Meandering north to Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jwc, May 24, 2019.

  1. ICBMguy

    ICBMguy Misunderstood misanthrope

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    You missed the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe, MT! A great little side-trip outside of Red Lodge. That's still my favorite area to ride in and I'm jealous. Enjoy the rest of the trip!
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  2. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    7/10/2019

    Keystone is right around the corner from the Mt Rushmore Memorial so we left all our gear at the hotel and rode to see it. As we arrived at the last curve before the memorial entrance there is an excellent view of the four presidents. Some snap a few photos here and call it good but we wanted to see the museum we had heard about. As we entered we were given parking chits ( don’t lose these ). These were used in a parking type chit reader to collect $10 from each of us. -If we had two upped we could have halved our entrance fee - The view from the main viewing platform inside the complex was closer and more unobstructed. There is also a boardwalk that has strategically placed informational plaques on each of the presidents depicted as the face comes into view. Of course there are all the other amenities that are usually involved such as ranger talks, cafes, bookstores, and gift shops. After a few hours we headed back to the hotel to pack the bikes and leave. And they want your entry chit to leave.

    Entrance
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    On the Presidential Trail
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    Sculptures Studio
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  3. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    We had a flexible appointment for my tire change so we decided to take a more round about loop to get there.
    thanks twowings we are off to Custer State Park and Needles Highway. As we rode up to where 16A and the road to the memorial split we ran into a parking lot of cars waiting to go in. There were cars coming from the other direction that also wanted to turn in, but no one was moving. It would seem that like many places of public interest you have to get there early. I have no doubt as to the beauty of the Needles Highway if any of the other roads we have travelled in The Black Hills area are any indication. But I think getting tired and slogging through so much traffic was just too much, so we turned around and left it for another time.

    When I spoke with the service dept at Rices I told them that I was running a taped rim and a tubeless tire on my rear wheel and to leave the valve There was some concern over this and what shape the valve stem was in. If the valve stem looked sketchy they couldn’t leave it in and just replaced the tire. I had decided that if they wouldn’t install the tire I would just buy the tire and install it later when I had access to a air chuck to seat the bead. But once I got there the folks were very friendly and after a quick look gave a passing grade to my valve stem and took my bike back right away. (It’s a short metal stem made for truck rims, sturdy and leak free so far for over 11k miles).

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    We decided to walk over to eat a late lunch at Sickies Burgers and Brews that was right next door for one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. I wish they had this chain in Louisiana. After eating too much we walked back to the dealership and browsed trough all the new bikes on the showroom floor including the new KTM 790 they had in stock. Now this is the kind of window shopping I like.

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    Tire installed We took off for the Badlands National Park is so could see for ourselves what we had heard about it was true. Hopefully from a moving bike instead of the parked vehicles we had seen at Custer.

    Since we were passing through Wall SD we thought we’d make a quick pass through. Wow, the Wall Drugstore is blocks long and wide, way larger than what I was expecting. We skipped all of the retail shops on the front boardwalk and found a large and interesting exhibit in the back of the complex of old photographs from the 1800’s. From the photographs you could get a feel for the people that actually lived and worked from that time period. We also found they serve decent pie and that there is a real pharmacy tucked away in the middle of it all. Who knew?
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  4. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    The ride through the Badlands was unencumbered of traffic and we pulled over at the scenic overviews. But we were both feeling fatigued and kept comparing it to the painted desert in Arizona. I think failed to appreciate it.

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    Attached Files:

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  5. Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem Moto Aficionado Supporter

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    If it's not too late...hit the Purple Pie Place in Custer, good stuff.
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  6. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    The ranger at the entrance kiosk had told us that the road to Interior, SD was well marked. As we neared the end of the loop where it turns north to the Ben Reifel Visitors Center the gps told me to turn down an unmarked dirt road. It looked interesting so we took it, we could always turn around. As it happens it’s about 2 miles of mostly groomed dirt and gravel as long as you miss the potholes that brings you to the town of Interior. An unassuming town of less than 100 people it did have gas that were still open but the grill was closed for the day. A sign advertised a KOA 4 miles down hwy44 which we were told also served food. Thinking I was going to find a run down deserted campground in the middle of nowhere we were pleasantly surprised to see a nearly full well maintained campground with friendly and helpful staff with a kitchen that had 30 more minutes before closing. Perfect, we secured our spot and dinner at once.

    Alas, while there the front door zipper on our Big Agnes Big House tent that we have used since our trip in 2017 quit closing properly. Fiddling with it for about 30 min finally secured the front opening. The back opening will suffice for tonight. I’ll send it back to Big Agnes for repair.


    To show our mindset, I forgot to take the. obligatory tent photo. This is our site after we were packed and ready to head out.
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  7. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I found Badlands amazing, but I was heading westward and so it was the first thing of interest I'd seen since entering the plains. In hindsight, the other more Western parks are more breathtaking.
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  8. Dwrtgs

    Dwrtgs n00b

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    I enjoyed the post. Ray sent me the link. So many good photos and a great narrative.
    I believe I have been to nearly all the places you visited on your adventure. This post brought back so many memories of my travels. You are welcome to visit anytime you are back in Michigan. God Bless.......Doug Wells.
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  9. mark2wheeler

    mark2wheeler Adventurer

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    I enjoyed your ride report.Thanks for the effort.
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  10. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    We appreciated Mother’s Arms Guide Service and getting the grand tour of the UP, it was a lot of fun riding with you and Dave. We’ll definitely be back your way, and if you’re ever in South Louisiana you’ll have many options.
  11. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    7/11/2019

    We were packed up and on the road about an hour sooner than usual and headed out on South Dakota’s back roads toward Evergreen CO where we would visit with relatives and rest up for a few days. As we rode it seemed every 20 miles we were turning on a different road. It was an interesting ride through an area that puts nowhere in the phrase “the middle of nowhere”.
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    At first the terrain was a little hilly that gradually flattened out till the Rockies came into view as we neared Denver. We rode through the Pine Ridge Reservation and stopped at a small parking lot with a sign that documented the events of the Wounded Knee massacre. There also were rustic booths where locals were selling handmade crafts. It appeared that the folks there could use the sales so we bought a couple of items from the ladies there. We also talked to Micheal who said he was a resident of the area. He claimed several times that he was just a simple man though I found him to be a shrewd negotiator as the prices for his sweet grass dream catcher rose and fell as he saw opportunity.
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  12. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    As we rode down Hwy 87 toward Alliance NE an interesting display caught our eye. It was made of vintage cars set in the ground intended to replicate the Stonehenge in England. It reminded me of the Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo. We stopped to stretch our legs get something cold to drink and take a look.

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    As is very likely known to anyone who lives anywhere in the area the construction on I25 and rush hour traffic on Hwy 287 and 93 from Loveland all the way to Denver kept vehicles to a crawl. But eventually we made it to Evergreen and were greeted by our waiting relatives. We only rode 455 miles but it took 11.5 hours. Whew.

    While on the road we usually don’t monitor any news so were surprised to hear of the weather reports of tropical storm Barry bearing down on Louisiana. We will have to delay the final leg of our ride home till the storm passes and possibly for roads to clear. Our prayers are for our friends and family in the area facing potentially severe flooding so soon after the 2016 flood disaster which some have only in the last year have completed recovery repairs.
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  13. nuke65

    nuke65 Adventurer

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    Great pictures and RR. Sorry we missed seeing you a second time. Fuzzy and I are both home now.
  14. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    I can't click 'Like' on the Wounded Knee pics, my heart is too heavy...but thank you for including them...have a safe trip home!
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  15. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    I know what you mean.
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  16. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I've found it odd that Carhenge remains untouched yet Cadillac Ranch is ruined by spray bomb vandals over and over again. :dunno
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  17. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    The lady working the info / snack counter told us that they paint over any graffiti as soon as it’s found and encouraged visitors to report any they find.
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  18. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    Not only spray paint it, but they leave the cans.
  19. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    The graffiti at Cadillac Ranch is encouraged - it's meant to be interactive and they repaint the cars periodically for various reasons.

    The cans left behind are a bummer, though.
  20. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    There’s a rather gruesome book that covers all the deaths in Yellowstone NP. There is a whole chapter on thermal feature deaths. Yuck.