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Old 05-05-2004, 10:59 PM   #11
MikeO OP
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
Oddometer: 6,571
26th April

I need another rear tyre :(. I’ve been meticulous with checking the pressures (haven’t had to put any air in), but the heavy load and types of terrain has clearly taken its toll, squaring it off in under 5000 miles. I ring around and, as expected, there’s no local supplier. I’m in need of a couple of days off the bike doing admin/laundry etc, so I order a new rear from SW Motos (in Las Cruces, New Mexico) and arrange for The Cycle Shop, a local dealer, to fit it when it arrives on Wednesday. I decide to clean the bike – it looks a mess



…but scrubs up well…



The trip is starting to get to me a little – this is not a surprise, I’ve suffered from similar problems on long detachments when in the RAF, indeed, this isn’t the first time it’s happened during this trip. The travel is great, but the lack of company (at least, company I know), saying goodbye to people I’ve only just met all the time, as well as the lack of any permanent ‘base’ is depressing me a little. Being aware of it as a problem is, I’m sure, a large part of fixing it – I shall probably take more time ‘off’ (away from the bike), in future.

27th April

On Tuesday, I decide to ride up to the Little Bighorn National Monument. It’s a pleasant, if uninvolving ride there…



In June 1876, more than 260 soldiers of the US 7th Cavalry were killed by several thousand warriors of the Lakota and Cheyenne tribes. Lt Col George Armstrong Custer, who was killed in the engagement, is famous for having utterly misjudges the numbers and organisation of the Indians ranged against him. No-one in his immediate command survived the battle.

The battlefield is a remote and windswept place, with the scene of the ‘last stand’ on a small hillock now surrounded by a fence…



…from where the view across the battlefield is unobstructed…



White markers indicate where Custer’s men fell, either in groups or singly…



The Indians removed their dead, although there are a few red stone markers, indicating where some of the braves fell.

The site is also a Military Cemetery …



…which contains the remains of those who perished in various Indian wars and engagements, as well as military personnel from more recent conflicts, including those as recent as Korea. Unusually (in my experience), many of those interred here did not die in combat, or even whilst in service – there are markers for men who served during WWII, but died in the 1960s.

I ride back to the hotel and make preparations for my onward ride tomorrow.



28th April

I check out of my room at 1100 and ride over to The Cycle Shop. UPS deliver the Tourance (as promised) at midday, and Darran fits it for me.



He owns the combined bicycle & motorbike shop – the workshop has some odd looking inhabitants…



The old tyre has certainly squared off – the wheel & tyre stand up on their own :yelrotflm



I’m soon on my way again. The weather forecast is for snow :( - I need to get a little further south. It soon becomes apparent that I can either stop for the day, or risk riding through a blizzard. I’m 5 miles from the Quality Inn at Casper, where I stayed very comfortably a few days ago – no contest :P

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All text & original photos © Mike Oughton 2004 - 2014

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