2009 South Dakota motorcycle trip
Day 8

June 13

I laid in bed until almost 8:30 this morning. As I was getting dressed John texted me that breakfast was ready. It was excellent...just like everything the girls cook...they're worth their weight in gold. After breakfast we milled around in the living room and garage. People checked their email, lazied around, and enjoyed the beginning of a beautiful day.

Our adventures will carry us east today. We're going to visit the Badlands and Wall Drug. Tonight Mike is making barbequed ribs. Some of Ashton's friends are coming over to join us.

Kickstands were up at 10:01. The weather is gorgeous. We stopped at Fort Hays on the way to take care of the sweatshirt problem. Two hours and 83 miles later we were in Wall, SD, filling up the bikes. The last time we rode that section of I-90 we were drenched and frozen. Today we could enjoy the scenery. We goofed around with some formation riding.

Leaving the gas station we took SD240 seven miles to the entrance of the Badlands National Park. We paid the entrance fee and started our tour. The premise is there is a 28 mile low speed drive through the park with lots of scenic pulloffs. Because it was warm, and because we are hellions, we went helmetless in the park.

At one of the pulloffs this sign intrigued me, but I never saw any.

Speaking of little creatures, at another one of the pulloffs some kids were fascinated with the bikes so we let them "ride" one. Every trip we seem to let some kids sit on the bikes. They really get a kick out of it.

Badlands pictures

After a couple hours of sight seeing we arrived at the Cedar Pass Lodge for lunch. We milled around for awhile as they were busy. Snagged some stickers and pins. The food was good. Most of us had some sort of taco salad with an indian bread base. It was good. The service was a little slow.

Finishing lunch we toured the remainder of the park, then headed the 24 miles back to Wall Drug via I-90. Wall drug is the size of a city block and is like a little mall unto itself. The place was packed. We got some FREE stickers. Also found some pins. We checked out some other shops across the street. All in all we spent a couple hours in Wall.

Leaving Wall we noticed our sunny skies had turned into a big, black cloud. With fingers crossed and raingear stowed we headed back to Rapid City.

We got about 43 miles before pelting raindrops required us to pull over and raingear up.

It rained on us all the way to Walmart...sometimes heavy, sometimes just sprinkly. We were quite a sight in Walmart. Six wet motorcyclists with dripping rain gear. We were alert for the crazy lady from the other day. The girls went to get some supplies for the cookout tonight and we guys went to the automotive section. I bought another trailer converter for the Nomad. 20 minutes later we were headed for the door and hoping the rain had cleared but it was not to be. We trudged back into the rain, got on soggy bikes, and headed south. It rained for about 15 more minutes then cleared away.

When we got back to Hill City we unpacked the supplies we'd purchased then dried out for a while. We put the new trailer converter on the Nomad and tried it out. It worked, and now Mike has a properly functioning trailer. The bad trailer convertor was the one I got with the Bushtec trailer hitch for the Goldwing, and it had never been used until this trip. We also dug into John's bike to see why his GPS wasn't working. It turned out to be a blown fuse, but it was behind his fairing and took some effort to get to. Now all the bikes are good to go.

Chef Kurdziolek

By now it was time to start cooking. Mike made some of his secret sauce and cooked the ribs while the girls made the fixin's. Ashton's friends came over and we all had a great supper. Eventually they headed out and us old people went to bed.

Tomorrow we'll head westward.

Pictures from the day.

226 miles

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