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Day 201 – 27th June 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 27, 2009

Saturday – Rapid City, 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 So what it says as the date, place etc at the top of the page is out of date, ignore it, it is correct for the time I was there, but I am not there now 🙂 For example, I am writing this in Lusk, Wyoming, Monday the 29th June.

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.

Well, I had to get up so I had set my alarm for 8.30, this was because we had a group photo at the hotel for 9am. So, I managed to get the bike over there OK, and also got the photo sorted out, one will be bought and sent home.

After this myself and Tom did a sneaky, we were in need of breakfast so we went inside the hotel and sat down to the free hot brekky, we had been told that they were not checking tickets, well that worked out fine. Scrambled eggs and small snags etc, better than all the sweet sugar food which is normal.

Then we went and got sorted for the ride. There is a small spot on the map which is supposed to be the geographical centre of the US, this was close so we had both been interested in going for a look. So we headed off up north to a town called Belle Fouche(belle foosh which means beautiful fork ), we took the slab, it was there and we had other things to do afterwards.

We had no idea where to go but kept driving through town and found the visitors centre, I thought this small house was a dunny, but it turns out is was of historic value. It was an interesting place to look at, exactly like it was years ago.

We spotted the big plaque out the back where we decided it may not be wise to ride the bikes down, so we just took a few photos instead.

Then we spotted the sign in front of the visitor’s centre which declared the actual spot is further north.

After talking to the ladies on duty, we got the map and directions to the actual physical location, which is in a paddock, the one out back here is for all the tourists in RV and campers etc, lol 🙂 There was also a museum with some nice history and old stuff of course, this is where I found out how the Sundance Kid got his name.

After buying a souvenir patch to send home, we headed off up north. The directions were simple, go north on hwy85 for 13.5 miles, then take the ‘old’ hwy85 which is a dirt road for 7.5 miles, then you will see on the right a small sign on a barbed wire fence, opposite a big barn, go through the fence into the paddock and walk about 50 yards until you are standing next to a flag. So we head off and once again get pounded by a 40 mph cross wind from the east, this is physically hard to ride in, but we were not backing out, you can see my flag nearly horizontal. The dirt is lined in pink on the map 🙂

Now we are on the dirt, the first 3 miles were crappy, lots of loose marble on it and with the cross wind, it was difficult standing up on the pegs and staying on the road. The road changed after this and the last 5 miles were great, we could speed up a bit, but not a lot, we were still being blown sideways.

We eventually found the place, it was opposite a large barn which is hard to see in the last photo above. But, the sign was there and the fence and a flag out there in the middle of nowhere!

There is a small plaque embedded into the concrete slab that holds the flagpole, and it was still very windy, but as you can see there are no trees, nor hills to block the wind.

So, once that was achieved and the box in my head ticked off, it was head back on the dirt, a different lean angle now though. We stopped at a place where we had seen some sheep dogs that were guarding their flock, they were not impressed with us stopping near their charges, and gave us a right old barking time 🙂

We now headed back and stopped at a small town, I think Spearfish where we tried to get some food from the street vendors, but we were too late as they were packing up for the day, and se we settled for some pub fare instead! I still cannot get used to being served potato chips with my meal, I was not really all that hungry but needed something to fill the hole, the chips did not get eaten though.

The we headed down to Savoy and around to Lead, now this road is spectacular, it was speed limited, but it needed it, because every corner brought a new spectacular scene, wow, I nearly run off the road a few times, and I found out later, so did Tom 🙂 Here is a small glimpse of what is there!

After this we ended up in Deadwood, a small historic town and totally over commercialised and so we only stopped the once, that was to pick up my camera I had dropped while trying to take a photo on the fly. It was on my tank bag when the light turned green and when I took off it slid off, lucky I have a drop proof one!

From here it was a relatively smooth ride through some rolling hills to Sturgis, the place in the US where in a few weeks time, the population will grow from 6000 to a whopping 750,000, and the extras will all be bikers!

This is the place to be if you are a Harley rider, most bikes really, but not for me, I hate crowds! We breezed through and took a few photos before heading back to RC.

But after arriving back at the motel I had to do some washing, so I did it up at the hotel which had the facilities and waited in the bar and chatted for a while, until it was all dry. The gathering had become complete, this was the big night and the bikes outside had multiplied.

Once again we lined up, signed in, bought some raffle tickets etc and found a seat before the dinner started, tonight it was spag, with vegies, nothing deep fried for a change, very nice 🙂

After dinner a lot of the sponsors were asked to say a few words, they had donated a lot of gear for prizes again, both for the raffles and the door prizes. The first chap is Pat Walsh, I have some of his gear and after that is Johnofchar, the VSRI forum owner. There were a lot more, but I forgot to take photos until too late, sorry.

Once again my name was drawn out of the barrel for the door prizes and I chose an Andy Strapz strap, this is an elasticised strap with velcro, I had two but I rode one day without bags and one got melted on the exhaust, it still works, but this may be used if it breaks.

Tombstone was a big winner for the weekend, he won a jacket last night, managed to pick up $100 from a lucky card this morning and tonight scored a set of crash bars, which he will swap as he has some already, good on him.

After this, all the loose bits and pieces were up for grabs, so I managed to get another t-shirt and a face mask which will come in handy in the cold, the rest of the stuff I will send back home in early July with Junes photos. We adjourned to the bar where once again we have bloody Karaoke, what is it with this crap singing, what is wrong with fine old CDs! While we were there, they had a street magician called Josh who showed us some great party tricks and some amazing magic I guess, it worked for me, we both threw him $5, as a donation is expected, it was worth it though, how did he do that!

Of course when we went over to Cheers to get away from the crap singers, they had Karaoke on there again!! There was a nice waitress there and after a few beers I asked her to send the cop over, which she did. When he came over, he was a bit wary of me, but I asked him if he could take out his gun and shoot the singer cos he was rotten 😦 He just laughed and was cool enough for a photo, of course the waitress had to get into the act 🙂

We ended up at a small casino dive just up the road from the motel, it was quiet and we stayed for some beer, which was a lot cheaper than the other two places. The Spine Guy and Cave Hamster were with us and we chatted until close, which was early. The other three were leaving tomorrow, but I was staying until Monday.

Day – 180 miles and 290 km
Trip – 21,670 miles and 34,874 km


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2 Responses to “Day 201 – 27th June 09”

  1. ybg said

    Bell 4sh. Bell 4sh! 🙂

    What’s with that stuff you ate in silverfish, sorry Spearfish. Crikey. 😉

    Wish I was there.

    Ride on


    • travellingstrom said

      It was a bratwurst with fried onions and the thing was wrapped in home made pastry. It tasted fine 🙂

      Cheers TS

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