2012 South Dakota motorcycle trip

Day 8

June 21

Today will be another day of revisitation as we head to the Badlands and Wall Drug. John & Debby have been driving Ashton's car so we'll stop by the hospital and return it. It'll also give the girls the opportunity to see the baby.

I had brought my video camera so John installed it so he could get some movies of us. More perfect temperatures at our 9:54 departure time.

I had no clue where the hospital was so John was giving me directions. They dogged me and turned into the parking lot when I had already passed. Ha! I had to loop back around. The girls got to hold the new baby like girls like to do. Afterwards we relaxed in the grass soaking in the day.

Rapid City, SD. 11:51, mileage 59,041 - From the hospital we rode back through town looking for a gas station. And looking...and looking. In Indiana you can't spit without hitting a gas station but it seems to be feast or famine out here. We kept driving north passed I-90 and finally came to one.

It is 53 miles of interstate riding to the turnoff for the Badlands so we cranked up the bikes and set the cruise. Out in the plains states you see a lot of multi-trailer rigs I've noticed.

Mike took the lead for awhile.

Just as we reached the turnoff to the Badlands Mike radioed that he had a problem. We pulled over in a store parking lot. The bolt that holds his shifter had fallen out. It was a simple fix as long as we could find a hardware store. Mike went to the store to inquire. They said there was a NAPA store in Wall, just a few blocks down. That was good news.

Off to the NAPA store we went.

Mike came back with a 7mm bolt and washer and in no time the Venture was good to go.

We headed down Hwy 240, paid the entrance fee, and were in the Badlands. The ranger said we might experience construction and some gravel roads. Because the drive through the park is low speed we decided to go helmetless. It's more convenient and comfortable.

We only had to stop for construction one time. We shut the bikes off and stretched.

About 3/4 of the way through the loop is the restaurant and gift shop. In 2009 this place was packed. It wasn't busy today so we got a table right away. All of us returning from 2009 ordered the Indian tacos, so all the newbies did too. They were great last time. A few minutes later the waitress came back and said they had just started a new batch of the Indian bread and it would be 30 minutes. Sigh. We all ordered other food. A turkey wrap was my disappointing replacement.

After lunch we rode next door to the visitor center so Debby could get her national park book stamped. Temps are still nice.

We finished the loop then headed back to Wall Drug.

Normally on bike trips I am on high alert for pins and stickers. I got a few, but since this was a repeat trip I wasn't really looking. Donna had a few things she wanted to find for her Dad. One was a redneck counterfeit license and the other were some funny T-shirts. Mostly I kept my eye out for those things.

We made the rounds through the Wall Drug buildings then headed up the block to some other stores. In one of the stores I spied some licenses and they had the one she wanted. Mission accomplished. All the couples had become separated and we met up across the road then headed back to the bikes.

I was surprised we had went through the whole Wall Drug complex in an hour. It's started to warm up.

We needed to refresh our supplies so we stopped at Walmart. In 2009 we also went to Walmart after our Badlands/Wall Drug trip but that time we were soaked to the bone. Beautiful weather this time! We went to the McDonalds in Walmart to get some sweet tea. They didn't have any. Oh...the inhumanity. We settled for Cokes.

Rapid City, SD. 20:11, mileage 59,219 - We fueled up at the station we used in 2009 for old times sake. Memories... When we got home we unloaded groceries and ate lunchmeat sandwiches and lounged around.

Monty and Stephanie took the Fort Hays bus tour today. After three days of motorcycle riding it's a great, relaxing way to see all the sights. It's around $75/person, but it includes breakfast, supper, a show, and the entrance fees to Mount Rushmore ($11), Custer Park ($10), and Crazy Horse ($10). A good deal when you think about it.

271 miles.

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 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18

E-mail me