07-25-2009, 02:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Cambridge, Ont., Canada
"We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment."
~ Hilaire Belloc
Day 4 – June 15
Gordon, Nebraska > Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
Today’s mileage: 528.8 km, Trip to date: 2656.1 km
I left Gordon this morning under brilliant skies. Today was going to be a great day. There’s nothing that lifts the motorcycle traveler’s spirit like early morning sunshine! Today I would eventually start to head north-west and revisit the Black Hills of South Dakota. I had been out here a few years back and really enjoyed the riding in the area. I took in a few of my favourite roads: Custer SP Wildlife Loop, Iron Mountain Rd up to Mt Rushmore, Norris Peak Rd, Nemo Rd, and Spearfish Canyon to name a few.
I did bump into another ADV Rider from Oregon at the Pactola Reservoir rest area who was headed east. We talked a bit about my trip to Alaska and I mentioned to him my travel routes. He made some suggestions that I would later do. I’m sorry I didn’t get your name but thank you!
As I was leaving Spearfish Canyon, the sky was getting very dark and I could actually hear the sound of thunder bounce off the canyon cliffs inside my helmet. I was riding down the main street of Spearfish when ahead what looked like a tidal wave was quickly approaching from the direction I was headed. I recall a car wash (I’ve gotten good at spotting them this trip!) I just passed and quickly did a u-turn and headed back for cover. Good thing because within seconds hail and heavy rain dropped out of the dark sky above. It was very intense and as the car wash roof was made of metal, very loud too! A number of cars came along looking for a place to seek shelter and one fellow squeezed in behind me. The hail was at least the size of dimes and would have hurt like hell had I kept going. I waited for the storm to pass for about 45 minutes. The guy that pulled into the car wash with me was checking the weather radar on his “crackberry” and it appeared that there was a hole in the storm that might allow me to get to the Devil’s Tower unscathed. I was off! Although the skies looked very threatening, I made it to the Devil’s Tower KOA without the sky falling again. The weather forecast for that evening was still very unsettled and after the hail storm earlier, I didn’t feel like sleeping in a tent. I decided to check into a KOA Kabin….. with a view! So much for my travel budget!
I unpacked and went out in search of supplies (beer). It just so happens that the KOA store had what I was after. The nice lady working there also invited me to a nightly showing of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” to be shown on the patio right bellow the Devil’s Tower itself…… no shit! That was of course if it didn’t rain. I went back to my “kabin”, cooked up a pot of soup, drank my beers, downloaded my photographs, updated the photo site, had a fine KOA shower, and retired to my “kabin” where I promptly fell asleep dreaming of alien abduction and curvy roads strewn with big beastly bison….
Roadside rest area view along Route 385
Where the Antelope roam…..
I have a great deal of respect for these big dudes, especially when riding a motorcycle! I’ll explain sometime…..
More of them
And yet many more!
Spearfish Canyon water fall
In Spearfish Canyon
My "Kabin" for the night
The view from my “Kabin”
Here's some interesting video from the storm in Spearfish....
Twistn'roads screwed with this post 08-27-2009 at 10:06 AM