2009 South Dakota motorcycle trip
Day 12

June 17

Hill City, SD. 6:46, mileage 30,634 - The bikes are warming up. The trailers are packed. The house is locked. We're getting ready to leave the cabin that's been our home for the last week. We've ridden 1100 miles of some of the most beautiful country we've seen...not counting the miles in the Pumpkin. But the adventure is not over yet. Even though we are Indiana-bound we will be covering new ground. We will be taking three days to get home via Colorado. Today we will eat at the Casa Bonita restaurant in Denver.

We rode through Hill City for the last time, and south on US16, passing the Crazy Horse Memorial again. At Pringle we veered west onto US18. The sky was overcast. The temperature is nice right now but it'll get hot today. As we transition from South Dakota to Wyoming the scenery changes from forestry to green flatlands. My on-the-move pictures are turning out better. I guess I can blame my earlier bad ones on Ashton. HA!

The flatlands also bring more...trains!

Out in the middle of nowhere we were passed by a couple of GL1800s. We were stopped for road construction for a few minutes. Soon afterwards the Goldwings drifted out of sight. Makes you wonder where they came from, and where they were going. Hopefully starting a long, memorable trip.

Lusk, WY. 9:02, mileage 30,756 - Fuel stop and a convenience store breakfast. The Goldwings from earlier were leaving as we pulled in.

42 miles and 45 minutes after leaving Lusk US18 connected to I-25. I'm not in love with interstates (I prefer the USxx highways) but they're good for cranking up the cruise control and covering ground.

A few times there were heavy clouds but there was no rain.

Wheatland, WY. 11:01, mileage 30,847 - We gassed up then rode across the interstate to the Wheatland Inn for lunch. The food was good. I had a turkey sandwich and french fries. There were some nice bikes sitting there. By now the temperature has risen and feels nice to be inside.

The GPS served me well on the trip. I was able to play with a lot of the features such as the routing displays. The 'ETA' and 'time to next turn' information is very handy, and helps alleviate some of the boredom of driving. You can see the green splotches where rain is supposed to be. More often than not the rain isn't there...which is good. But it still gives you a feel for the weather. The '-00:14' means the weather data is 14 minutes old. The $10/month package updates every 20 minutes. The $30/month package every 5 minutes. I'm cheap.

Wellington, CO. 13:41, mileage 30,949 - It's hot, and we spent some time standing in the shade of the carwash.

Our planned attraction for the day was the Casa Bonita restaurant in Denver. John ate here back in the 70's and has always wanted to return. The restaurant is multifaceted. Besides the food, there is also cliff diving (yes), a gift shop, and other nooks and crannies. The food was great. In retrospect I should have eaten lighter in Wheatland cause it didn't take long to get full, and it's all-you-can-eat at Casa Bonita.

When we left we got another 'tike on a bike' picture.

Hudson, CO. 17:26, mileage 31,057 - We waited to get out of Denver to fuel.

A storm is shadowing us. Hopefully we can keep it behind us.

Sterling, CO. 19:08, mileage 31,153 - Our stop for the night. It's just down the road from a prison and there were signs warning "Don't pick up hitchhikers". The hotel is off of US6...which, if you're a road nerd like me, you know runs across the country, similar to US50 that runs through our hometown of Bedford, IN.

There was a nice looking Heritage parked nearby.

After unpacking we rode next door and fueled up. I picked up some pop, snacks, a pin, and a candle for my girlfriend. After a nice shower I spent the rest of the night using the high speed internet to catch up on my emails. The storm that had chased us made for nice sleeping weather and gave some awesome lightening shows.

Pictures from the day.

Train chasing video (6.4 MB)

514 miles.

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Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14

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