2009 South Dakota motorcycle trip
Day 7

June 12

Today is the girls' spa day. When I got downstairs they were leaving for their day of rest and relaxation. It looked to be another rain-free day so we guys were excited about riding. Being men, we stood around doing nothing for awhile and piddling with the bikes. At 8:54 the starter buttons were engaged and we headed out to Hill City.

The first stop for man day was the car wash. The bikes had gotten grimey the day before. After a quick spray we headed down the street to the hardware store. Mike said the adjusting bolt on the backrest kept backing off so I'm gonna get a nut to lock it in place. I got the nut and picked up a set of standard and metric wrenches for my tool kit. With the adjusting bolt locked into place we headed off for our next stop. Walmart in Rapid City.

When we had looked at Mike's trailer we suspected the bulb base in his left taillight was screwed up and causing his lighting problems, so he's gonna get some replacement lights. I'm also gonna get some wiring supplies/tools for my ever-expanding tool kit. This was another one of those 'let my GPS lead us there' situations. Happily, it did a great job. Mike decided to get a set of LED lights and I picked up some supplies.

On the way to checkout we had stopped to check out some clothing. This lady stopped and asked us if we had arrived early for the Sturgis rally. We got this a lot due to our motorcycle jackets. She chatted for awhile about how we seemed like good people and that not all bikers are bad. Then her conversation started taking on a more religious tone. I went to church regularly for the biggest part of 30 years so I'm very comfortable with that kind of stuff. The more she talked though, the odder it got. She spoke of the 'the demons' and 'the evil' and she started sounding a little nutty. The worst part is she just kept talking.

Eventually I looked at the other guys and said "I gotta pay for this stuff before the girls get mad" and bailed on them. Ha ha ha... After I paid for the stuff I went outside and called John, pretending to be an impatient wife. About that time I saw Mike walk outside. He had just up and left. The phone call allowed John to get away from the lady. Oh well, it's a good story for the trip. We went across the street and fueled up, then headed to the Yamaha dealer.

The first day we came here we had a little trouble finding it and today was no better. We got turned around a few times before we got our bearings. Nothing wrong with some extra exploration. Just after we parked we saw a B-1 circling. John wanted to pick up another Venture pin like he had gotten the other day. I had found a nice flourescent green Field Sheer jacket the other day that I looked at again today. I really liked it and the price wasn't too bad, but I needed another motorcycle jacket like a girl needs that hundredth purse or pair of shoes. Reluctantly I put it back on the rack.

By now it was noon and we headed down the road to McDonalds. I'd gotten a little sick the night before so I nursed a coke while the others ate real food. After lunch we headed south on SD79. It was nice rolling country with the occasional mesa. You half expected to see John Wayne or Clint Eastwood sitting on a horse off in the distance. We rode about 50 miles before turning west on US18 towards Hot Springs. We wanted to investigate Hot Springs for potential exploring later on.

We cruised through Hot Springs. There appeared to be some sort of historical park-like area on a hill. There weren't many shops like the other towns we'd been in. We made mental notes and headed north on US385 towards the Wind Cave National Park.

We were under a large black cloud and once in a while we'd get a few seconds of sprinkles. We stopped at an informational pulloff to stretch our legs. We saw signs of buffalo.

After enjoying the peace and quiet for about 15 minutes we noticed a couple cars pulled over about a quarter mile down the road. Hmmmmmmm...maybe they're looking at something. A buffalo? We cruised down the road for a look. Yep. Two buffalo were grazing. We watched the buffalo graze for a few minutes then headed north. We left the park, passed through Pringle, and eventually came to Custer where the girls were. We passed the spa and saw the Pumpkin was still there so we honked.

When we got back to Hill City Mike remembered he needed to exchange a sweatshirt at Fort Hays so we headed towards Rapid City. Any reason to ride is good with us! When we got to Fort Hays the store was closed for the day. We'd have to try again. We rode back to Hill City, fueled the bikes, and went back to the cabin. We installed Mike's LED lights which fixed his problem...kind of. It worked better but it still wasn't right. We swapped trailers with different bikes and determined the 5-to-4 trailer wire convertor on the Nomad was bad.

When the girls got back we hung out for awhile then headed back to Hill City. There were a few stores we wanted to revisit and we wanted supper. We ended up eating at The Bumpin' Buffalo. The place was packed. Ashton had abandoned us old people to hang out with her friends. I was still a little iffy about being sick last night so I had a salad...but it was a good salad. It had meat on it.

We finished the night lounging at our cabin...and looking forward to tomorrow. My XM antenna worked all day today, so I'm calling the Garmin USB extension cable bad. I hadn't installed it long before the trip. Must be a wussy cable.

Sidenote: Ashton has been my backseat'er on several motorcycle trips since 2004. We've even shared hotel rooms. She's always been like one of the guys, or kind of like my niece. No hanky panky...Debby would slit my throat with a dull knife. My girlfriend hadn't texted me much yesterday, and this morning I found out why. She was P-I-S-S-E-D that Ashton was riding with me. Despite my explaining all she saw was a 22 year-old blonde riding with me all over South Dakota. She had known for six months that Ashton might ride with me some but didn't say a word...she just let it eat at her. Women! It would be a sore spot with my girlfriend until the day we broke up.

Pictures from the day.

202 miles

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