directly across the road from where we were camping. After we pulled in and while I was setting up camp Kristhawee asks me, "Daddy, what kind of tree is that?". I look around and see a lot of pine trees, so I tell him "Pine Trees". He says, "no, the BIG one?". We went back and forth like that for a while and he was getting frustrated until I realized that he thought the rock was a tree! Guess he'd never seen a rock so big before? That had me rolling and I took him over there to show him that it was a rock and not a tree and we had a good time scrambling around his big "tree". 5 year olds sure do come up with some funny stuff sometimes!

    Hanging out with another friend at the KOA [​IMG] Love their expressions [​IMG]
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    What an amazing place- they put us in a really beautiful "tent only" spot at the end of a dirt road in a nice forest with big trees-
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    Bit of a hike to the pool- but there's nothing wrong with that. Hey! Wait for me!!
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    We were far away from the RV's and all the noise they produce and this place had EVERYTHING. Two pools, hot tubs, water slide, trout pond, paddle boats, horseback riding, a splash park, mini golf, and a lot more. The nice lady who checked us in said it's one of the largest KOA's in the US. Yet they've done a really good job of making it "feel" small.

    Pool-
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    Waterslide-
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    "Jump Pillow" (I guess it's safer than a trampoline, but just barely) [​IMG]
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    Kristhawee loved the horses and stables and REALLY wanted to ride, but the minimum age is 7... He's never ridden and I didn't want to risk him falling off and getting hurt so I had to tell him no.
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    Near the stables was a decent little food shack serving your typical fare and we ordered ourselves a pizza for dinner- yum!
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    You might think that would be enough for one day and that we'd call it a night? You'd be wrong!

    They were showing "The Tigger Movie" that evening and Kristhawee was keen to go check it out. The "movie theater" was attached to the campground store so Kristhawee enjoyed checking out the toys before the movie started-
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    Sorry buddy, that will never fit on the motorcycle [​IMG]

    Man the sun stays up late! After the movie there was a live band playing so we stopped and checked them out- The Hill City Slickers was there name, and they were damn funny and pretty good too!
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    Finally we made it back to our site, got ready for bed, and I think I wasn't more than 2 pages into the Jungle Book before my little guy was sound asleep.
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    I wasn't far behind him! (-_-)Zzzzzz
    #21
  2. kuyaoli

    kuyaoli Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Tony, you are the man! What you do with you son really rocks, as other mentioned I am pretty sure Kristhawee will not forget about this trip for a lifetime.

    Hope to meet up with you again in the future and have a ride together.

    We met near Ramkhamhaeng in the off road field on a Sunday morning...

    Cheers buddy
    #22
  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Good morning! Day 4 begins!
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    I have discovered that my son is not much of a morning person :evil
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    First stop- all you can eat pancake breakfast!!
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    Little guy wanted milk so I gave him some money and told him to go buy it. He wanted me to get it for him- you can tell he's not too happy about that-

    Still making friends everywhere he goes
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    After breakfast we went on an impromptu hike around the grounds of the campground-
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    Another beautiful day!
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    Looking over the campground- Mt Rushmore is just on the other side of those mountains-
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    Then Kristhawee went to check out the "Splash Park" which he most definitely enjoyed-
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    He could have spent all day playing at the campground!

    Found a bug!
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    And a snake (anyone know what kind of snake that is??)
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    Finally we managed to get back to our site, jumped on the bike, and headed to Hill City where we would catch the 1880 steam train to Keystone!
    #23
  4. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

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    Location:
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    Short ride to Hill City-
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    My son LOVES trains! Model trains, toy trains, real trains, movies about trains you name it, he digs it, so I thought he might enjoy a ride on the Black Hills Central Central Railroad 1880 Steam Train.
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    LOL!
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    C'mon PUSH!!!
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    The 1880 Steam Train is the real deal- a restored coal fired (converted to oil) locomotive with 37,500 lbs. of tractive power! It takes around 3 hours to make the round trip on the standard gauge Burlington track from Hill City to Keystone and back-
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    Got our tickets-
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    While we were waiting we could hear the train whistle off in the distance. Kristhawee was so excited!!
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    All aboard!!
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    Let's go!!
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    Father and Son on the Black Hills Central Railroad 1880 Train
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    #24
  5. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    amigo, I can not take my 4 year old to kindergarten because it is too dangerous !!!! and you took your boy from east to west in one of the biggest countries in the world!!!!!!! you rock!!!

    As a father i can see what it means to you and yeah it will be something you 2 will always have!

    Keep writing!!

    Damasovi
    #25
  6. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    And we're off! Leaving Hill City bound for Keystone on the Black Hills Central Railroad 1880 Steam Train-
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    We were in the car directly behind the locomotive and it made an insane racket and the whistle was deafening :eek1

    I liked the "No Smoking" announcement- something about, if you need a smoke, just stick your head out the window and inhale deeply :rofl

    There was a big mining and timber boom here in the late 1800's and early 1900's and you can see a lot of old buildings, mines and abandoned rail spurs along the way-
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    Entrance to an old mine?
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    Lots of wildlife too!
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    The train has to climb a couple of steep 4-6% grades and it was awesome to listen to it puffing and chugging up the incline-
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    Turkeys!
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    Interesting old buildings along the way, some occupied, some abandoned-
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    We pas a lot of old abandoned spurs- would be really fun to hike these to the mines they used to serve-
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    The "Lazy 2 Crazy 2 ranch" :lol3
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    Chugging up another incline-
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    Guess the pancakes, hike, splash park and rocking of the train took their toll on my little guy
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    I kept snapping pictures so he could see what he missed while in dreamland ;)
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    We crossed the "Old Hill City Highway" several times- a nice looking road that we'll ride later-
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    More deer-
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    Oh yes, we will definitely have to hit this road!
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    Approaching the Keystone depot-
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    Kristhawee is still passed out, so we just stay on the train waiting for the ride back to Hill City-
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    Getting ready for the return trip to Hill City-
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    At Keystone they uncouple the locomotive and move it to the other end of the train. Means we get a lot less noise, and a lot more smoke for the return trip ;)
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    Gotta love the staff!
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    Headed back to Hill City-
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    Random pics from the train-
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    Another abandoned mine-
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    Another abandoned home-
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    Almost back to Hill City-
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    Arriving at the Hill City depot-
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    He hang around to watch them uncouple and move the locomotive-
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    Wow, that looks like hot and dirty work!
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    Bye bye 1880 Train!
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    #26
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 5! Today we're going to ride the Iron Mountain Road, the Wildlife Loop and the Needles Highway!! :clap
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    Another beautiful day- early start, nice and cool and not a cloud in the sky!
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    We take the 244 from Hill City, past Mount Rushmore to Keystone where the Iron Mountain Road (16A) begins.

    The 244 is a beautiful road in its own right, taking us through the spectacular rock formations that make up

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    Riding past Mt Rushmore-
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    The Iron Mountain road (US 16A) is famous for its scenic, one-lane tunnels aligned to frame Mount Rushmore, its "pigtail bridges", and sections where the highway has been divided into single (and narrow) lanes on each roadway.

    Pigtail bridge (not my pic):
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    Such care was taken not to disturb the landscape that some sections of the road actually divide into one-lane one-way ribbons that swoop and bound through mixed pine and deciduous forest. I've never seen a road like this in the US before- quite unique!

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    The Iron Mountain road, along several other scenic roads in the Black Hills, was originally laid out by Governor Peter Norbeck to create a very scenic, slow-speed road for tourists. The section of US 16A from SD244 to SD89 that we are riding today is known as the Peter Norbeck Memorial Byway in honor of the governor.

    The numerous small tunnels insure that there are no large trucks or RV's on these roads. Lots of bikes though!

    I have tons of video I need to go through- hopefully I got a good video of this amazing road which I'll add here later.

    We hadn't had breakfast yet to after we entered Custer State Park we stopped at the State Game Lodge, a beautiful old building built in 1920 that served as the "Summer White House" for President Calvin Coolidge and was visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
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    They had a pretty good looking breakfast buffet and we were both pretty hungry-
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    Father and son at the State Game Lodge, Custer State Park, Black Hills, SD-
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    The stuffed animals in the dining room was a nice touch :wink:
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    My son at the Custer State Park Game Lodge, Black Hills, South Dakota
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    Next we ride the Wildlife Loop Road through Custer State Park and play chicken with some 2000 pound Bison! :clap
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    #27
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

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    Wow, they don't call it the Wildlife Loop for nothing- my son and I were keen to see some animals and we were not disappointed!

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    Bison everywhere!
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    There are some 1300 Bison in Custer State Park and suddenly we found ourselves surrounded! They look pretty docile but I know they can be unpredictable and honestly, sitting on a bike, these were a bit too close for comfort.

    I gave the camera to my son and he took the following pictures- not bad for a 5 year old, eh??
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    We were kind of stuck in a traffic jam of sorts- cars stopped to take pictures of the bison and I kept my eyes open and hand on the throttle thinking that IF a bison charged at us I'd try to keep the car in front of us between us and the bison...
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    Fortunately some obnoxiously loud Harleys came by and I figured if the bison were going to attack anything it would probably be one of them before us :evil
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    Well, we made it out un-gored and with some great pictures. Kristhawee sure was excited to have seen his first Bison- some of them were so close we almost could have touched them!
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    Kristhawee took these pictures too- I think these are Pronghorns?
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    Yeah, pretty sure that's a Pronghorn (interesting animals- we learned a lot more about them when we were in Wyoming).
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    More Bison!
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    Now what is this incredibly cute critter?!
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    #28
  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

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    Custer State Park's "Begging Burros"! (Aka Feral Donkeys)
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    These affable creatures are superficially similar to donkeys, but are more closely related to the African wild ass, which survives in semi-arid scrub and grasslands of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. This makes them well-suited to survival in the water-stressed Black Hills.
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    Despite all the warnings about not approaching "wild" animals, it was pretty apparent that these burros aren't terribly "wild".
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    Kristhawee and one of the Black Hills Begging Burros :D
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    Very cute animals-
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    Even though Kristhawee didn't have any food for them, they didn't seem to mind his company-
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    Two kids checking each other out-
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    Wanna be my friend??
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    This one, with nostrils flared and eyes wide, looks like he's thinking about taking my hand off :wink:
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    We survived the burros, continued on and enjoyed the rest of the Wildlife Loop-
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    Next up- the Needles Highway!!
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    #29
  10. terryckdbf

    terryckdbf Pickles

    Joined:
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    Wonderful ride report and I especially like your positive attitude.

    Looking forward to more.

    Terry
    #30
  11. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

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    Hard to believe, but the Needles Highway was even more impressive than the Iron Mountain road!

    Time to fire up the GoPro (though it's going to take me a while to edit videos)
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    Like the Iron Mountain road the Needles Highway is very narrow, has lots of sharp hairpin turns, low tunnels and the road has very little traffic. The first of many tunnels that were blasted through solid granite back in the 1920's-
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    Over the shoulder shot of the tunnel we just rode through-
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    14 miles long, the Needles Highway winds through pine and spruce covered mountains and the amazing granite "needles" for which the area is famous. In this pic you can see the Cathedral Spires off in the distance, a massive collection of rock towers pointed to the heavens.
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    We stopped here for some water and snacks and to take in the amazing views-
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    My son took some pictures of me- once again I'm quite impressed by his steady hand-
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    I regret not bringing more batteries and/or a charging cable for the GoPro. It's getting pretty old and the battery doesn't seem to last much more than an hour. It ran out of juice about this time so from here on I was snapping pics with the Canon while riding. Perhaps not the safest way to ride, but that Beemer pretty much drives itself ;)
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    Interesting history about the Needles Highway- I'd assumed it was built by the Civilian Conservation Core in the 19030's as part of Franklin D Roosevelt's "New Deal", but I was wrong.

    South Dakota Governor Peter Norbeck wanted to simultaneously preserve and provide access to some of the most beautiful regions of the Black Hills. In 1919, he designed the route for the Needles Highway, a road that many engineers deemed impossible to build. Two years and 150,000 pounds of dynamite later, the road was opened to automobiles.
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    Simply amazing!
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    I wonder what the purpose of this little "cave" is?
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    Some steep grades, lots of hairpin turns and blind corners- brilliant!
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    Approaching another tunnel with blind entrance. One has to remember that this is a two-way road!
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    You have to be pretty careful and sound your horn before entering a tunnel lest you meet someone else coming the other way-
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    More twists and turns-
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    Eventually we arrive at Sylvan Lake- it's early afternoon, pretty hot, Kristhawee decides that it's time for a swim!!
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    #31
  12. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

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    Location:
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    It's a hot day, but the water is COLD! :eek1
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    We swam out to the rock island you see in the picture above. (Remember our mission to re-teach Kristhawee how to swim?) :deal
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    C'mon in! The water's FINE! :evil
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    Oh my, underage babe alert :lol3
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    If admiring beautiful girls is a crime, let me be guilty!! :rofl
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    Kristhawee is.... um... doing laundry??
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    Oh, no, silly me, he's making a weapon! :lol3
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    Ok little dude- let's rumble!
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    Making friends on the beach- this family, if I recall correctly, was also from Minnesota-
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    Kristhawee is building a volcano! (Serious work- just look at his face)
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    We climbed up the rocks next to the beach and you get some nice views of Lake Sylvan-
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    These would make a nice panorama if I could be arsed to stitch them together ;)
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    Hike a little further on the rocks and you discover this amazing view that wasn't even visible from the beach-
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    Even more beautiful with my son in the picture :evil
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    Father and Son at Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park, Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
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    Kristhawee's feet are getting tougher!
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    Having fun scrambling around on the rocks-
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    We swam some more then quite suddenly black clouds rolled in and we enjoyed a nice afternoon thunderstorm. There was lightening so we took cover.

    While we were taking shelter in a little gazebo-like structure in the parking lot a bunch of emergency vehicles showed up along with search and rescue types- apparently an older gentleman had been hiking to the top of Harney Peak (the tallest mountain east of the Rockies) and had collapsed...

    It's not a very tough hike, but the pine beetle has killed off most of the trees which means the trail is now very exposed and it was a hot sunny day. Hopefully the gent was just suffering from heat exhaustion and nothing more serious.

    We met a single father with two daughters and the younger one was around my son's age. They were getting along great and were kind of playing tag, ducking under the railings of the gazebo when the older daughter misjudged the clearance and ran head first into the concrete rail :eek1

    She kind of knocked herself out and then came to and had a seizure- I caught her before she hit the ground and the seizure passed very quickly but it was pretty scary and her little sister totally lost it. :cry

    Fortunately there were already plenty of medical and emergency personnel on the scene. They checked the girl out and said she was probably ok but that dad ought to take her for an X-ray just to be sure.

    Yikes! It's scary how quickly good times can go bad.

    I always had that thought in the back of my head on this trip- the "what if" nightmare scenarios of crashing the bike with my son strapped to it. I consider myself a pretty experienced rider, chose one of the safest touring bikes on the planet and didn't take ANY chances but still, no matter how skilled you might be or how much you might prepare, you can never control EVERYTHING.

    You never know when a drunk driver might take you out (been there done that) a bison decides to use you as target practice, you blow a tire in a hairpin with no guardrail, etc etc.

    Yet on the flip side, LIFE is dangerous. There is RISK in everything we do. I feel like more and more people choose "safety" over common sense, to the point where many people live their lives in fear, obsessed with making everything "safe" and eliminating as much risk as they can and as a result don't really LIVE.

    Don't want to go too far off on a tangent, but I've been reading this other thread called "When do you call it quits" (http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=819513) and many people there have voiced my feelings of concern and malaise better than I can.

    Suffice to say, the ride with my son was epic, perfect, couldn't have gone better, and for that I thank my lucky stars. I hope we can do similar rides in the future and that some day, when he's old enough to ride his own bike that we'll get to ride together. I'm certainly not ready to call it quits and I'm pretty sure my son feels the same way. But if his feelings change maybe we'll do it in a car next time, or rent an RV and bring the whole family along.

    Born and raised for his first four years in Thailand he grew up on 2 wheels and learned right away that he NEVER gets on a bike without a helmet, so he found it quite surprising and couldn't understand why SO FEW of the bikers we encountered this summer wore helmets.

    I moved to Asia in the late 90's and this is the first big road trip I've done in the US in ~15 years. It seems to me that while I was gone a lot more motorcycles have taken to the roads and that a lot LESS people are wearing helmets... No doubt for the folks living in the US it's been a gradual change, but for me being away for 15 year the sudden and noticeable increase in bare headed bikers was quite striking. What happened?

    We encountered these bikes at a gas station somewhere west of Sioux Falls, SD and neither wore helmets or had windscreens.
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    The result was that one took a big bug/beetle in the face, high on the cheek, just below his fashionably small sunglasses at 75mph and now his eye was so swollen he couldn't see out of it anymore... The folks in the parking lot were trying to help decide what to do. Most were telling him to go to the hospital, but the biker chose to continue on with one good eye, no helmet, no windscreen and the same little sunglasses... :huh

    All in the name of what? "Freedom"? Looking "cool"? Being "tough"? I just don't get it... I mean, I AM guilty of occasionally going for a spin without a helmet on, so I'm certainly not in a position to preach. It DOES feel good to cruise around a lake or down a main street with the wind in your hair and nothing over your ears, but cruising on an interstate at 75mph with no windscreen and no helmet is NOT my idea of a good time...

    And isn't it just WEIRD that 49 of our 50 States have deemed that splitting traffic on a motorcycle is so dangerous it's illegal, yet riding without a helmet is permitted in some ~19 States?! What's up with that?! I just can't understand the logic or rational, if any behind that contradiction.

    Ok ok, sorry, really didn't mean to go on like that, but recounting the story of the little girl knocking herself out just brought it all to a head and it feels good to put pen to paper, so to speak, and try to make sense of it all.

    On with the ride!!!
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    Roads were a bit wet so we took it nice and easy- more tunnels and hairpins
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    We were soon back in the sun and on our way to Deadwood! :clap
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    #32
  13. kuyaoli

    kuyaoli Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Tony, I am really fascinated with your father and son tour. I can really see that your son loves you and you love him and you both are having the time of your life.

    As with taking certain risks to enjoy your life I fully agree as what you have stated above. Also with the helmet issue, the same here in Thailand, so many ride without helmet, I just don't feel safe without it.

    Keep on posting...
    #33
  14. BaddAndy

    BaddAndy Been here awhile

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    "All in the name of what? "Freedom"? Looking "cool"? Being "tough"? I just don't get it... I mean, I AM guilty of occasionally going for a spin without a helmet on, so I'm certainly not in a position to preach. It DOES feel good to cruise around a lake or down a main street with the wind in your hair and nothing over your ears, but cruising on an interstate at 75mph with no windscreen and no helmet is NOT my idea of a good time... "

    They're called STATISTICS!
    #34
  15. Mike_drz

    Mike_drz Banned

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    humm... that looks like our future's leader :D


    _____________________
    finally, we can have a retirement plan :lol3 photoshop is another one if this one fail
    #35
  16. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    It's getting late and it's been a long day. I originally was aiming for Spearfish but really don't like riding at dusk when it seems the deer are most active. Also, setting up camp in the dark is no fun- so we decide to hit Deadwood instead and ride the Spearfish Canyon in the morning when we're fresh and rested.
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    The ride to Lead and Deadwood was quite nice- fast road in good repair with little traffic, long sweeping turns and beautiful scenery along the way-

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    I've started to experiment with the camera and I'd like to think that some of the shots aren't half bad-
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    Both Deadwood and Lead are pretty cool old mining towns. Seems they are still mining in Lead, while Deadwood has been pretty much converted over to a full on tourist town.

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    Spotted a KOA on the road between Deadwood and Lead and stopped there for the night-
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    Remember how I said earlier that I thought KOA's were more aimed at the RV crowd? Well, this was one of those types. Not a very pleasant location or site, but nthe staff were friendly, it was late, we were tired, and at least they had nice clean bathrooms with hot showers, WiFi and much to my son's delight, a pool and hot tub-
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    I had spotted a funky looking Pizza joint just up the road in the direction of Lead so we decided to hit that for dinner-
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    That's MY beer, in case anyone is wondering :freaky

    These crappy pics must have been taken with my iPhone...
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    Awesome pizza but a large was way more than we could finish- yippee! Pizza for breakfast!

    This place was called "Pizza Lab" and was half restaurant, half "disco"- they had a big dance floor and an actual DJ spinning the records- weird funny place. There was a big group of students from France there that evening and my son had a really good time dancing with them. I may have busted a move or two as well, but thank goodness there are no pictures of that nonsense!

    Cheers!
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    I'm full of pizza and beer- Little guy gets ice cream for desert! :D
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    Made it back to our campsite quite late and we both passed out in a flash- yet another full day of fun, adventure and discovery!

    What will tomorrow bring??? :evil
    #36
  17. edgeman6000

    edgeman6000 n00b

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    wausau, wi
    Cheers!
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    man PBR me ASAP you know a great beer!! this trip is awesome man. glad you could enjoy some quality time with your son
    #37
  18. murdock84

    murdock84 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    578
    Location:
    Elizabethtown, PA
    Keep up the pics. Looks like is having a great time!
    #38
  19. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Good morning from Deadwood, SD!
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    We rolled over to Sturgis for breakfast and to check out the toys at Sturgis Motorsports-
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    Sturgis was really really quiet. Guess other than during the big rally not much goes on there?

    Kristhawee has never been in a cave, and the Black Hills is full of them. Talked to a number of other travelers about which is best, and was advised that Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument are over run with tourists this time of year and sometimes there are so many people you can't even get in to the caves... Well, that doesn't sound like my idea of a good time :huh But a few people mentioned Wonderland Cave as a cool alternative that is a lot less crowded. Wonderland it is!

    It's a short pleasant ride to Nemo and the final mile or so of road is dirt with steep grades and in really rough shape- not my idea of a good time on the big LT, but we made it!
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    You can only enter the cave with a guide, smart I guess since to this day they still don't know where the cave ends- it's that big! Our guide was a really cutie too, college student working at the cave over her summer holiday.

    We grabbed a quick bite to eat before our tour started-
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    The entrance (not my pic)
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    Down we go- it was a pretty hot day, but nice and cool in the cave.
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    No crowds here- It was just us and one other couple! Krsthawee is diggin it!
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    They leave the lights on which has allowed ferns and moss to grow-
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    Formations found in Wonderland Cave include Stalactites, Stalagmites, Dogtooth Spar Crystals, Column Formations, Helictites, Lobulites, better known as Popcorn Crystal and frost Crystals. Calcite Lily Pads, Ribbon Stalactites, Boxwork Crystals, Flowstone and many more.

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    This is a "living" cave, which means that most of the formations are still growing.
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    Pretty hard to capture the colors with my simple point and shoot camera, but suffice to say, it was quite impressive!
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    Hands-on geology- touching flowstone
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    Some quite strange and rare formations-
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    Kristhawee in Wonderland Cave, Black Hills, South Dakota!
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    200+ steps to get out :evil
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    Bye bye Wonderland Cave!
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    #39
  20. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    I thought maybe the little guy would be tired from hiking around the cave and climbing all those stairs... Nope! He says "Dad, let's go for a hike!"

    Good on ya Kristhawee! I see what looks like an old fire road. Let's see where it goes!
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    Can't tell you how proud I am of my son- tough yet sweet little 5 year old and so interested in the world around him :thumb
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    Gorgeous afternoon for a hike, loving the solitude and views-
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    It's getting late and I have no idea where this trail goes- let's turn around-
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    My son the aspiring naturalist :D
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    We got back to camp quite late and I cooked dinner in the dark and we fell into our sleeping bags and were asleep in seconds.
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    Does life get any better than this?
    #40