Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Great Bike Ride – Day 4

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The day started off in Kadoka SD. After breakfast at the local greasy spoon, we jumped on I-90 West for the quick run to the Badlands. It was the first time for John and Jeff, and they were appropriately impressed with the area. Pat & Buss had visited the Badlands the when they rode to Sturgis last year, and Terry and I had chance to visit last fall. It was a pleasure to run through again, this time on a bike.

From there we stopped at Wall Drug for Jeff. It's the very definition of a tourist trap, so we didn't stay long.

The next stop was Sturgis. After the Rally, it's a pretty sleepy town. We had no problem parking the bikes on Main Street, or getting a table at Ben's.

Then came the long stretch. We left Sturgis with the goal of reaching Hardin, Montana. My mapping program indicated that there was no lodging on US 212 between Belle Fourche SD and Hardin, a stretch of about 200 miles. It was correct in that regard. In fact, there was virtually nothing on this road except range land and cattle. We found gas in Broadus MT – 100 miles from Belle Fourche. The next gas was another 100 miles later where US 212 joined I-90, at the Little Big Horn (yep, that one).

For most of the day, it was 100 degrees with cloudless blue sky. Not a tree to be seen for the first hundred miles.

While we were eating in Sturgis, some folks at the next table struck up a conversation (there's always someone who wants to talk with the bikers), and upon finding out we were headed for Glacier said that: a) US 2 west of the park is under repair and pretty much a dirt road (no thanks); and, b) the forest fires in the area make many areas uncomfortable to be in. We're a little bummed by these developments, but still plan to head up there next week.

Tomorrow we head into Yellowstone.


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