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Archive for June 24th, 2009

Day 198 – 24th June 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 24, 2009

Wednesday – Murdo, South Dakota

Hi everyone, I need to clear up some confusion, so I will do it here and now.
Sorry for the long introduction, but this will stay here for at least a week, so if you have read it once, scroll down for the days update, which starts with the non bold text 🙂
I am receiving a lot of offers of help, chat, food, rides, beer etc and not in that particular order either 🙂 I appreciate all of the offers and I apologise to those who I have missed or gone past without dropping in to say G’day. I always acknowledge and answer all messages, whether they are emails, comments here, PMs from forums or whatever. The only issue seems to be, I sometimes get them after I have been and gone in certain areas. So, to make things a lot easier I will outline a few facts on where I am, where I could be heading and an explanation on what you see here.

For a start I am always going to be behind in the blog, usually two days, maybe more if I do not have net access. So what it says as the date, place etc at the top of the page is out of date, ignore it, it is correct for the time I was there, but I am not there now 🙂 For example, I am writing this in South Bend, Sunday the 21st June, the first day of summer in the US.

There are two ways to know where I am and which way I am going. Look to the left and down a bit, there is a small map, it tells you my current general location. Whenever I get internet access I update this, it takes 30 seconds and is as actual as it can be. If I do not do a blog update, I will always update this map anyway.

The second way and most accurate is to look to the right, there is a link called

Here I Am
SPOT tracks of Where I Am

Click on that link, it will open a new page in your web browser, if I am actually physically riding at the moment, it will be updated every 30 minutes or so, the higher the number flag is the latest position locator. I always turn this off about 5 minutes from where I intend staying, but I am in that general area.

I hope the confusion does not stop the offers of meeting fellow riders from coming in, but now I may get the messages before I actually blow through town. After Rapid City, I will be slowing down a lot more, so I will have more chances anyway.

Oh calamity, more electronic failures 😦 My USB flash drive has gone silly and I now cannot access any of the files on it, these are all copies of my documents etc, in case I lose them. This is not a major issue, just annoying, I will have to find a scanner and spend ages rescanning in everything again! The worst thing is my Garmin GPS, it has stopped working from batteries, this is a major problem. If I cannot use it with batteries, I cannot connect it to my laptop, so it means I cannot upload the World Map which I was planning on using in South America. It still works when connected to the bike power, so it is a very expensive compass at this moment in time. There is a big camp store in Rapid City, I will see if they know a Garmin dealer.

Well, it is raining outside, so I found a different hot spot and managed to post a blog page.

Another failure is the brand new tank bag base, the metal tongue thing that starts the zip off, has fallen off. I emailed the lady that sent me the new one to see what can be done, it is still usable, but a bit of a hassle.

Anyway, the rain had cleared up so off I go finally and head south to Sioux City and probably no chance of a photo, because the state border is on a river 🙂 But, I knew this and had planned ahead for a change!

After about 30 minutes or so I could see I may get wet again and decided to don the gear!

It never eventuated over me for a change and after some nice scenery I ended up heading over the border with no place to stop on a bridge.

Just after the border was a field of windmills, these were all different designs down through the ages, pretty neat.

I stopped for fuel and also managed to score a map, this was a real bonus, because there was a scenic route going all the way to a town called Valentine which was where I intended to head north for the state border crossing. The country around here was all farmland and was just rolling hills, an absolute blast to ride through, this was fun 🙂

I stopped for a quick snack, but not for long it was getting hot again. I noticed my flag was getting ripped, the seam sealer held it at bay for a while, but once the stitching started to undo on day two out of Toronto, it just kept on going. I will need to reinforce the next one methinks!

More great countryside to ride through, and of course there are the odours out here 🙂 You cannot get that in an air conditioned car, the pong of fertiliser, the stench of cow poo and the worst is of course silage, yuckety yuck! But, it is all part of biking and is better than none at all. You also have the smell of wild flowers, fresh cut grass etc, so it is not all bad 🙂

I went through a small town called Niobrara where I saw two Vstroms at the bowsers, so I turned around and net up with Bill and Mark, both are heading to the gathering 🙂

We chatted for a while, before heading off, they were going a slightly different way to me. Just up the road they passed me as I stopped for a look at one of the local historic info signs, I tell ya, these Indians had it tough, but hopefully they are happy now!

More rolling corn and grass fields.

Then I spotted this sign, and as soon as I saw it I immediately thought of our late great state premier, Sir Joh, this would have been an ideal town for him to live I reckon 🙂

The reason for this amusement was because when there were calls for daylight saving in Queensland long ago, it was knocked on the head and the joke went around that ‘the sun shines out of Sir Joh’s bum, and he was not getting up an hour early for anyone’ 🙂

More rolling hills which are starting to flatten out a bit though. I fuelled up in Springview where I met Bill and Mark again, but I kept on going, I still had some miles to go for the day. The road out of this town was full of gravel, they need a road sweeper I think!

Now, I had seen these all along the road I was travelling, but for the life of me I could not find any outlaw things! I saw a lot of signs and info stuff on a trek back a long time ago, but nothing to do with outlaws, real strange!

That yellow sign behind me says ‘No Passing Zone’ which is lucky, cos if that ‘a’ was an ‘i’ I would be in strife 🙂

After some more flat stuff I actually found a hill and shortly after entered the town of Valentine, this is where I turned north for the border.

And not long after I found the state border, not hard to find as there was a casino marking the spot!

After this I just needed a place to stay, I decided to head for the interstate as I knew there would be motels there, so after some nice roads I got into the small town of Murdo.

I found a cheap motel and settled in, had myself some more noodles for dinner while doing the emails and this is when I tried the GPS again, because every time I stopped during the day, it was running on battery power, but it did not work yesterday. Well, blow me down it works now, wtf??? I have no clue what is going on with it, hopefully it is not a sign of total failure. But, I am glad it now works again. Soon after that, I decided, after this long day I need a beer, which just happened to be across the road 🙂 They have all these dollar notes from people passing through, I noticed a very familiar note though 🙂

I only had the one here then tried the next bar up the street 🙂

But, the barman was a bloke and smoking behind the bar, in fact walking around with it in his mouth while pouring beer, so after one I went back to the other bar, at least it had a girl serving 🙂

Here I met up with a couple of old chaps who had come down to shoot prairie dogs, apparently they are a pest, a bit like roos back home, they eat the grass, but unlike roos, they dig holes everywhere. That is Bill and Norm, hi there have fun 🙂

So, I stayed for a little while chatting with some people and getting served beer by the lovely Ashley, oh to be 21 again 🙂

So, of course it was not a late night, but I certainly slept well when I did get back to the room, just over the road, that Fat Tyre does have a kick you know 🙂

Day – 445 miles and 716 km
Trip – 21,291 miles and 34,265 km


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