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Old 09-07-2008, 06:20 PM   #31
mrmaico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questor
Actually I rode through those two large thunderstorms that were associated with Hurricane Ike I believe. That helped wash all the bugs off.
Plus Erik is a professional photographer, and he played with photoshop.

But if you want to see a dirty GS, find me in the Bozeman MT area on the 9th - 10th.

Have a good ride yourself.
Q~
Well, that's one way to get a clean bike. If you're going to check out Mount Rushmore you won't want to miss Iron Mountain Road and the Needles Highway. They're right by Rushmore and you can combine the two into a nice loop ride. Another awesome ride is Spearfish Canyon. If you need to go to Sturgis BMW for any reason look for Vanocker Canyon Road, it will take you into Sturgis just a couple blocks south of the shop.

Ride safe.....Barry
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Old 09-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmaico
Well, that's one way to get a clean bike. If you're going to check out Mount Rushmore you won't want to miss Iron Mountain Road and the Needles Highway. They're right by Rushmore and you can combine the two into a nice loop ride. Another awesome ride is Spearfish Canyon. If you need to go to Sturgis BMW for any reason look for Vanocker Canyon Road, it will take you into Sturgis just a couple blocks south of the shop.

Ride safe.....Barry
Those roads are already in the GPS.
Tomorrows going to be a casual, scenic day.

Devils tower in the afternoon.

Ahh, life is SOOO good.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:18 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Questor
Those roads are already in the GPS.
Tomorrows going to be a casual, scenic day.

Devils tower in the afternoon.

Ahh, life is SOOO good.
Q~
Excellent! I'll be looking forward to your report on the Silo tour. We might have to ride over and check it out next week. As many times as I've been to the Black Hills I've never been to the Badlands so it'll be fun to check that out at the same time.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:10 AM   #34
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:59 AM   #35
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Here's me, doing my trip report from the campground.

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Nice report stromtrooper.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:14 PM   #36
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Day 5: Monday Sept 8th.

Monday is Missile Day!

My karma must be good...

I was awoken several times in the night by a group of coyote's yapping it up near my tent.
By 5:00am I was awake and ready to go, but the Minuteman NP was not open until 9:00, so I rode the Badlands NP again and watched the rising sun. There were amazing views everywhere I looked. Good thing it was really early or I would have been arrested... I must have pulled every moving violation in the book trying to get the best pictures. I must have done at least 10 U-turns.





At 8:00 I was waiting for the Minuteman NP office to open. Unfortunately I was told that the 9:00am tour had been booked since May, but I could be put on the waiting list. So I waited. By 8:55 there was one group with a reservation that did not show up, so I got to go on the tour of both the missle launch center and the missle silo.

First we drove 4 miles to Delta 01 - the Launch Control Center.


We were given a great tour by the guides.

Here's the UHF antenna that was used for communication between the Launch centers. It was interesting to know that the missiles could also be launched by NORAD from a "watchglass" plane that flew overhead. (Always have a backup...)



Here's a picture of the Recreation area at the above ground Launch Control area and barracks.


I liked the "natural landscape scene" on the wall.


Apparently the missileers watched a lot of TV.

Here's a picture of the security center that monitored the arrival and departue of the crews that worked in the Launch Control Center down below.



Once past here they would take an elevator 60 feet undergound.





Once out of the elevator, they wold pass through this 6000 pound Blast Door to get access to the C&C.





Look at the deadbolts that would lock this sucker closed!



Just like the Atlas site I visited, the C&C was completely isolated and hardened against a near nuclear hit. The whole C&C was like a cylinder suspended by air shocks inside a large concrete sphere.
It was about 20 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 8 feet tall. 2 people would spend 12 hour shifts here. Locked in, isolated. Kept safe so they could turn keys and launch missiles.










A modem and a teletype machine...


Then we drove 10 miles to the missile silo Delta 09.
Each C&C center could launch 10 missiles. There are five different C&C in the South Dakota area.

Here's one of the "Peacekeeper" vehicles used to patrol the area.
Apparently they were very slow and a POS.
Speed is important out here - these missile silos were spread over a 250 mile area. If a sensor detects an intruder, Military Police were sent out to investigate. Can you imagine how long it would take to get to the silo at 45 mph?

Here's a picture of the Missile Silo area. There is nothing around for hundreds of miles.


Here's the access hatch used for maintenance.
Once opened, a huge concrete plug would slowly decend on hydraulics, taking two hours to open. This gave the Military Police time to get to the site if a breach is detected.


Here's the blast door that would shoot out of the way using compressed air just before the missile would launch. It was massive, and slid back on tracks.


The glass windows are not original, they were added later so visitors can look inside the silo and see the missile.



All in all it was well worth seeing. Apparently the Minuteman Missile National Park has only been giving tours for four years, and they average 20,000 visitors a year. I was lucky to get to see it.


If you want more detail, check out my other Ride Report specific to this site.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=383339


So after the tour, I went back to the Badlands NP, and took more pictures, now that the sun was out.





Then I took dirt roads out the "back" of the park, and headed to the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore area. It was great to be able to do 50 MPH and watch the dust fly.



I saw bison.


Then I think I saw a dinosaur.


After a while I made it to the Iron Mountain Rd. It was like an alpine slide. I think I dragged my boots once or twice.

Whoever designed that road must have had epilepsy! (Me Likey!)


I went through all the tunnels.


and saw Mt. Rushmore in the distance.


The "pigtail" loops were fun as well.


Closer to Mt. Rushmore.


And the profile.


I was turned off by the commercialization of Mt. Rushmore. Large parking lots, and expensive parking. I did not stop and give them my money. Also I found the town of Custer to be a big tourist trap. Beware of the 15 MPH speed zones. They were pulling people over for speeding left and right. Too much like entrapment if you ask me.

Then I took Rt. 18 to Sundace to take advantage of the Tent Space offered by Aquatop. (Thanks Aquatop, it was going to be a cold night outside. Possibly below freezing up at 5000 feet. Not impossible, but chilly with a 40 degree sleeping bag.) The ride to Sundance WY was nice.



OK. It's getting late. Tomorrow I'll go check out Devils Tower, and go on to Bozeman MT, to visit a good friend of mine.

Hope you enjoyed today as much as I did.

Also, I'll do a separate Ride Report for the Minuteman Missle Site, including all the pictures I took. But Right now, I need sleep.

Stats for the day: 277 miles. Moving Avg. 45.9 Moving time 6:01. Stopped 3 hours. See? I can do a casual day.

More to come. Stay tuned.
Q~

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Old 09-08-2008, 09:22 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmaico
Excellent! I'll be looking forward to your report on the Silo tour. We might have to ride over and check it out next week. As many times as I've been to the Black Hills I've never been to the Badlands so it'll be fun to check that out at the same time.
I would strongly recomend you call ahead and make a reservation.
The number is: 605-433-5552.

It's definitely worth cheking out.
There is also a good Air Force museum near Elsworth that is supposed to be worth a visit.

I'll also be visting the Titan Missile complex in Tucson AZ in a few weeks, so stay tuned.
Q~
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:11 AM   #38
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Effing awesome, Q. I bet Alex would love to get his hands on one of those LCC chairs...

Great pics of the Badlands too.

Damn, I should have tagged along with you for a week or two.

--mark
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:50 AM   #39
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Man, am I jealous. That is one of my favorite areas of the country. Nice combination of mountains, plains and wide open spaces.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:00 AM   #40
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Hey bro it was great to have you over. Sorry I wasn't awake to see you off but I'm a lazy slug.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:09 AM   #41
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Great report! What kind of tent is that?
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:40 AM   #42
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keep it com'n! Looks like a blast
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:40 AM   #43
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I love it, the badlands are one of my favorite places I've visited. They are definately on my list for a transamerican trip next summer!

Great photos- keep them coming!
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:39 PM   #44
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great report so far.....what teepee tent you using? How is it holding up?
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:53 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaTop
Hey bro it was great to have you over. Sorry I wasn't awake to see you off but I'm a lazy slug.
No problem I really appreciate the couch space, and the coffee.
Thanks again.
Q~
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