Redfish Rides the Black Hills + More

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Redfish Hunter, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    This little trip has been in the planning stages for several years. My Harley riding cousin Byron, has been wanting to get his Uncle up to see Mount Rushmore and has been urging me to do this for a long time. The obstacle was the horrible, flat, boring, windswept fly over states of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. I have spent many hours plotting a route across these states trying to find something interesting.

    Turns out those "fly over states" are pretty darned wonderful. I was ignorant of how wonderful those states really are. In the background I can hear Jason Aldean singing Fly Over States...

    Like all Redfish Trips this one started out with bike maintenance. Both FJRs got fresh oil and filters, Pop got new tires and I serviced my clutch lever and bled/flushed my clutch fluid. I also found a huge rat nest in Pop's air filter which got cleaned.

    Pop's bike waiting on tires:

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    My clutch lever and bushing:


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    My faithful Garmin Zumo 660 died when I tried to update it. No idea what went wrong but I had to quickly install a brand new Zumo 396 for the trip.

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    We met at Pop's for a pre-dawn breakfast and were rolling right after good daylight.

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    We got on the Interstate at Denham Springs, LA and jetted across the Mississippi River so I could get us on two lane backroads ASAP. We traveled WNW to Toledo Bend Reservoir where we crossed Pendleton Bridge into Texas.

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    I was a little bit out of my way but Pop had requested lunch at Martin's Corner in Milam, TX. I have to thank Hppants for showing us this wonderful place on another ride.

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    It was worth the extra time. Very Good Stuff.

    I had parked the FJR atop a grassy hilltop due to lack of parking. With my recently honed dual sport skills my departure was straight down that hill with my cousin right behind me on his Harley.

    Of course there were problems. One issue was that a very dear cousin of mine from Sacramento CA was somewhere in Texas and we were trying to intercept one another and at least say hello and swap hugs. The other was that somewhere in Texas was the Awesome Gixxerjasen who was also on an intercept mission. How was I going to coordinate 3 seperate trajectories when I can barely navigate my way across my kitchen?

    Problem number 2 took care of itself. Gixxerjasen was able to find me, catch me and ride with me until after dark. God Bless that man, he went waaaay out of his way just to ride with me for a few boring hours. Friends like that...

    Jasen and Pop, Jasen doing his best no-smile-Redfish imitation:

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    The flat but fast Texas roads:

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    Problem number one got solved when my cousin and her husband were able to get in front of us and we met at a gas station in Commerce, TX. We spent about an hour in the hot Texas sun but it was great to see them again. Family that is Far Away is still Family.

    Aaaand...the first of many, many sections of Road Work we would encounter. This one sucked, we almost had head on with another vehicle because I got confused about what lane was open and what lane was closed. My fault entirely. At least there was lots of loose gravel.


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    A supper at a Dickey's BBQ a few hundred yards from our motel that night.

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    #1
  2. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Sunday, Sept 1, 2019

    We wanted to get a jump on the North Texas heat and cover some ground quickly. We hit Hwy 82 with the rising sun behind us.

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    We turned North on Main Street in Muenster, TX and headed for the Oklahoma border. Hwy 373 out of Muenster was Beautiful. Much better than we expected.

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    Soon enough we crossed the Red River into Oklahoma.

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    n the town of Ryan, OK we stopped in front of an old building for a rest and sip of water.

    When I backed off for a pic the irony hit me and I really got a laugh out of this pic. Pop was not as amused.

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    So if Oklahoma is all flat, straight and boring, what is this on the horizon?

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    Well I had routed us to:

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    Of course there was this:

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    Cousin Byron was delighted to see mountains and curves in Oklahoma:

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    The obligatory Rolling Road Block:

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    But they finally turned off and we really enjoyed the Wichita Mountains.

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    We had an encounter with two BIG Longhorns that were on either side of the road. I did not dare take my paws off the bars to work the camera so no pics of that. These critters are big and scary. Sort of like my wife, but with horns...

    Soon enough the road opened up and it looked like everything we heard about these fly over states might be true.


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    We met a fellow on a Harley cruiser at a gas station out in the middle of nowhere, Roosevelt, OK. He was confused and concerned that we would take off across Oklahoma with fuel stations so few and far between. He was not understanding that we had decent fuel range. Kind of odd but he was trying to be nice. He wished us luck but clearly felt we were not going to make it.

    Cousin Byron wanted some pics of his Harley in front of a wind mill and I saw a tiny side road off of Hwy 183 in the very dead little town of Putnam, OK. I did a U-Turn and we idled down EO800 Road to a decent stopping point to get his pic.

    Of course I took a pic too.

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    Pop found a critter with a stinger had made it into the air vent of his Neotec:


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    I found some critters that seemed fascinated with our motorcycles:


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    A few miles north on Hwy 183 in Seiling I found another windmill pic:

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    And of course more road work with lots of loose gravel on top of the chip seal:


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    But we did not find it all that boring. There was always something to catch our attention, the land was lovely.


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    What we did find was Grasshoppers. Lots of damned Grasshoppers. From Oklahoma all the way to Nebraska we encountered hordes of grasshoppers.

    Evil Creatures. They died by the thousands on my motorcycle.


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    There was lots of corn.


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    And there was lots of millet.

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    We shut it down for the evening in Scott City, Kansas at the Lazy R motel. The owner was really nice, the place was really clean and there was a decent restaurant within walking distance. The owner wanted to talk motorcycles and fishing and we chatted with him until I was about to fall asleep in my chair. I recommend the Lazy R if any of you ever happen to be in Scott, Kansas for the night. And that is a pretty big "IF"!


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    I tend to "explode" in the room when I unload the bike.

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    A clean little place:

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    There were so many dead grasshoppers on Pop's FJR that the flies were feeding on his bike. There are at least 5 flies in this pic. Of course it may have been the sugar in the paint on that sweet pink bike...


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    #2
  3. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Monday Sept. 2, 2019

    Labor Day. Our little restaurant was closed for the holiday so we just rolled out and pointed ourselves North up Hwy 83. Our friendly motel owner told Cousin Byron about some "White Buffalo" that a friend of his had just outside a little state park we had never heard of just north of town. He told us to take Hwy 95 which was just a loop that would rejoin Hwy 83 and to look for these animals right before the park entrance.

    Rolling up Hwy 83 in the rising sun:

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    So we took Hwy 95 and I rode right past the entrance to Scott Lake State Park without ever seeing a White Buffalo. I was disappointed but then I heard the deep rumble of Byron's Big Harley and he roared past me, gesturing for a U-Turn.

    So we went back and saw:


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    Obviously they were not WHITE, they were more a light tan. Still, it was different. And I was ashamed that I had not spotted them at all. I was proud of Byron, it was his idea to go, he found them and he got his pictures.

    And he had a right to look smug since he saw them and I did not. You can see a few of them even in this pic.


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    I thought the FJRs looked nice in the early morning sun:


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    I am not sure what my GPS really meant here...


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    Kansas was neither Flat nor Boring:

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    Just across the Nebraska border on Hwy 25 outside of Trenton is Swanson Lake. This ride across the dam was refreshing and was a welcome break from the green fields and cattle.


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    We found Nebraska to be constantly rolling, not flat at all.


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    Redfish's carefully typed directions in the tank bag:


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    Flat? Boring? Really?

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    Then outside of Ogallala, NE we came to Lake McConaughy. It had looked interesting on the maps but was spectacular in reality. There were at least a million campers being towed out of there following the Labor Day holiday. They were everywhere.

    Note the water exploding up into a white spray behind Pop:


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    Pop's pink FJR with its hideous GYTR mufflers...

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    And back into the open country:

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    And back into Road Work.

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    There are some dead grasshopper remnants on my Cee Bailey:

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    The intersection of Hwy 61 and Hwy 2 at Beem Lake in Nebraska. The train was just passing behind the lake. Pop counted over 100 cars in that train while we watched it pass.


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    Nebraska...

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    Suddenly, What The Complete &%$#?

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    Really? Well, there was plenty of room to pass so it wasn't that bad.

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    Nebraska:

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    And then... South Dakota!

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    Sunflowers:

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    And then a stop I wish I had not made. Some of you may remember a Val Kilmer movie from 1992 called Thunderheart. Laugh if you want but that movie always stuck in my mind and I wanted to visit this...place. It really ruined my pleasant afternoon. That and the tick infested dogs that tried to climb up on our bikes and their owners selling trinkets at this awful, awful place.

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    I was anxious to get out of there. We headed north up the Bigfoot Trail. It's named after the Indian Chief, not my wife!

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    The edges of The Badlands.

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    he Badlands remind me of those Impossible Drawings, just when you think you have the ground figured out you realize that surface is not the top...I find this hard to explain but it is worth seeing.

    A few Buffalo in The Badlands:


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    Fortune had smiled on us for the past day and a half, the prevailing wind had been from almost due South and my route had us pointed North most of the time. But now we were pointed West on Hwy 44 and forced into a cross wind and the plains were not nearly as pleasant.

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    We took a water break just outside of Rapid City and were disappointed to find we had missed:

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    This mean looking fellow was feasting on dead Grasshoppers on the Harley:

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    Stuck with riding the Interstate from Rapid City to Sturgis:

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    But 14A from Sturgis to Deadwood was nice:


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    The parking at our rental cabin sucked so we parked in the side yard.

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    Byron and I found a local grocery, bought supplies and came back to make sandwiches and salad for supper. Pop had showered by the time we returned and settled back with:


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    A word of warning. Those "beers" sucked. That was a mistake on my part and I will not repeat it.

    This:

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    Is NOT Good Beer. It's not even really beer.
    #3
  4. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Tuesday Sept. 3, 2019

    At this point we had done 3 consecutive days of just over 500 miles with a bare minimum of Interstate. It was time to ride some curvy roads and see some beautiful things.

    Maybe it's time for me to slow the Picture Puke and talk a little bit.

    My cousin Byron pushed for this trip. Byron actually pushed Pop and I into our very first Motorcycle Trip many years ago. Byron likes, no he LOVES his Harleys and he is a Rider. He really rides his Harley, it is not a garage queen. That CVO with the 110 inch Screaming Eagle motor has over 50K miles on it. It handles much better than most of you would believe and it runs better/faster than any Harley I ever rode.

    Pop turned 74 years old right before this trip started. There is always the concern that he is "Getting Too Old" but so far that has not happened. He is still capable of riding the FJR all day and into the night if need be. We have slowed our twisty riding down a bit in recent years but we still really enjoy our FJRs.

    I (as always) had a beautifully planned route to get us up there but I had left the remainder of the ride to daily planning and circumstance. I had rented this wonderful little cabin for 4 nights and we had a great base of operations in Central City just West of Deadwood SD.

    I cooked a decent eggs and bacon breakfast and we began our day.

    Now, let's see some of The Black Hills!

    Well, actually... let's try to wash some grasshopper guts off of the bikes. Strangely, Pop's red towel that had been washed many times and had become a rag somehow reacted to the water in the bucket or maybe the bug guts and started bleeding red. We rinsed that bucket out several times and that rag just kept bleeding.

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    The morning:

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    Notice in these first two how I am such a great photographer I am able to get the Harley in the main pic yet still capture Pop in my right mirror. I am just really good like that.

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    We rode Iron Mountain Road and finally reached:

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    Of course they were doing repair work on the Avenue of Flags so we did not get the pics we wanted. We all spent a lot of money in the gift shop and then we rolled out to Custer State Park.

    Lots of slow traffic, you hardly ever get room to lean the bikes.

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    We did find some other vantage points:

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    And here we see Pop starting to look a bit ragged and tired. His back was hurting him and he was not comfortable.

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    While we were in the visitor's center at Custer State Park Byron suddenly told me we were going to watch the movie. I did not want to watch the movie. Byron then Told Me that we were Going To Watch The Movie. When we walked into the theater and I saw the big comfy seats I realized my cousin was giving his old Uncle a rest for his sore back. I wish I had been that clever.

    The Needles Hwy.

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    And here we got stalled. No one was moving so Byron rode his Harley up front to see what the problem might be.

    I will let the pics tell most of this story.

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    Blowing your horn at a fully grown Mountain Goat may have undesirable consequences. We all figured Byron was about to get his ass busted and his bike scratched.

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    Fortunately the goat decided to let Byron off with a warning and they went back to eating.

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    We were finally able to convince the Ford driver to ease on through and the goats moved.

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    But only temporarily. Then I had to go up there and say mean things to folks. There were animal lover know it alls, there were frightened tourists and there was pissed off Redfish. But the damned goats moved and then traffic did too.

    Pop resting his sore back with the Crazy Horse mountain in the background. Or as Cousin Byron put it, "This is Lazy Horse in front of Crazy Horse!"

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    It was getting late and we had to head back to the cabin. So we took Hwy 385 to Hwy 16 across the Wyoming border to Newcastle then Hwy 85 back into South Dakota and back to the cabin. It was actually a splendid ride.

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    Somewhere on that high speed run I had yet another Bird Strike. I am not sure why the AssFault Gray bike is so fatal to birds. I am really unhappy with this phenomenon. It has happened so many times with this bike that it cannot just be Bad Luck.

    We swung back by the DakotaMart, and did some more grocery shopping. Byron wanted to buy a small bottle of whiskey, we really did not need a full size bottle. So he asked our Naughty Girl cashier if they had any smaller bottles.

    "Smaller than a liter? Why? Are the children drinking?" After we stopped laughing Byron bought a fifth of Gentleman Jack and our cashier girl approved of his choice.

    I grilled hamburgers for our supper but the grill caught itself on fire and I had to work a bit harder than I expected.

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    After supper Pop relaxed in the cabin while I started planning the next day's route.

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    And I found this Sorry SOB trying to steal some of my precious Community Dark Roast Coffee brought all the way from Louisiana. I would have fought with him but after head butting at least a million of his brothers during the previous two days I was a little bit intimidated by him.

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    And I have to ask y'all. Does this tire look Normal? :hmmmmm

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    #4
  5. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,089
    Been on that needles highway last year. Stopped in exactly the same spot, probably by those exact goats. Way too funny for words.
    #5
    TreasureState and Redfish Hunter like this.
  6. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Wednesday Sept. 4, 2019

    Today we ride to The Badlands. Frankly, I wasn't really excited about this. I had seen enough on the ride in. But this is what folks do when they come up here so...

    Just to be clear, I actually loved The Badlands. This was much better than I expected.

    The day started off great, we took Nemo Road to Rapid City and then Hwy 44 out thru Scenic. We stopped at the Visitor's Center... but we actually stopped at the wrong one. The Official Visitor's Center was next door. It was okay, we spent a few coins in the gift shop anyway.

    The Badlands:

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    Bad Ass Byron in The Badlands:

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    Everything looks Bad in The Badlands:

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    There is a Big Bull Buffalo on the other side of my Big Bad Bike in The Badlands:

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    And we were actually leaving The Badlands.

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    It was about time for lunch and about time for another of the things that you are supposed to do out here. So we rode to:

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    Which was kind of okay because Pop's back was hurting him really badly by that point. He was taking Aleve, Advil, Tylenol and regular aspirin at various times and nothing was helping. I was getting concerned. Also his camera card had locked up the day before so we needed another one.

    We went into the café and I ordered a Roast Beef Sandwich. I did not realize this was going to be a knife and fork affair but it was Very Tasty and I enjoyed it very much.

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    Byron and I were obligated to walk over to the Harley Store to buy some T-Shirts for some riding friends back home. It may seem silly but I get Harley shirts from all over the place from well meaning friends. I pay the favor forward. What self respecting South Louisiana Harley rider wouldn't want a Badlands Harley T-Shirt?

    My route back which I had made with input from my cousin who had ridden this area before was a failure. My chosen road turned to dirt. We had to ride the Interstate all the way back to Sturgis and that is not my Happy Place for sure. The Wind beat on us pretty good and we were all a little rough when we got back to Sturgis.

    Why was I in Sturgis? Because a Good Friend had recommended:

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    And yes, he received one of the Harley T-Shirts when I got home.

    A few I liked:

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    I do like a good motorcycle museum. This one was small but still very nice and well laid out. It is worth your time if you are ever in Sturgis.

    We rode out to Glencoe Road to try to check out a campground for Byron's next Sturgis Rally but the road was gravel and we opted out.

    On the road back we passed the dealership where I believe Wendy Crockett works. I wanted to stop in but figured she might not appreciate having her day interrupted by strangers.

    I asked Pop if he would cook that night. He really does cook most things better than I do.

    Clever Rascal that he is, he smeared our morning bacon grease all over the steaks when he seasoned them.

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    There were mule deer wandering around just behind the cabin while we cooked:

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    Take note of the Allen Wrenches lying on the table:

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    While Pop worked on the steaks I was adjusting his handlebars. When we installed the HeliBar Bridge on his '14 he wanted the bars in the full forward position. I decided that Something Had to Happen to ease his back pain. He was looking all of his 74 years when would get off the bike during the day.

    I am pleased to tell you that my little adjustment worked. Each day after that Pop's back felt better and better. And he didn't get mad at me for fooling with his bike!

    Well you are probably wondering how the steaks turned out. They were Delicious! Just look at how happy I was!

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    #6
  7. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Thursday Sept. 5, 2019

    Today we are going to ride to Devil's Tower! I did not know that my sister in law had a tower...

    We took Hwy 14A up Spearfish Canyon:

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    We stopped at Bridal Veil Falls. This was not pleasant for me. My memory of lifting that veil is one of sheer horror and then suffering. When I said this aloud several of the female tourists seemed to get irritated with me. I just don't understand women...

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    We rode through Spearfish up Hwy 85 to Belle Fourche and then rode Hwy 34/24 toward Hulett and Devil's Tower. I REALLY enjoyed that road. Pop was more relaxed in the open sweepers and his back was responding to the handlebar adjustments. It was a Great Morning.

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    We took Hwy 14 down to Sundance and Hwy 585 and then Hwy 85 back to Spearfish Canyon which we rode again. We rode Hwy 34 from Belle Fourche SE and jumped on I-90 for a few miles to Sturgis. We showed Pop all the big saloons that always show up on TV and stopped by the J&P Cycles outlet looking for a replacement cup holder for Byron's Harley. This was mostly a failure but at least we tried.

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    We parked the bikes and settled down for our last night in the little cabin. It was a great little place. We washed clothes and ate the remains of whatever was in the refrigerator.

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    #7
  8. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,047
    Location:
    sunny san diego
    Nice report!! Dig it that you are cruisin with pops!!
    #8
  9. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,089
    Does your wife and relatives read this? If so, you might not be long for this world!
    #9
  10. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    I don't think BigUn (Mrs. Redfish) can read. Except for restaurant menus, she does pretty well with those. My favorite sister-in-law is too excited about her new broom to read this. She says it is really fast and she is all excited about riding it this Halloween.
    #10
  11. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
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    Oh man, you really like to live on the edge!
    #11
  12. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Friday Sept 6, 2019

    Our last morning in The Black Hills, our last breakfast in our little cabin. It was raining lightly and the radar showed plenty more to come. We killed almost an hour thinking it would pass but the mountains have a way of making their own weather. Of course with Redfish and his motorcycle there will always be rain. Never fails.

    Pop cooked breakfast while I fussed over maps and route details:

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    We rode in sporadic rain all the way into:

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    It was still raining lightly after we had passed Devil's Tower.

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    The rain finally stopped but it stayed cloudy and dark as we crossed Eastern Wyoming on Hwy 14A.

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    We had to take I-90 from Moorcroft to Gillette. The wind and the high speeds made this stretch a little unpleasant. I just do not enjoy the interstate. We used Hwy 14A as much as we could.

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    We had a surprisingly tasty lunch in Clearmont Wyoming at Clear Creek Food n Fuel. The nice woman was glad to have us and we were happy to be there.

    Once again we had to get on the Interstate at Sheridan. At Ranchester we got back on Hwy 14 and headed toward the Bighorns. Just as we started to climb we encountered more road work. I think that was the 10,347th section of road work we hit and our trip was not even half done.

    As we sat idling and waiting our turn Pop's voice in the headset asked me a Very Silly Question. "Are we pointing uphill or downhill?"

    "WTH?" I thought. It was quite obvious our bikes were pointing downhill and I told him so.

    "Alright then Smartass. Let go of your brake and see which way your bike rolls", Pop responded.

    To my surprise, the FJR went BACKWARDS! It really looked to all 3 of us like we were pointing down that hill but gravity usually doesn't lie.

    When we finally rolled through the construction zone we found to our horror that it was dirt and gravel. Not really good stuff either. We each picked a rut and the FJRs and the Harley rumbled through it but we were not too happy.

    Then we started climbing and riding the most perfect twisty road imaginable. Behind a long line of sloooow cars and campers. I found us a pull off to wait for traffic to clear.

    My logic was that with a substantial gap in traffic created by the road repair crew we could just wait until I saw the next line of cars coming and then we could dart out and really enjoy that wonderful road. Of course Pop and Byron started taking pics and talking and generally wasting time.

    I decided to hurry them along...

    Pop wasn't having it. "I don't give a F***!" he said. "I will probably never come here again and I am going to get my damned picture!"

    So yeah. I apologized and waited until Pop got his picture(s). Byron was as surprised as I was but then he laughed at me.

    But we did get ahead of that traffic... And the Bighorns were splendid.

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    And then MORE road repair. This time the gravel and dirt was deep and we really needed our Dual Sports instead of the FJRs. I was struggling and figured Pop was going to go down any moment. When I finally saw pavement on the other side I was thrilled and relieved all at once. Pop and I know we are better riders since we got those Dual Sports but we still suck with a heavy Sport Tourer and dirty gravel.

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    The road opened up and we were in Awe of the Bighorn Mountains. That is a beautiful part of the world and I recommend it highly.

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    The Medicine Wheel is on this mountain but we did not take the rutted gravel road up there:

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    And the road started to descend...

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    Bighorn Lake:

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    The weather was closing in on us and so was darkness so we stopped in Lovell to try to secure some rooms a couple towns up the road. A Very Strong gust of wind hit us knocking over garbage cans, scattering leaves and debris and rocking the FJRs on their side stands. Pop did not like the idea of getting caught in some freak prairie wind storm so we decided to stop in Lovell for the night.

    Except there were only 3 options in Lovell and 2 were already full. I made a supra-legal run up Main Street in Lovell and got us a couple of rooms at The Western Motel. This was really a low point for me. At that time anyway...

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    There was a decent little Bar and Grill across the street. We had a couple of beers while waiting on our food and then walked back across the road to eat it at the patio of our motel. And Mallory the bartender was really nice and she had on a white tank top and... Anyway the food was really good.
    #12
  13. NC Rick

    NC Rick Cogent Dynamics Inc

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,787
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    I would try a little more rear tire pressure. I’m going to guess that it is a dual compound tire and is either running a little hot or you were hot-rodding in some corners which would mean they are normal?
    #13
  14. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Rick, it is a dual compound tire. I was doing some semi-aggressive riding which always results in a look similar to that. The main reason I posted that is because that is the Michelin Road 5 which is SUPPOSED to be the replacement for their excellent PR4/PR4GT. Turns out that it Michelin is not recommending the Road 5 for the FJR. This is strange because the load ratings are the same for the Road 5, the PR4 and the PR4GT. Of course my local dealers no longer keep the PR4s in stock because the Road 5 is the Newest Thing. Therefore I put a set on both FJRs for this trip. I have 7149 miles on mine and they still have tread but they look awful. The front is scalloped badly.

    Regarding air pressures, we are running 41/41 on both bikes which is what we have run with the PR2, PR3, PR4 and PR4GT. But in the pics the rear does look squishy.
    #14
    EZMoney likes this.
  15. NC Rick

    NC Rick Cogent Dynamics Inc

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,787
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    I will be curious to hear if the issue clears up with an unloaded bike. Michelin obviously knows something. I have road 4s on the ST2 and see some front scalloping. I don’t ride it a lot so they are on the bike for a long time. I think I run too low of pressures.
    #15
    Redfish Hunter likes this.
  16. Nogoodnamesleft

    Nogoodnamesleft Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    6,719
    Location:
    Brisbane
    good stuff
    cheers for sharing. :thumb

    maybe your tyre is shot because you were trying to keep up with a harley.. :D

    and a comfy looking harley at that. perfect bike for a trip like that i reckon. :thumb
    #16
    slipknot, Lil' Steve and NC Rick like this.
  17. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    I was hoping you would read this and see that Harley. When he bought it I advised him to NOT buy the CVO with the Screaming Eagle motor. I believed that the standard motor would be more reliable and better for the long trips and riding that he does. That was 50K+ miles ago and that motor is still doing Very Well.
    #17
    NC Rick likes this.
  18. MotorPsycho Miko

    MotorPsycho Miko Ride, ride, ride.

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Near Raleigh, NC
    Awesome trip report! I rode through the Black Hills years ago and really enjoyed it. You will always remember you and your dad did this trip.
    #18
  19. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Thanks! I am trying to get it finished. There are just too many pics this time and too much ground was covered.

    Glad you are enjoying it and hopefully I will make some more progress tonight.
    #19
  20. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    There was a Maverick gas station/convenience store across from the bar/grill where we got supper so I walked over to get our morning coffee. To my delight they served some excellent breakfast tacos and breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches and... Any way I wish we had these Maverick things down in my Louisiana home. These are wonderful.

    My chosen route for the morning was engineered to let me get this picture:

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    Cousin Byron was happy to get some pics of his own too.

    We took Hwy 14A to Ralston then Hwy 294 up to Hwy 120. Hwy 120 became Hwy 72 at the Montana Border. At Belfry we took Hwy 308 west.

    I was having difficulty telling what was mountains and what was clouds, but it was a beautiful morning as we rolled toward Red Lodge, Montana.

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    When we got to Red Lodge we turned south on Hwy 212, the famed Beartooth Hwy. I have read and heard for years that the Beartooth is The Best Motorcycle Road in North America.

    Well... Yes it is a beautiful, a spectacularly beautiful place. Yes the road is tight, twisty, technically demanding and the pavement is good. But Pop and I had some difficulty riding it well. I finally realized that the distances are too far, the views too wonderful. When I would look across at some beautiful vista and then turn my attention back to the road in front, my eyes and my internal distance judgement could not recalibrate quickly enough. I shared my thoughts with Pop and we decided we had to either ride the road for the curves or we had to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Since I was leading, we slowed down to look at scenery. I can always find a familiar twisty road when I get home. I may never get a chance to ride the Beartooth again.

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    You may notice the sky was very overcast and there were some scattered raindrops. These two morons were openly hoping for snow. They thought it would be cool to ride in snow. And we could get some wonderful pictures. I said some ugly things to them and then prayed it would not snow.

    I am thrilled to say that even though we got down to 42 degrees F, there was no snow.


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    They had to settle for the snow that had not melted yet and thankfully was not in the road.

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    I messed up and rode right past the summit sign and overlook. Byron had sense enough to stop and get his pics so Pop and I waited for him at the next convenient spot. I mention this because it was just so nice to ride with someone that had sense, understood that mistakes happen and trusted me to lead the ride without giving me grief when I messed up. We knew he would be along and happy in a few minutes and he was. Those of you that have made a long motorcycle trip with the wrong person know exactly what I mean here.

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    Beartooth Lake. The little bird would dive under the water chasing I have no idea what. Since it was 42F I was not going into the water to find out.

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    All good things must come to an end... We turned left on 296, the Chief Joseph Hwy. This was a fantastic road and Pop and I both rode it with more confidence than we did the Beartooth. This is a fantastic section of the world to ride, I cannot describe any of it properly. Hopefully the Picture Puke helps.

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    What is Byron doing down there next to his Harley?

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    Let's take a closer look!

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    Y'all know I had to tell him about the heated grips on the FJRs don't you?

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    I don't think Cousin Byron is a typical Harley rider.

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    I am going to split today's ride into two parts in this report.

    We took Hwy 120 south to Cody and then...
    #20