2009 South Dakota motorcycle trip
Day 5

June 10

This morning the weather was singing a familiar song, and it sounded like rain. Sigh...another pumpkin day.

Today we're gonna visit Keystone. We stopped here for about 15 minutes yesterday on the train ride. Today we're gonna explore and look around.

As soon as we left the car we were treated with a beautiful sight. A blue Venture trike. This is the first Venture trike I'd seen. I also liked his trailer setup. He had the box facing backwards from what most people do.

Keystone was a little more touristy and larger than Hill City. Apparently when Mount Rushmore was completed Keystone was the main thoroughfare to get there. Like many of the other towns around there is a prevalent Old West theme.

Because of the rain and drizzle I decided to look for a hat or something to wear. I ended up finding a baseball cap. Every store we went to was another potential source for pins and stickers. My girlfriend uses reading glasses, so I was on the lookout for cutesy glasses like she tries to find.

After a couple hours we had hit most of the shops on the main drag, so we took off down a side street. There wasn't a lot there so we decided to do lunch at Oma's Cafe. Can't recommend the place. John's buffalo burger was way overcooked. Lisa didn't like what she had. They never brought my french fries. It appeared a realtor was showing the place to potential buyers. Hopefully new owners will do better. The waitress was cute though.

Keystone pictures

After lunch we peeked in a couple more shops and Ashton had went into a tattoo shop to look at tattoos. Eventually we all assembled in the tattoo shop to see if Ashton was getting any ink. During the rain on the second day the Kurdzioleks had decided the half helmets they had weren't up to par for riding in the rain, and they wanted to find some better ones.

John asked the shop owner if he knew of any places around that would have helmets. He thought they might be hard to find as most places only have helmets in stock around the time of the Sturgis rally. John borrowed a phone book and called around. The only place that had any selection of helmets were the motorcycle dealers in Rapid City. That would be our next stop.

It took a while to find the Yamaha dealer. Once there the Kurdzioleks found some helmets they liked. Now they are ready for the rain. John also got some highway pegs he had been wanting. I was hoping the dealer might have one of the new Kawasaki Voyagers but they didn't.

On the way back we stopped at Stamper Jewelry and another nearby shop. Then we moved down the road to the Black Hills Reptile Gardens. This was a great place to visit. Their herpetarium is huge! We watched live alligator and snake shows, checked out the tortoise and prairie dog displays, and spent some time in the gift shop. I really enjoyed the visit here.

Reptile pictures

Rattlesnake video

Prairie Dog video

Tortoise video

After a satisfying visit to the reptile zoo we headed back to the house for supper and lounging. John installed his new highway pegs. Now he can stretch out on those long rides.

Our last event for the day is to attend the lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore. The weather was drizzly and Mount Rushmore itself could not be seen.

The ceremony is performed on a stage with Mount Rushmore as a backdrop. There is some history and singing by park employees.

The culmination of the ceremony is the lowering of the flag. The flag was lowered by a girl scout troop. All active and retired military are invited to the stage to be recognized and to pass the flag to the park employee. Ashton and Mike can be seen on the stage. At the end of the ceremony floodlights light up Mount Rushmore.

On the way back to Hill City we took the country road the train ride follows. I can't wait to ride this road on the bikes. Hopefully tomorrow might bring some rideable weather.

Pictures from the day.

Click here for our next day's adventure.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14

E-mail me