Well, what a day. I left Lemmon 4 hours later than I wanted. Rain was moving through and I decided to wait it out. So it was closer to 11:00 than 7:00 when I hit the road. The first 70 miles were brutal. The wind must have been over 20 mph and gusty from 10 o’clock, the roads were wet, and it wasn’t that warm out. Got to wear the rain gear for the first time. I didn’t get rained on, but it sure helped with the road spray.
Stopped in Faith, SD to gas up and of course it was crawling with bikers. Thought about going to the bathroom there, but just wanted to get back on the road. Don’t know why I was in a hurry, because I was sure beat up from the wind. But I hit the road again and it was SOOO much better with the wind at my back. Got passed a few times by groups of other bikers, but they didn’t blow past me. Guess I was riding at speed most of the way. It’s a long, lonely, lovely 100 miles between Faith and Belle Fourche.
Got to Belle Fourche and started adapting my plans. Had already missed the tweet-up ride so I didn’t need to head in to Whitewood. So Deadwood was the new destination and I wasn’t exactly sure how to get there. Stopped in Spearfish to gas up and take off the rain gear (whew!), but didn’t take the time to look at the map. Headed back out to I-90 and then took off on 14A. Rode through the fabulous Spearfish Canyon. Great ride and everyone was going slow so it was an easy ride too. Took a wrong turn at Cheyenne Crossing and went at least 15 miles out of my way but it was a gorgeous 15 miles and I had the time, so no worries. Finally turned around and tried to figure out how to get to Deadwood. Not a lot of signs pointing to Deadwood. Took a few guesses and lucked out and finally got into town. Of course it was crawling with bikes and trying to find 385 seemed tricky. But I actually took the (curvy, backtracking) direct route and had no problem finding the motel. Tired, very tired. Could hardly stand there to talk to the gentleman checking me in. It felt good to flop on the bed.
Didn’t rest too long. Hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so I wanted to grab a bite to eat before crashing. Rode the trolley into Deadwood and had no idea where to eat. Rode it longer than most anyone else just to get a look at town. Got off at the Cadillac Jack’s stop and had supper at the Brown Rock Sports Cafe. Great food, good service, nice place. But man I was tired. Could hardly eat, and they said I could carry my drink through the casino if I wanted, but I thought it would be too heavy so I just sat tight until I finished it. I walked through the casino and decided I’d rather just go crash, so I hopped the trolley back to the motel. Can’t believe I passed on the hot tub, but I was just too tired to get dressed and walk over there.
All in all, it was a good day. Lots of different motorcycle experiences that are probably pretty commonplace to folks who have been at this a while. It’s really fun to be somewhere where everyone has something in common.
Odometer: 2407 miles