Rich's and Kevin's Excellent Adventure, Sturgis 2006

Had by all was a fun time!



Amy and I got the bikes loaded and strapped down with an hour's work over a 2.5 hour period as it decided to rain while we were in the middle of it. 





The bikes rode very well the whole way. I found that I would fret about them all morning over bounces and through turns and by afternoon I would forget about them to the point of being surprised to see them, thinking I was being closely followed by a pair of bikes. :p 

I picked Kevin up at the airport in Omaha this day. We got to his parents' farm in Grand Island, NE around 6 pm and quickly unloaded the bikes and made preparations to depart the next morning. Kevin's dad is supervising the operation. This is the only picture where you'll see Kevin hatless. 

One of the 15 gas stops we made in 6 days of riding. We rode nearly 1600 miles, paying an average of $3.084 per gallon (up from $2.223 the previous summer for the Honda Homecoming in Ohio) and averaged a bit over 34 mpg on mostly 85 octane gas (no ethanol or alcohol), better than last summer's 32 mpg. 

Kevin's "Hey, biker!" pose.... He wouldn't get off the bike and remove his helmet without immediately replacing it with that hat he's wearing. Never knew he was so vain. I, on the other hand, have no pride.... 

Taken at Carhenge, just north of Alliance, NE. That doo-rag is functional, keeping the sweat from pouring into my eyes from the top of my head. 


506 miles and 10 hours, 39 minutes later, we arrived at the Fairfield Inn in Spearfish, SD. We had to dodge some wildfires on the way up, and, like Daniel Boone, I got us "a might bewildered" along the way, but we accomplished the longest, and hottest, ride of the trip in good form and with no problems with the bikes. Temperatures reached into the 100s this day and sometimes it felt like we were riding in an oven. 

My Pillsbury Doughboy pose. Behind me inside the fenced area in the background (not the fence just behind me) is an abandoned and demolished Minuteman II ICBM silo from the Cold War. Being a Cold Warrior, I found the idea of this place fascinating. It is situated less than a mile from the Fairfield Inn in Spearfish. 

Deadwood, SD 

Note the hat and hand-on-hip. 

Kevin wanted to stop at this winery to buy some "Red Ass Rubarb" and "Calamity Jane" wine. 

On the way to Mt. Rushmore sits this lake. Kevin saw the walking path and, being the consumate "Volksmarcher", off he went. 

This "hand-on-hip" pose seems popular with Kevin. 

We deemed this worthy of a postcard. 

Sturgis! Even though it was a full week before the rally began, thing were already hoppin' there. 

Kevin had dinner at the place with the Jack Daniels bottle on top, called the "Loud American Roadhouse". Their specialty was tenderloin tips. 

Bridal Veil Falls in Spearfish Canyon. 

The stream along the falls. 

No, neither one of us is wearing the veil here. 

The water was fairly warm to the touch. 

Kevin hunting for where bears use the woods. Notice the helmet. 

This was called Calamity Gulch in the Spearfish Canyon area. Parts of "Dances With Wolves" was filmed near here and Kevin Costner had signs all over inviting us to view film set props. We declined his invites. 

We walked into some place in Deadwood for a reason now unknown to me and were greeted by this bison. Kevin appears leary. 

I take matters into hand. Big as he was, he was a little light on the hoof. 

Main Street in Deadwood. 


In the photo just above this one, you notice a sign that says "Old Style Saloon #10". This photo shows the original location of "Saloon #10", now known as the "Eagle Bar", and is where "Wild Bill" Hickok was murdered. We were there a day shy of the 130th anniversary of his death. The #10 burned down a year later and was moved to the location noted in the previous photo. 

Some of the Wild Bill Hickok memorabilia in the "Eagle Bar". 

Wild Bill Hickok's photo is to the left and a photo of Deadwood's Main Street from August of 1876 is to the right. 





It's quite an impressive climb up Mt. Moriah to the cemetery where several prominent Deadwood citizens now reside, including these two. 

Wild Bill Hickok's gravesite. 

Calamity Jane's gravesite. 

Meanwhile, back in Sturgis at the "One-Eyed Jack" bar. Our bartender graciously serves a bodyshot to a satisfied customer. 


The Rapid City Dinner group, waiting out the rain before leaving the Microtel Inn and heading over to Sanfords. Later this same evening after dinner on the 50 mile ride back to Spearfish Kevin and I would endure 55 degrees and rain all the way back. Thanks to Hal of Honda Directline for the photo. 

This picture was taken along US 212 in Wyoming, northwest of Belle Fourche, SD. I took it for 2 reasons, first to show the unblemished vistas that are typical of this area. Second, this is just across the road from the Belle Fourche Electronic Scoring Site, an Air Force facility used by the Nellis Air Force Range. Yes, Nellis as in Nevada. The Air Combat Command uses these facilities for it's test ranges. A couple of throws of a stone back down the road towards Belle Fourche is one of the largest known bentonite deposits in the world. Bentonite, a volcanic ash, is known as the "Mud of Minor Miracles".  

Continuing northwest along US 212 deposits you in Alzada just across the Montana state border. What you see is about all there was of Alzada with the exception of a bar a bit further up the road. We turned south here to head back towards Wyoming and it's natural wonder Bear Lodge, better known as Devil's Tower. 

Kevin had told me to stop anyplace I thought was worthy of doing so and knowing he likes these markers found along roads everywhere, I stopped and we took these pictures, walking back and forth along the 20 or so yards that separated these signs. 

Again with the "hands on hips" pose. 

Reminds me of Vanna White here. 

As John Madden has pointed out, black is slimming. 


Our first glimpse of Bear Lodge. Someone started shooting a weapon behind us and we hopped on the bikes and left before we could find out if it was at us! 

I like this photo as it gives you an idea of the size of this thing. 

While Kevin "volksmarched" around the base of Bear Lodge (1.3 miles around), I hung out at the parking lot and enjoyed the views. ;) 

Such as this... 

And this... 





Careful examination of this photo reveals a climber. You could climb Bear Lodge by simply filling out a form at a self-service kiosk. Climbs to the top did require face-to-face contact with park rangers. 

A prairie dog town at the base of Bear Lodge. 

Read the sign. 


Heading out to Badlands National Park on SR 44 takes you through Scenic, SD. A couple of bars and odd stores are all that's here. 


The just cracks me up! There were not 25 pieces in the bags. 

Kevin strikes a pose inside the Longhorn Saloon in Scenic, SD. 



Now he's got me doing it! 

The colors here were incredible. 


Read the sign. 


This storm chased us around the badlands and it's lightning set a couple of fires. 


We rode about 7 miles up the dirt and gravel road seen in the middle of this photo, fearful of several inch deep gravel pits along it's route that we'd been warned of at dinner in Rapid City but never encountered. 





Back at the farm in Grand Island, NE. What a great trip. Best meal of the trip was had here this very evening as Kevin's mom served fried chicken she had prepared exactly like my mom used to: fresh chicken rolled in flour and fried in lard in a skillet on top the stove. She even cut the back like my mom and fried the gizzard and heart. Thanks, Carol! 

On the way home in St. Louis. Lots of traffic here, but no where near as bad as Atlanta. 


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