Today was especially easy, mostly due to the fact that the BMW dealer, Sturgis Motorsports had followed through and my tires were waiting for me. I arrived a little bit early as the traffic jam I'd expected to encounter never materialized. I still had to ride through the same muddy construction zone as yesterday but the water truck hadn't arrived yet and the wait time was minimal, maybe ten minutes.
|Nice operation & friendly people to deal with|
|Waiting for our turn|
The ride from Deadwood to Sturgis was short, around 11 miles or so and traffic was light. I spent the next couple of hours ogling their inventory of new and used bikes, then I met a couple of native Oregonian ex-pats now living in SD so we talked about their move and new jobs, etc.After that I met an older employee who was hanging out but on medical leave with a broken knee so we spent the rest of my time talking bikes & guns. That took us right up to the bike being ready, a little after noon so I paid up and prepared to leave.
|BB's got new shoes!|
|Time to rock & roll!|
With the tires on I started to set out for my next destination, but where? I'd spent a few quiet minutes looking at maps and the thing that stood out most was Labrador doesn't seem to have a lot of roads. Oh sure, they have some but from the looks of the AAA map most of the towns are reached via ferry boats.
|This is what the handlebar-mount map case looks like when it's unfolded. You can get nearly an entire state on display.|
Well what the heck I thought, I can go another day or two before I have to decide and in the mean time I can just continue riding east. That settled I picked a likely target town by the name of Norfolk, Nebraska and set out. One of my goals was to keep off the freeways so I also dialed in the town of Valentine, NB as a way point. I still had a bit of freeway to deal with but nothing huge and traffic was minimal.
Not far out of Sturgis I came across another National Cemetery and I pulled in to look it over. It's odd that I've visited two of these in the past couple of days but they're unusual and worthy of a visit. I walked around a bit, took a few pics and answered the obligatory questions about the hack, then departed.
|One thing these places bring to mind is how many of our people have perished in wars|
|Maybe we need to rethink our national goals a bit, focus on helping our own people more. Like the Crow Nation for instance.|
|Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, a somber reminder of what wars are all about.|
SD is one of those states that allows unlimited displays of billboards and I was being bombarded with tantalizing photos of burgers & Mexican food, etc. Lunch time had nearly passed before I spotted a truck stop sporting a Sub Shop, also one of my favorite places. Hey, one Graci'. I saved half of it for dinner in case I decided not to go out,
Back at it again I encountered yet another touristy temptation, Mt Rushmore and a mere 27 miles off course. Why not I thought, I've never been there and who knows if I'll pass this way again so off I went. Keystone, SD is home to the big guys and since I arrived fairly late in the afternoon I figured I'd best score a place to stay or I'd end up using my camping gear.The first place I tried was booked but they hadn't a sign out saying so and people were milling about whining. Not me, I noted the place across the street had plenty of empty parking slots so I zipped over to see. Sure enough there were a few rooms left for the rich and famous who have bottomless pockets and bags of wealth. I'm beginning to think I don't look the part these days as I'm often asked if the quoted rates are going to be acceptable. Sometimes twice. Maybe my biker costume is a bit much? Anyway I signed on all the while looking the other way as the price was bloody awful. The good part is it's located right at the end BIG BUSY STREET crowded with an amazing array of humans so I'm able to walk about and see all sights right at my front door.
|This place is almost as nice as Motel 6|
|This is Tina the receptionist, probably not from around here. Very nice girl, easy to throw off balance.|
|The place is a bloody zoo. Everyone but me seems to be a tourist.|
|That chubby guy was wearing two Colt 45s. Two. Count 'em. That's pretty damn scary. The big boy sitting on the barrel in the background looked like Lee Marvin. Both were promoting a western bar & grill. Lee had a rosy glow to his nose.|
|There was a huge line of people waiting for the 4-hour train ride. I think I'll opt for a 4-hour bike ride.|
I went into a couple of souvenir shops but decided I already own way too many T-shirts and Linda doesn't like jewelry so I had to pass on everything. Instead I bought a two-scoop ice cream cone the size of a human head and spent the next half hour consuming it. Now I know how a boa-constrictor must feel after swallowing a moose. Or whatever they swallow. Dinner tonight will definitely be a left over sub sandwich and that's fine with me.
Tomorrow I'm going to look around to see if I can locate the big stone heads and later if time permits there's a tempting reptile garden not far away. After that I probably won't be able to sleep for a month but it will be worth it.