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Old 06-15-2011, 03:38 PM   #241
Parepin OP
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Location: That's... a tough one to answer
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Woke up the next morning and broke camp, heading out fairly early. My map labeled Hell Creek as a hotspot for fossil finds, so I spent a good majority of the day rocketing across the plains, jumping from one pile of rocks to the next. The heat was impressive, but I stuck to the washouts determined to find something. An arrowhead is all I managed to come up with. Still a cool find and an entertaining way to burn a few hours. Time, after all, is what I had plenty of. I had six hundred miles to cover between here and West Fest in Darby, and two weeks to do it. I figured I could burn some time in the Black Hills area. I had loved the landscape last year, but Sturgis had kind of ruined it for me. All I wanted was to race the shadows all through them there hills, but staying rubber to squared off rubber with the chopper in front of me was killing me. And so it was decided, I had somewhat of a game plan.


I headed south from there, towards Miles City. I relied on the sun for navigation at this point. While this habit often got me in trouble, it was the best way to avoid the highways. I knew Miles City was south-ish, so I took the first road South. It was a fairly uneventful ride. Only an hour in I was hit with a wave of exhaustion. I just couldn't stay awake. I pulled over in a random field and just kinda rolled off the bike into the freshly-mowed hay. I had a smoke and took a nap in the sun. Why not, right? With a free hand I would occasionally wave to a passing semi as it rumbled past, rousing me from my slumber. I probably managed 30 minutes or so, just enough to close my eyes, really. But that seemed to do it. I slid over to the shade of the KLR and propped up against the rear wheel, downing a bottle of water when something in the hay caught my attention. I brushed some cuttings aside and discovered a bank envelope. One of those large vinyl ones with a brass zipper up top. No shit. I eagerly tugged at the zipper, but it came off in my hand. I was quick with a knife as I slit it open and discovered what appeared to be a dozen or so personal checks. Hoping for cash, this was still kind of an interesting find. They all appeared to be three or four years old, with a bank addressed to a town an hour or so back. I debated turning around, but in the end I just tossed the envelope in a mail box on the side of the rode with a note sharpied on the side.


Good deed done for the day, I hopped back in the super-heated saddle and headed for Miles City. I stopped along the way and checked out some random abandoned property. Kind of cool. The barns looks to have recently been used for horses, but the house hadn't been touched in years. I poked around a big and snapped a few shots before heading back out.











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Old 06-15-2011, 03:48 PM   #242
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The sun was pretty unbearable at this point, and I admit that I spent a couple hours mooching Wifi at a local McDonalds with a iced coffee in my hand. Not many miles in a day, but I got some emails done and managed to get caught up on the WTF-Picture thread. I cruised around as night fell, looking for a camp ground of some sort. There were a few RV parks that didn't allow tents, and what tenting I could find was closed down, either for the season or permanently. In the end I found myself back at the McDonalds. It was backed by a large semi-truck parking lot where literally dozens of trucks sat idling away, no doubt keeping the interior nice and A/Ced.... dicks. So I grabbed a grassy island amongst the glass strewn asphalt and pitched camp. Just a tent, no big deal, right? Well, apparently it was to someone as I was woke by the local 5-0 at around 1 in the morning. The usual questions and odd stares, a back ground check was performed and a plate run before I was banished to the very back of the lot. I stuck to the grass and ended up camping alongside half of a modular home, hoping I wouldn't wake up under the tires of the other half. I broke my chillum in the move, apparently. Bummed me out something fierce.


I didn't sleep much that night. Nothing makes quite the racket like several dozen diesel motors. I dragged my ass across this wasteland and back to McDonalds to have my fill of cheap coffee and McGriddles... the only thing this franchise has to offer me any more. Back to camp to pack up and out to the edge of town where I gassed up and did a quick load of laundry. I took this opportunity to make a few phone calls and repair some gear. The inner liner of my gloves was disintegrating and my over pants were literally falling apart at the seams. I didn't know how many more miles I could get out of this gear, but I was determined to get what I could. I was out of the city by late morning and hitting the dirt by lunch. At one point I passed through a town that looked vaguely familiar. I was sure I had been here before. That's when I spotted the pink diner on the corner and I knew for sure where I was. Broadus. What are the chances? Almost exactly a year later here I am, standing in front of the same diner out of sheer dumb luck. I grabbed a slice of pizza for a quick snack before heading west on 20, then a quick left on the very next dirt road.









After what seemed like a hundred miles of dirt I found myself entering the green blob on my map labeled as Custer National Forest. The road got a bit gnarlier, turning to uneven and rutted double track as the terrain changed from wide open plains to buttes and valleys. As I gained altitude, the path became damn near technical as the shallow roots from the thriving evergreens tore into the packed dirt and re-routed the drainage. Imagine my surprise when I found a fire watch tower on the top of the butte. I explored a bit, but declined it's tantalizing invite to make camp inside the abandoned structure. I chose instead to pitch tent towards the edge of the hill overlooking the park. What a view. I got a roaring fire going and had a pretty nice cam set up before long. It should be noted that I had a herd of cattle move into camp in the middle of the night. Startled me quite a bit in my still partially-asleep stupor. I flicked the high beam on the KLR a few times and laid on the air horn, quickly clearing the area.








I'm kind of surprised this panorama came out as well as it did. The series of pics that needed to be linked came from the four different sides of the fire tower, not one spot like I normally would. So you may notice kind of an odd effect here.


http://parepin.smugmug.com/Other/Cha...-46-images.jpg
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:02 AM   #243
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I hung around for half the day. When I woke that morning I felt euphoric. It was odd. I crawled out of my tent and sprawled out on one of the large stones jutting from the hillside and spent a good couple of hours just basking in the sun, finishing up Into Thin Air. From the fire tower on Yager bluff, I headed SE towards Sturgis at around noon. With a few weeks before the Harley crowd would really begin to show its face, I looked forward to riding the black hills at MY pace....dammit! I passed into Wyoming briefly to cruise by Devils Tower, which for some odd reason I am absolutely fascinated by. On the road again, my next stop would be Dead Horse. Over the past winter I had burned time watching the Dead Horse series and thought I'd check the place out. I... was very disappointed. What I imagined as some old timey western town was... not. I understand that 100 years is a long time for things to chance, but this place was a goddamn tourist trap now. Casinos and Buffets a-plenty. If you looked hard enough, you'd see a plaque here or there informing you that the Subway before you was once where some old tavern of significant importance was. Awesome... A bit jaded by the whole tourist-thing, I just headed towards Sturgis.







I pulled into town late in the evening. I was hungry and tired, I just wanted a place to lay my head. I pulled into a local hot-dog joint right quick to have my fill of some weird deep fried burrito/ hotdog monstrosity. Awesome. I chatted with the cute girl behind the counter a bit and just kinda burned some time. I was tired. Burnt out, and I had no desire to go anywhere. Before long the owner of the joint stops in and we chatted. He made some comments about the KLR and told me of his rides. I asked he and the Mrs. if they had any suggestions where I could pitch a tent for the night. State park, national forest, anything. They kicked around a few ideas before the owner pulled out his cell and made a few calls. Shortly thereafter I find myself pulling into the Bull Dog campground a few miles out of town. The owner, as it would seem, knew some people. I stopped in with the caretakers, whose names I apparently didn't note, and was given a tour of the mostly deserted campground. Inquiring about some shade, she spun the golf cart around and pulled up to a shed at the far end of the property. Throwing open the door I was pleasantly surprised to find it a converted bunkhouse.






“We've got this. I havn't cleaned it for the season, yet. We've only just opened the campground, so it may need a good airing out. The same people rent it out every year for sturgis, but usually it's empty. Tell you what, ten bucks a day and you can stay for as long as you'd like.”






Mouth agape, I fished a wrinkled ten out of my pocket and began unloading. What a score. Bed, mini fridge, and A/C. There was a sink, too, but it was disconnected. Cranking up the A/C, I rolled a celebratory doob and watched Long Way Round while unloading and repairing gear.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:18 AM   #244
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I ended up sticking around the Black Hills for four days, using the bunkhouse at the Bulldog Campground as my base of operations. I would end up running the Needles Highway twice, taking a run through the Badlands, and running endless miles of twisted canyon road. I had seen rain, encountered quarter size hail, blazing heat, relentless sun, a few annoyed LEO, and the ever present group ride.


I harassed the wildlife









Enjoyed the weather






Watched in amusement as a bus driver insisted on challenging the laws of time and space...






Watched a few daredevils go to town on some spires...



I even tried to climb a few myself, but a bottle of gatorade and moto-boots were less than adequate climbing gear...


This is a shitty pic, I know. I was coming from the other direction and had turned around to snap a shot at this huge buffalo. I had been clipping the lines, really laying into some of the corners when I passed this fur coated billboard. Gave me a hell of a butt-pucker.





And on the road again



All in all, the black hills have been some of the best riding I've had.





http://parepin.smugmug.com/Other/Cha...-23-images.jpg


It should be noted that I've discovered that head shops are illegal in the Dakotas. Something I wish I'd known before... Still in need of a chillum, my next stop was Billings, Mt. A total of 290 miles away... for a $15 piece of glass.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:06 AM   #245
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So, billings.... I found a local head shop and snagged myself a new chillum and assorted paraphernalia. I wolfed down a burrito with my remaining pennies and headed south towards Yellowstone. I stopped just outside of town to christen my newly acquired smoking device only to discover an odd feature beneath the price label.






That's right. Sperm. Go ahead and tell yourself it's a snake, but there's jizz on my pipe.






I pitched camp just off of some rest area along highway 212. Awoke the next morning and on to Yellowstone, stopping just for a bit to enjoy an omelet in the morning sun at a local cafe. I was never a big restaurant guy, but I've found myself gravitating towards these small local joints much more than I had before. It feels good to give a little, not to mention the conversation with the waitresses is usually much more fulfilling than you'd get at the Dennys up the road.













This is also the day that I encountered Beartooth Mountain. A hell of a ride, and some absolutely insane sights. As I climbed the eastern slope, I pulled over at every opportunity that I could. I amused myself with panoramas and noting how the landslide nets were a European 4-in-1 Chainmaille weave... yeah, that's right, I just said that. Even misplacing my camera and having to backtrack couldn't ruin this high. As I neared the peak, my GPS clicking over to 12,000 feet and the KLR gasped for breath, Incredible.







http://parepin.smugmug.com/Other/Cha...385500_nWDpShN



http://parepin.smugmug.com/Other/Cha...-22-images.jpg



http://parepin.smugmug.com/Other/Cha...-42-images.jpg



http://parepin.smugmug.com/Other/Cha...-50-images.jpg
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:55 AM   #246
prsdrat
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Parepin, a word of caution(without trying to derail this narrative). Instead of
live day-by-day reports, I would hope you would delay your transmissions by
a couple of days. Early on there were those that criticized your choice of
recreational drugs. I personally don't give a damn one way or the other, but
I can't help but think that there might be a LEO or two looking in, that just
might be rarin' for a bust. Before the gallery starts raising hell with me, let
me state that I remember when we used to make our annual pilgrimage back
to Houston, we had a good college friend that was the D.A. in an unnamed
west Texas town. He and his narcs used to take great pleasure in entraping
young studs by sending undercovers into town on choppers. At that time,
hell it still may be that way, a "gift" was considered a "sale". Some of those
poor kids are still serving hard time.

That said, I do enjoy your ride, keep it coming( only slightly delayed).

"I may be paranoid, but that still doesn't mean they're not out to get me!"
Mel Gibson
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:49 PM   #247
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I get what you're saying. Let me re-assure you that these are, indeed, delayed posts. By about a year. All these events have already taken place back in 2010. I'm back in NY now, working a dead end job and preparing for my next major adventure. That kind of explains the inconsistency. Partially, I just havn't had the time (until recently) to update daily, and partially I'm stalling a bit because of some sensitive posts that are still to come. Everything written is from memory, using a journal and pictures as references.

That being said, I also get what you mean about the reefer. A little bit of herb is about as hard core as this trip gets. The way I figure it, there is no absolute proof one way or the other what's going on. For all any of you know, I'm a lightweight that just rolls my own cigarettes and gets off at playing the rebel. I told myself from the start that I would be honest, dangerously honest. The only time I will be holding back is when others are involved. I'm not too worried about incriminating myself. In a way, I'm using this log as therapy. I've got some demons that I've been struggling for years to overcome, and by posting all of this and being completely honest I guess I'm hoping for some closure.

I'm still not completely happy with the way some of the posts are coming out, and at times I'm surprised at how little detail I've recorded, or how few pictures I've taken. Especially of people that I've met on the road. I get caught up in the moment and just don't take any photos. I'm trying to get myself to focus less on a play by play, which often becomes tedious and drives me away from actually getting any writing done. What I'm aiming for is to just mention the highlights and support them with the photos and panoramas.

Ramble done, I appreciate the feedback and look forward to more. Like I said, while this may slow down from time to time, I WILL continue with the report. Looking back at my photos, I'm not even halfway done with this leg of the journey, and who knows. By the time I get done, I'll probably be in the middle of the next adventure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prsdrat View Post
Parepin, a word of caution(without trying to derail this narrative). Instead of
live day-by-day reports, I would hope you would delay your transmissions by
a couple of days. Early on there were those that criticized your choice of
recreational drugs. I personally don't give a damn one way or the other, but
I can't help but think that there might be a LEO or two looking in, that just
might be rarin' for a bust. Before the gallery starts raising hell with me, let
me state that I remember when we used to make our annual pilgrimage back
to Houston, we had a good college friend that was the D.A. in an unnamed
west Texas town. He and his narcs used to take great pleasure in entraping
young studs by sending undercovers into town on choppers. At that time,
hell it still may be that way, a "gift" was considered a "sale". Some of those
poor kids are still serving hard time.

That said, I do enjoy your ride, keep it coming( only slightly delayed).

"I may be paranoid, but that still doesn't mean they're not out to get me!"
Mel Gibson
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:09 AM   #248
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Wink whoop whoop!

Glad to see your back to writing ma brotha!!!
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:03 PM   #249
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I'm trying, man. I've apparently lost a few people, though. And I'm not even at the good part...
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:18 PM   #250
Mike92
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Still here....
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:08 PM   #251
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didnt lose me! im here for the full ride, past, present, and future rides!
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:37 PM   #252
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Yarn

You still got me. I check every week or so..seems to match the pace. Been to a few of the same places and I enjoy a different viewpoint. Keep it up!
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:14 PM   #253
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I just found this thread. I am really enjoying it. Great writing. I am only on page three but want to take it in order so I will catch up. I hope you can complete it. Going back in time to page three. See ya, and good luck.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:52 PM   #254
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keep up the great report i always look to see if you have a new post. I am very patient!!
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:32 AM   #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klay View Post
I think I met you on the road somewhere once, parepin. Great story, it jogs a few my own memories.










Quote:
Originally Posted by Parepin
By far the most uncomfortable couch in the universe. It was disturbing. I was downright insulted. Here I am, letting this random dude I met on an online forum give me a place to stay, allow him to bask in the glory that is a KLR and it's rider, and I'm given this three-cusioned bohemouth. And who needs that many pillows?
Dude! You know how to write?

Remember where we're at for the return trip b/c I've an even more uncomfortable couch these days.
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