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Day 202 – 28th June 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 28, 2009

Sunday – 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 So what it says as the date, place etc at the top of the page is out of date, ignore it, it is correct for the time I was there, but I am not there now 🙂 For example, I am writing this in Lusk, South Dakota, 30th June.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.

Once again Tom and I went over to the hotel for free breakfast, he was heading out this morning, I was going for a ride to the Devils Tower. This is the bike that is sponsored by Twisted Throttle, it has a lot of farkles on it, they were one of the major prize donators over the past few nights, including a stack of t-shirts, free advertising of course 🙂 I was trying to ‘borrow’ his highway pegs, but he was keeping a close eye on me 🙂

After breakfast I met up with Johnofchar, he had ridden his new DL650 down, the one that was in his garage stripped down when I was there about 3 weeks back or so. He had a brand new shunt for my Kisan Charge Guard for me, I had lent him my spare one back then, but it also turned out to be faulty, so Kisan replaced his and mine, good on em.

John gave me some ideas for rides around the Wyoming and Colorado area, before I headed off to get ready to ride. I had also volunteered to try a new WindStrom windscreen last night and had installed it this morning before breakfast. It was a bit tall for me and meant I would be looking through the screen rather than over it, but I would give it a full days trial. I managed to catch up with Tom and say hooroo, just as he was riding out, well met m8 and I hope to catch you some time later in the south of Texas. 🙂 I headed up the same slab as the past few rides before reaching the town of Sundance, here I headed into Wyoming, but missed the state sign.

I saw this state sign and went back for a photo, it is the bottom line that caught my attention, handle bars that high are called Ape Hangers, because it looks like an ape hanging off them when they ride. I would like to see what happens during Sturgis, because a lot of bikes travel through here to get to there and there are a lot of these illegal bars, some higher than their heads 🙂

I have seen a lot of these wooden barriers out in the fields, weird in that they are see through, made of slats and only go for a short period. They do not form a fence, but a barrier for part of the field, they only seem to be in certain locations, usually on a slope, but not always, and not on both sides of the road at the same time? If anyone knows what they are for, please let me know.

I continued on looking through a distorted view via the screen, until I eventually got my first glimpse of the tower.

As you can see it has been a monument for over 100 years.

I had some more windy roads to get into the actual national park itself, my annual pass got me through again, well worth the initial outlay of $80, it has definitely paid for itself and I am now ahead of the game. Here I stopped and checked out the prairie dogs, cute little things, and they even posed for me!

The Devils Tower, the first time I heard of/and saw this was with the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, it was amazing then and is absolutely amazing in the flesh so to speak, wow!!!

There is an Indian belief about this place but there are also scientific reasoning’s about how it was formed. There are quite a few native names for this place, one of the early white settlers mistook a native explanation to mean ‘the bad god’ and so he called it the Devils Tower. It would be better if the original native names were used, but I doubt that will happen. Their names for the monolith include: Aloft on a Rock (Kiowa), Bear’s House (Cheyenne, Crow), Bear’s Lair (Cheyenne, Crow), Bear’s Lodge (Cheyenne, Lakota), Bear’s Lodge Butte (Lakota), Bear’s Tipi (Arapaho, Cheyenne), Tree Rock (Kiowa), and Grizzly Bear Lodge (Lakota).

After that as it was quite hot, I declined to walk around the base and headed off for some different viewpoints. There is a lot of free climbing that happens here, but due to native ceremonies during the month of June, it is not allowed.

So, I headed back via the northern loop of Hulett and Alva, the road was full of tar snakes which kept the speed down, especially on the corners, but not long after it got better, so the riding was better as well 🙂

After a short period I stopped at the small town of Aladdin, population 15 and it had a snack bar which I had been told about. I had some prawns and chips(shrimp and fries), very nice and had a great chat with some other travellers and Cindy the owner and I think it is her daughter, a very nice place for a stop. Check out the drunken donkey on the display 🙂

Then I headed east and because I was going to fast on the interstate coming into Wyoming, I managed to get a good photo here on a back road 🙂

Then I had ten miles of grooved road, they are doing major road works and this stuff sucked, you are constantly moving all over the road, it is not dangerous, just uncomfortable!

Here is another of those pointless fences, as you can see it starts and stops and does not block anything at all, if it was there to block animals, they would go around, and I am sure deer could jump over them!

I stayed on the back roads until Whitewood and slabbed it back to RC, I saw the traffic severely slowed in the other direction, it looks like an RV had overturned.

After getting back I managed to write up last Thursdays blog entry then wandered over for a beer and found a small group of late stayers, but this was going to be a quiet evening as I was about beered and karaoked out by now!

After a couple I headed over to the Chinese shop for a take away meal, Tom had said they were good but there is no aircon, so don’t sit and eat. The meal was big and cheap, during his slow moments, the owner is busy fixing his car 🙂

After that I wrote some more stuff and had an early night for a change. I was leaving in the morning and had spoken to Jim and Lesley, they were south of Denver, which is south of me and we would tentatively meet up on Tuesday night. I had still a few things to achieve, that was Mt Rushmore and the one that is a definite on any visitors card, Crazy Horse mountain 🙂

Day – 230 miles and 370 km
Trip – 21,900 miles and 33,245 km


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15 Responses to “Day 202 – 28th June 09”

  1. Muddy922 said

    The pointless fence is to help prevent snow drifts on the road in winter. The fence breaks up blowing snow and it piles up behind the fence and not on the road.

    • travellingstrom said

      I thought that in a way as well, but they were never in all the places, just some.

      I have since found the answer and it will be in the next post.

      Thanks for your comment TS

      • Muddy922 said

        The fences are actually called snow fences and are placed in known locations of snow drifting. The locations are also effected by what tax $$$$ are paying for the maintenance of the roads. You have local, county, state, and federal roads.
        I see your headed to the more scenic side of the country, great riding ahead.


    • Hey friend,

      I know you’ve been looking for some nice things and I guess I’ve just found them, take a look


  2. Art Wallace said

    G’day Rich. Looks like Rapid City has been a real hoot! Did those tar snakes give you an Ohio flashback?! Can’t recall if we talked about Colorado during your visit… I was pretty snockered by then-LOL. US 550 from Montrose down to Durango is a really screnic ride. Dad & I stayed at the KOA just north of Ouray and highly recommend it if you’ll be passing that way!

    -Art… Your peg-scrapin’ m8 in Pataskala.

    • travellingstrom said

      Yeah, I hate tar snakes 😦

      Thanks for the info, I will check the map and see what happens from there.

      Cheers TS

  3. Greg Tilford said

    Ditto on the pointless fence. I was puzzled by them the first time I flew into Denver,CO. Come by in the winter some time and you can see them at work, but probably not a good idea to be on your Strom!

    ~ Greg

  4. Al & Ann said

    Hey Richard, you haven’t heard from us in a while but we’ve been keeping up with your travels, really enjoying seeing the country through your eyes. We hope you take advantage of riding up to Pike’s Peak, you’re so close it would be a shame to miss it, talk about a “Rocky Mountain High”. The other place that Ann and I really enjoyed is the “Million Dollar Hwy” between Ouray and Silverton and if you do make it that far south take in Telluride, you will enjoy it and what a great place to be this time of year. We might be in the same part of the country later this summer we are heading to the Northwest, we will keep watch and let you know, would love to have a beer and a chat. “Ride On”

    • travellingstrom said

      Hi Al

      I am doing Pikes Peak tomorrow, I did Mt Evans today and another dirt road through some pass down to Grant.

      I will check out those roads, but I am intending heading north to Yellowstone and Bear Tooth Pass before hitting Canada

      Maybe we will see eachother, if we do, it is beer time 🙂

      Cheers TS

  5. southroads said

    Hey richard,,

    great pics mate and still enjoying the ride,,

    Keep an eye out for Clint and Charleen on their Red Goldwing

    they are from Brisvegas and are just a little south of you at the moment,,

    cheers mate ,, skip

    • travellingstrom said

      Do you know how many bloody Goldwings are out here, I would get a sore neck! Lets see what happens m8

      Cheers TS

  6. NSB said

    Great to see that you’re still travelling well Richard. I’m keen to hear what your impressions of the Windstrom screen were. Take care, Nigel

    • travellingstrom said


      The windscreen was no good for me, it was too tall and although it may reduce wind buffeting, I could not really tell due to the crosswind. I hate looking through screens, when they are bug filled and lowering sun, no good whatsoever.

      That said, it may be OK for a taller upper bodied rider

      Cheers TS

    • Dear!

      Look what I’ve just found on the web, that really cool, yeah, more info here

      In haste, TravellingStrom

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