Badlands SD to Wyoming
Wed. June 2, 2010 – Day 3
Total Mileage Today: 297
Total Trip Mileage: 1,323
It rained throughout the night, but we awoke the next day to find clearing skies – a bit cool, but nice.
The plan today: Ride back into Badlands NP and take some primitive park road towards the South Unit where we would pick-up some BIA roads that would take us in a round about way to Mt. Rushmore. Then through Spearfish Canyon and on to Devils Tower, WY. I had posted some routing questions for this section in the regional forum. I probably didn’t mention how loaded we were going to be on the bike, but I received a suggested route and used it.
Back into the Badlands:
And our scenic loop turn-off, that heads towards Sage Creek Campground area.
Very strange how it goes from “Badlands” to super-lush green.
We stop at the park office for the South Unit. I was advised during trip planning to try an “Indian Taco” at the Cuny Table Café. I asked the Park Ranger, but he said that the café was no longer open.
The Park Headquarters sits right on the junction of the next road that we are to pickup, BIA-2. It starts out well enough, just gravel.
About 5 miles down the road it’s déjà-vu . Handle bars – left, right, left, right, and the bike slaloming from the right edge of the road to the left. We get er’ stopped, and Nikki starts with the rib punching. She is not happy – I can only imagine the even more exaggerated feeling of being out of control you must experience while sitting on the back of a bike essentially helpless. I convince her that it was just a “bad patch” and we continue forward. It’s not much longer before we are back in the same boat – handle bars going nuts, bike trying to shed us off of it’s back. Nikki wants to turn around, but I don’t like that idea. I am a man. I do stupid things. The lure of the “unknown” is better than what we had just gotten through in the last few miles. I don’t think I could get back through if we turned around (at least not without dropping the bike a lot), but I wasn’t sure what it was like ahead. “It’s got to get better”, right? It doesn't, and we crawl. It took about 1.5 hours to go 30 miles, but we eventually got back to pavement.
(Look very closely and you can see it)
I had some more unpaved BIA roads planned for the day, but in a brief moment of rational thought (you are 3 days into a month long trip, don't wreck the bike yet stupid!) we decided to stick to pavement to get over to Mt. Rushmore.
Road food... The Pizza Dog. Seemed reasonable then, but the picture grosses me out now.
We made our way from Mt. Rushmore to I-90 via Spearfish Canyon. No pics though. The camera crapped out mysteriously for about 4 hours. Wouldn't work no matter what. Figured it was junk. It magically worked again the next day and continued to do so for the remainder of the trip.
Another state sign off the list.
And here is our camp for tonight.
A really great spot. Very mild weather. One of the best nights of the trip.
Tomorrow it's on to Cody, WY and a logistical rendezvous with Nikki's heated vest.