Ride of a lifetime

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Men with insight, men in granite

 Alright, boys and girls, this was the ride of our lives....it just keeps getting better and better.
Headed out this morning under nice clear skies to the Black Hills National Forest on our way to the Needles, and Custer state park when the rain and Hail hit, had to pull to the side and wait out a fast moving storm..Dan was smart and was the only one who packed his rain gear, John and I were wet.

Stoped in Hill City for a coffee. Every town what we go through has the main streets blocked off for bikes only, its awesome, lots to do and see. From Hill City we traveled to the Needles, more climbing and winding through mountains and tunnels so narrow you couldn't fit two cars at once, amazing views and overlooks everywhere. This was the original planned site for Rushmore, but the Needles, but the mountains were too soft.

Entered Custer State Park in search of the elusive buffalo (more on that later), found nothing but ass, lots of ass, the animal kind. More twisting, climbing, and diving roads, hairpin turns, etc.the views went on forever, and there's just no way to capture it all in a photo. Found a roadside food stand and had a taste of a Buffalo...yummy, didn't know that they tasted sooo good. we kinda regretted eating the buffalo later. Weather is nice now, beautiful skies and hot.

Iron Mountain Road was intense, gotta be on your game here, not a good road to ride if your a novice rider, hairpin turns, corkscrew bridges and more narrow tunnels, a fantastic ride to the top of the mountain. Some of the tunnels had views of Mount Rushmore off in the distance.

Ascending the Mountain to Mount Rushmore, simply amazing site, Dan didn't know witch one was Ringo, he picked out John,Paul and George though...lol, just kidding. Sun was starting to get low, and we've still got Crazy Horse to see

Crazy Horse was huge, three or four times the size of mount Rushmore, grabbed some pics and talked to the guides about the completion time, they estimate 25years for the horse, 12 for the arm, just a massive undertaking. We're glad to have seen this, it's incredible.

Getting a little dark now, headed to Custer City, another small town with main street blocked off, topped of the fuel and headed down the road.

  "Hey, you guys got mirrors?  Ive been behind you for a mile and a half"  yes Officer, we have mirrors.."well..do they work?"  well yes Officer, we can see out of them. "Do you know you were speeding?" no Officer, we didn't.  "those bars look a little high, you boys get stopped yet for handlebar height?" no officer we have not. John didn't think we had enough souvenirs, so we added a nice ticket from the South Dakota State Police to take home, Thanks John!

 Because of the delay we had to ride through Custer State Park in the dark, the Officer was kind enough to delay us so we could experience the wildlife in the dark, let alone the hairpin turns.

Ever see a buffalo?, we rode thought this same stretch of rode and didn't see a one, but at night..oh boy, holy shit boys and girls...take a cement mixer and cover it with hair, that's about the size of these things. Saw a couple on the side of the road just walking like they could care less, finally saw some cars pulled to the side of the road and there they were...I didn't notice them at first..."Hey, you guys see those buffalo on the side of the road back there?"..."Jim, look to your right" Holy shit! i said, didn't even know they were there. Buffalo in the dark look like large boulders with legs, we had to wait a few minutes for the herd to cross the road...right in front of us, not 5 feet away, a smaller one and a pair of calfs sprinted across the road right in front of us...and...then came the bull...this thing was huge, musta been the club president..he sauntered into the middle of the road and stood there and turned
to look at us..we all took a deep breath and tried to hold it as long as possible, we didn't want the bull to smell his cousin on our breath. Not more then 10 feet away...we were....nervous..I would have taken pictures but I was afraid that would excite him, and that was the last thing we wanted to do.

On the road to Hermosa, and Rapid city, it's like 9:30 now, and we're 90 minutes from home, and its cold outside..real cold..found a store and bought gloves and wool caps (we look like a street gang now...the "Wild Posers").  Onward to Belle Fourche in search of a late nite restaurant, we're hungry, and want to get a steak. Got to town to find everything closed, so we ended up at the Outlaw bar..we were told they served pretty good pizza after midnight...any twenty four hour grocery store has the same gourmet pizza in the frozen food section...we ordered 2 Totino's pizzas..it filled the void. We miss everybody and we all doing well, we wish all of you could be here, what a great time we're having

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