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Old 06-09-2013, 06:09 PM   #1
MacNoob OP
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Black Hills SD spring 2013

I'm at a local tech day (KLRs getting worked on, BMWs watching, beers and hotdogs being consumed) and a guy I talked for a total of about 20 minutes says "Hey - want to go ride Black Hills for a week?"

Thought about it overnight. What's the worst that could happen (they never find the body, bank account drained, KLR never recovered, etc. etc. etc.)

Figured a great ride was worth the risk so Mark96 and MacNoob loaded a VStrom and a KLR into Mark's van and launched off for Keystone SD (14 hours away) the week before Memorial Day.

We arrived at a hotel in town (NOT the hotel we reserved just out of town) and I observed Mark in action.... negotiating the hotel rate from $120 down to $65 per night. My job was to cancel the res at the original hotel while Mark started unloading.

There are few "riding" pics or videos (had my hands full keeping up with Mark and wasn't riding and photographing at the same time) but lots of "scenery" pics. Plus, I've probably forgotten what days we did stuff.



Thus ends Day 1.

Day 2 started off with a ride out to Hill City Cafe for breakfast. 10 miles of 30mph twisty road following an old railroad track (now a tourist train) and canyon. Good breakfast, but not as inexpensive as expected.

(you might need to resize this map).



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We'd end up riding this road countless times during the trip.



Decided to head north this day. Keystone is pretty centrally located. Black Hills area has a 'north' section' and a 'south' section with a bit of travelling between.

Ran across this group at the south entrance to Vanocker Canyon. All the bikes on the left from Manitoba; all the ones on the right from Saskatchewan.





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Stopped in at a bike shop in Sturgis. I think I like the Super Tenere. Mark was already missing his KLR.

Visited Pizza Ranch for lunch. Medium pizza fed us both for $10. While we were there, severe weather warnings were issued for 1.5" hail etc. We hid under the awning at the restaurant but all we had was rain - apparently the hail went through Deadwood and missed Sturgis.




From Sturgis a little detour to the west through Deadwood and Lead brought us to Terry Peak. At 7000' there was still snow on the ground.




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Rochford is a neat little town as you head back to the south. Not much there except the saloon, run by a neat old lady for the last 40 years or so. She says she burns 10 cords of wood each winter heating the place.


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Dog has just landed after punching the ball with his nose.



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Old 06-09-2013, 06:27 PM   #2
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Very nice!

More pics! You forgot to mention Mark forgot his camera
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:30 PM   #3
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I always read RR's from the local boys.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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I think that was pretty much it for Day 2 (Saturday).

Day 3 (Sunday) we decided to ride the south part of the park. Weekend before Memorial Day was "Open House Weekend" - so free park entry to Custer State Park!

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/direct...e-schedule.pdf

(Just realized it was also open house at Crazy Horse Memorial - missed that though!)

So we rode the Iron Mountain Road. 2 minutes south of Keystone and Wow! Early in the morning we had it to ourselves. Definitely "un-squared" the rear tire on the KLR.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Iron+...57751&t=m&z=15

Tried hard to get the traditional "tunnel framing Mt Rushmore" pic, but not too much luck.



Iron Mtn Road is definitely a happy place.



This was the closest brush to law enforcement on the trip, when the Strom went unnoticed but the KLR got the "slow down" signal from the local sheriff. Never did get stopped though.

At the entrance to Custer State Park the attendants informed us that there was a FREE PANCAKE BREAKFAST (woo hoo!) at the State Game Lodge due to the open house. We went straight there:



This was the summer home for a couple of presidents back in the 30s/40s. Pretty nice place....

and FREE BREAKFAST!



Mark makes a new friend.




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Old 06-09-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
More pics! You forgot to mention Mark forgot his camera
Actually he brought his iPod - some of the pics will be from that.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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Deluxe guided tour!

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Originally Posted by MacNoob View Post
Actually he brought his iPod - some of the pics will be from that.
Mark has been there so many times... he hardly needs to take pics. Awesome to get the deluxe guided tour.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #7
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Nicely done, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Since we were already in Custer state park, we rode the wildlife loop.

Mark is uneasy with buffalo because of a past incident. So riding through this herd was interesting:



Mark blew by a Taurus wagon and when I went to follow, I noticed the Custer State Park Ranger emblem on the door... so I completed the pass and stuck to the speed limit ;)

When we stopped for the herd of buffalo on the road, the ranger pulled up behind us - and offered to escort us through the herd as "they knew the park vehicles, and would get out of the way...". So no problem there as we slowly cruised through a couple hundred large and mean looking buffalo.



The wild donkeys were a lot more sociable



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Old 06-09-2013, 08:34 PM   #9
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Nice report!
I know what Mark feels about the Buffalo. I had an "incident" there last year with some mean ones.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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Fabulous roads in Custer SP.



And intrepid riders.

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Old 06-09-2013, 08:58 PM   #11
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In search of the evil dentist trail

We thought we'd try to find the trail the evil dentist took the group on last trip (where everyone crashed). Is it down this way?



We gave up on this road as it was rainy and the road was deteriorating (and the Strom was on wornout street tires). But Mark didn't think this was the evil dentist road.

We were looking for the south entrance to Victoria Lake Road where it intersected Sheridan Lake Road - turns out this wasn't it.




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Old 06-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #12
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Thanks for posting, MacNoob. Brought back a lot memories from last year and certainly remember the place we crashed and laughed.
Really want to go back there again in a year or two for some different routes.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:40 AM   #13
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Great country....

We go through the Black Hills every chance that we get and love that area. Thanks for taking the time to do this RR. Stay safe and have a good trip....

Gary "Oldone"

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Old 06-10-2013, 08:37 AM   #14
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Since we were in the area we decided to hit Sugar Shack for lunch. Great burgers!






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Highway 385 is the main route from the north side to south side of Black Hills. At home this would be a motorcycle destination road. In Black Hills it's the road you want to avoid as the most boring road in the park.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:09 AM   #15
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Wow - big portions!

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Since we were in the area we decided to hit Sugar Shack for lunch. Great burgers!






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Highway 385 is the main route from the north side to south side of Black Hills. At home this would be a motorcycle destination road. In Black Hills it's the road you want to avoid as the most boring road in the park.
Always amazed by the big portions often served in the US. I've seen the Sugar Shack mentioned in several other Black Hills RRs. Gotta get there someday (soon).
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