Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back To Custer State Park

Yesterday, I visited Custer State Park again but this time I rode in the opposite direction of the first trip.  It's almost a different ride considering how things look going the other way.

Panoramic View of Iron Mountain Highway
(click on photo to enlarge)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Geographic Center Of The U.S.

Having been to the geographic center of North America (Rugby, ND), I rode up to the geographic center of the U.S (Belle Fourche, SD) just so I could say "been there, done that".


S. Canyon / Nemo Road (C234) to Vanacker Canyon Road (3) is a nice ride from Rapid City to Sturgis.  It is somewhat like Spearfish Canyon without the 35 mph speed limit.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Kool Deadwood Nights"

Some friends from the campground and I drove up to Deadwood for the classsic car show...

Mike, Barb, & Tom





Downtown Deadwood Concert

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Devil's Tower

The Devil's Tower in Wyoming is huge!  1,267 feet tall and 1,000 feet in diameter.  I recommend hiking the Tower Trail (1.3 miles) around the base to see the many facets of the rock up close.  It is definitely worth a "Close Encounter of the Third Kind".





Climber (click on photo to enlarge)

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Badlands, Wall Drug, & Minuteman Missiles

The Badlands National Park encompasses 244,000 acres of some of the most barren, rugged landscape in the country.  It is the process of erosion run amok.

Panoramic View of The Badlands

Panoramic View of The Badlands

The Badlands

Wall Drug is the quintessential tourist spot out west.

Wall Drug

During the Cold War, South Dakota had hundreds of Minuteman Missile Silos.  Most have been shut down but a few have been turned over to the National Park Service.  I took the guided tour of Launch Control Facility Delta-01 but the elevator was broken and I did not get to go down into the missile silo (which I think would have been the most interesting part).  Here are some photos of the Launch Facility Delta-09.

Top of missile silo enclosed in glass

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Camaraderie

A significant part of the camping experience are the people you meet.  This past week I have enjoyed the company of a number of experienced full time RVers and have gotten some great ideas as to where to go and what to do in the future.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer, & Hot Springs

I took the back roads down to Crazy Horse, Custer, & Hot Springs and then came back via Custer State Park.  All in all a pleasant ride through the scenic Black Hills of South Dakota.

Crazy Horse Memorial
(those are bulldozers in the lower right portion of the photo)

And just when I think it cannot get any better...

World's Largest Log Chair

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sturgis, Deadwood, & Spearfish Canyon

As you might expect the week after the rally, downtown Sturgis was pretty much deserted so I rode out to the Full Throttle Saloon (world's largest biker bar) and the Buffalo Chip (campground).  They were empty also but you could see the potential for some serious partying with a couple thousand of your closest friends.



Gambling has taken over Deadwood.  Almost every store I saw had slot machines.



Spearfish Canyon is another great motorcycle road with winding turns, sheer rock cliffs, and a white water stream running along the highway.



As I exited the canyon, the temperature dropped to 55 degrees.  Just a reminder of how quickly the weather can change here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mount Rushmore & Custer State Park

I visited Mount Rushmore early this morning to avoid the crowds. It is an impressive work of art and a national treasure.


From Mount Rushmore I rode through Custer State Park via the Iron Mountain Road, the Wildlife Loop, and the Needles Highway.  All are "must rides" for bikers.

Iron Mountain "Piglet"

One of several single lane tunnels
(that is Mount Rushmore at the far end of the tunnel)

Buffalo Traffic Jam

After waiting almost an hour for the buffalo to get off the road, I had the last laugh... I had a buffalo burger for lunch.

The Needles

Climber on a vertical column of rock

"The Road Less Traveled"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Full Time RVer

After a number of delays, I have finally begun my adventure as a full time RVer.  My home for the next couple of years will be a Keystone Fuzion 322 "toyhauler".  For tax reasons I have established residency in South Dakota and will start out by exploring the area around Rapid City.