Nick's first blog post!!!
Ok time for my input to this blog ( and about bloody time I hear you say) it’s about time Bec had a night off!!
So what have the past few days thrown our way...
Let me start with Sunday 25th September; loaded the girls (yes the bikes are girls ) up and rode away from our motel in a place called Red Lodge .
Bec had asked our sat nav (using an app called scenic, which ain’t half bad) to choose the curvy route with lots of gravel.
It took us up and out of the town to give us a far and reaching fantastic view and an encounter with a coyote.
The gravel was easy to navigate and we sped along quite merrily.
Most of the tar sealed roads here are of race track quality, have very little traffic and drivers are generally very courteous and aware of motorbikes, this I have heard is a little different in South America and we will have to adapt accordingly.
Stopping briefly for a coffee, a local stopped and gave us the “ you should go to…..” speech, this has been the norm in this trip and we duly redirected and headed through an Indian reservation with thoughts of spending a night under canvas in the campsite he had told us about.
We spotted a young Grizzly Bear on the way to a settlement called Fort Smith where we found the reserve and campground we had been told about had been shut due to AGGRESSIVE bear activity; damn! ...let’s have lunch then …until bear droppings were spotted next to our picnic table …we’re leaving!!!!
We had lost a bit of time with the detour and decided to race along the freeway (boring but quick) getting to a mining/oil town called Gillette, and no, the razors don’t come from here!
Bec found a cheap motel, as in bed bug stained pillows, "love you long time" kind of cheap! So I made sure the girls (bikes!!!) were chained up for the night!
The morning saw us going to see the national monument devils tower, a single rock protrubence or what geologists would call a laccolith in the middle of nowhere. You might recognise it from the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
We then followed a route through the back blocks of the Black Hills Forest Park on a testing road of gravel, sand and deep ruts after many bum clench moments we stopped for lunch and cooled off to be a comments “holy shit there were some BIG ruts …. Ahem yes there were!"
Lunch was at the sight of the 1955 White House Christmas tree ...obviously not here any more!
We had another chance meeting with a rancher (he didn’t want to be called a farmer) called Doug who ran a 1000 head of Red Angus on about 10,000 acres. We could have spent all day chatting away to him, he nearly fell out of his side by side when we informed him we had over 1.5 metres of rain a year to his 200 cm last year.
And we were amazed how on earth they rounded stock up from under the trees.
Saying our goodbyes we shot over to Mount Rushmore sampling the very curvy Iron Mountain Road where the road (designed to view the Rushmore carvings) winds under bridges on itself and through tunnels.
At the Mount Rushmore car park ...they wanted $10 each for parking!!! yeah …. Na !! About turn we go and take our photos from the side of the road!
We found a bed in an old gold mining town place called Rockerville and had to decide whether we continue East (which we had never planned to do) or head back to the Wild West.
We have no idea why, but we set out the following day East, a day which was epic not only in distance; 920 kms or equivalent to riding from Picton to Invercargill in the South Island of New Zealand with 100 kms gravel thrown in for good measure, but also epic for breathtaking scenery crossing through the states of South Dakota , Minnesota and Iowa.
When I say breathtaking I say it with a farmers eye, vast areas as far as the eye could see of maize, soy, sorghum ( had to google that one as I had no idea) wheat stubble, combines, trucks, silos, dust and the smells of harvesting/combines which became more pronounced as dusk approached.
After over 12 hours of travelling time was against us now and it’s not often Bec says “we need to get a hustle on Nick, as it’ll be dark soon”
So on that note “we made good progress!!” Into dwindling light, but the mother of all sunsets in our mirrors, with sore backsides, making it just on closing time at the burger bar and then bed !!!!
We consumed 5 coffees…. Each!!!
X2 banana and toast for breakfast
Banana and biscuit for lunch
Lollies/candies/sweets x lots
Burger and root beer ( who drinks this stuff?? ewww...) for dinner
X 3 petrol fills