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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by woolfman, Aug 9, 2014.
Outstanding! I'm really enjoying this report.
Keep on having the time of your lifes. I wish I could do what you all are doing. If you come down south to el paso feel free to contact me for a place to stay. Cheers
You guys and gals have mr vicariously reliving my ill spent youth!
Those gals are real troopers. My bride used to be like that about 30 years ago, now she wants a few more creature comforts.
They say youth is wasted on the young, well not for this group!!!
Don't take this the wrong way: I though this was a thread about something that happened a good few years ago... It has an old feel... but it's beautiful.
Glad to read that you enjoyed your time in MN and SD.
If a person is comfortable in solitude, the wide open of South Dakota is a beautiful sight.
Love'n this time warp RR. Further proof, all you need is a bike that starts and the right attitude. oh and some mechanical skills
Good job with the pics, they tell the story.
Anyone else notice that the two tone (rust and white) coupe in the car graveyard has the word ADONDE in chrome on the front. Means "where" in Spanish, but what the heck make of car is this?
Saw that. It's size leads me to believe it's an import...maybe Mexican? Has the lines of a Dodge/Plymouth influence to me.
No idea what it is but it looks interesting. No front grill for radiator airflow, possibly an air cooled rear engine?
big time respect for these young people. thanks for sharing your story.
of course when I did my cross country trip 30+ years ago it was uphill, both ways, in the SNOW!
Yeah, I hadn't paid enough attention to the lack of a front grill or radiator opening. The front end reminds me a lot of a Panhard PL 17 (if I recall correctly) but not quite an exact match.
Subscribed, Thanks for sharing.
That car was a Simca Aronde. It was the only "ferrin" car he had there besides the MG. There wasn't an drivetrain in it but it was a front engine setup.
So we woke up in the sunflower field around dawn, packed up, and hit the road towards Pierre, with the Badlands as our goal.
Pierre is a weird little town, but we grabbed some coffee there and hung out on the sidewalk for a bit, met a GSer who had just completed a 5 week trip up the Dalton, grabbed some groceries and got out of there.
I forget what highway we were on but it was great, we pulled over for about 30 minutes at one point and only 3 vehicles went by the whole time. We all were running wide open and felt like the kings of the road, like it was all ours.
Oh yeah, so after the bike graveyard visit in Minnesota, Anna became infatuated with Honda Dreams and Benlys, and spent the remainder of her time on the trip Craigslisting for those specific bikes while riding at 70 mph behind Nick... Proof:
Last gas stop before Badlands.
We took backroads all the way into the park, coming in on the Northeast Entrance. As soon as we got in we pulled over to regroup and look at the park map and this guy in an orange vest and hardhat came running over. He was over the moon to see the "Honda CX convention". Turns out he used to have one back in the day and loved it. We talked bikes with him for a bit and he took a few pictures to put on his website, which you can see here: http://jupiterhack.blogspot.com/
We made our way through the park, pulling off every now and then and hiking around. The bikes didn't draw much attention but Nick's orange rattail certainly attracted its fair share of staring from some of the more discerning parents we encountered. Either that's not a big Midwest thing or they need to get out more. We wanted to take advantage of the free camping in the park, about 12 miles down a really well groomed gravel road called Sage Creek, hoping it wasn't too crowded as it was a Friday.
Once we got there and established a spot, Nick and I unloaded our bikes so we could go faster on the gravel and headed into Wall for groceries. It was utterly ridiculous how much faster and how much better the machines handled without all the weight on them. We both got off the bikes with shit-eating grins on our faces and the best part was we got to do it all over again just to get back to the campsite. On the way back I stopped to take a quick bath in some of the muddy silty river and probably got dirtier than I did clean, but it felt great. As I was headed back to the campsite I came around a turn and had to lay on the brakes hard because there was a bit of a bison jam in the way. I gave them a few minutes to clear out and when they didn't I just started to pull through slowly they started to scramble out of the way. There was one mega-monster-bison who was a bit intimidating but I just didn't make eye contact with that guy and gunned on past...
We cooked up a feast and watched the sun set as it gave way to some of the best stargazing we'd seen yet. The milky way was a clear stripe across the night sky and I lost count of the shooting stars after a dozen of them.
The next morning we all woke up as soon as we were baked out of our tents. Seriously, you could have cooked a pizza in those things. We braved the wind for a bit before deciding to pack it up and head onwards. We were enticed by this sign to enter the tourist trap mecca of Wall.
I'm not too big on really crowded places with lots of people so I sat down at a table, had way too much 5 cent coffee, tried to ignore the hustle and bustle, read the history of Wall Drug and hoped we'd get out of there pretty soon. As some of the others were perusing the many goods that nobody really wants or needs (Who the hell needs a 3/D dinosaur placemat for their kitchen table?), a really nice guy covered in tattoos and long braids walked up and chatted with us because we were the quote "only other weird looking people in the whole town". We took it as a compliment.
From Wall we wanted to head towards the Black Hills. I drove by Rushmore a few years ago and though it was kind of sad and insulting. Here, lets take a beautiful perfectly good mountainside and carve some 'Merica into it, take that Native Americans! In my head I saw it as a scar on nature, but I was talking to my dad about it and he made me think about it a little differently. The way he saw it boiled down to the idea that it was constructed in an era under circumstances that we'll likely never see again. Projects like it and the Hoover Dam are unrealistic in this day and age. Can you imagine the public uproar and cost if we tried to do a new Mount Rushmore these days? Anyways, after looking at it from historical perspective I was willing to give it another shot. Until we got there that is.
Wall must be purgatory because Keystone and the roads leading in are surely hell. Its like a Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg in South Dakota. Drive thru bear exhibits? Largest captive reptile collection? Christmas in August? You can do all of that and more while eating crappy food and panning for gold in Keystone, and then to get into Rushmore you can pay $11 for parking (actually it would have been $33 for the three bikes, even though they can all fit into one space). We unanimously agreed to pass on that and made our way to a viewpoint a mile or so past where all you can see is Washington's head.
Nick is generally a pretty happy go lucky kind of guy, but when we pulled over you could just about see the rage boiling out of his helmet. I'd love to repeat his rant and diatribe against Keystone and Rushmore but it would make even a hardened sailor blush. Suffice to say he wasn't too pleased. Neither were the rest of us, but we took a small amount of joy in watching him throw a little tantrum.
We hung out here until we couldn't take the drone from the neverending stream of Harleys any longer, and immediately our moods got better as we passed through some unbelievably gorgeous forests and mountains. We pulled over at a lake to jump off a perfectly good cliff down into the water, well after waiting for some wimpy teenager to take about 20 minutes to grow a pair big enough to do it first....
This is kind of when Ben's bike started to fall apart. We had noticed a knocking noise in the Badlands and it was here at the side of the lake that we took the time to track it down. The cooling fan we had replaced just 2000 miles before had cracked at the mounting base again, a common CX fault. It wasn't the noise that bothered us, its that if you let it deteriorate long enough it will let go and blow through your radiator. We elected to just remove the fan entirely and try to not let it get too hot. Ben's bike now has a propellor bungied to the back of his bike which causes some fun second glances from strangers.
From here we went just a few more miles into Hill City, which is touristy, but not nearly as bad as Keystone was. We gassed up with some local GS guys with Australian accents and set off in search of a forest road we'd been told about a couple miles out of town.
Once we found a good site a few miles in, Nick and I unloaded and raged through the dirt back to Hill City for water and groceries, marveling once again at how well the bikes did off-road without much weight, at least considering what top heavy behemoths they are in the first place. We made it back before dark, grilled up an awesome dinner over the fire, and kicked back, watching shooting stars, seeing one really long and bright one that could have been an asteroid, and just laughing ourselves to sleep.
This is what I would be seeing with those critters in my way-----
Guess Rushmore serves its intended purpose...to be a tourist magnet for South Dakota. Sacred to Native Americans? No problem. It was a different time, when Manifest Destiny was taught in schools as if it was an order from God. How ironic you can pan for gold there, since it a gold rush (started by a Custer expedition) that led to the Feds taking the Black Hills from the Lakota. Funny how a desire for tourist dollars pops up in places. The Scopes "Monkey Trial" on evolution was conceived by town leaders specifically to promote the town and, they hoped, generate tourist bucks.
You fellas are definitely leaving your "mark" across the country!
You guys should have skipped Rushmore and rode the Needles Highway, and checked out Custer State Park. It's absolutely awesome!
pics dont work. You need to host them on flickr because ADV it too popular for that bucket