On the road in South Dakota and Wyoming - 2008 . . .
on our route to the Pacific Northwest

Updated: 11/30/08



This combined Mt. Rushmore and Bike Week logo on this t-shirt tell it all - the two main things we saw in South Dakota. A man was standing waiting for an elevator when Fred said, "don't move, I'm making a photograph of your t-shirt". Mary Lou told the man and his family that she would hold the elevator for us.

The ride across South Dakota was very interesting. It reminded us of the fun we had driving from Michigan to Indiana when we had a PT Cruiser a couple months before they were sold to the public.

a f0802 sd_145_1.JPG (25913 bytes)This ride was fun due to all the motorcycles passing us on the highway. We received a flavor of what to expect in Sturgis. It past the time faster than counting mile markers.

Fred admits, however, it is mostly a guy thing. So guys, enjoy.


          Sturgis Motorcycle Rally - 2008        Mt. Rushmore National Memorial - 2008   


On this page we will post photographs of some of the motorcycles we saw on the road and scenery we enjoyed.

Our visits to Custer, SD and Cody, WY are also posted.            Custer . . .    Cody . . .



a f0802 sd_161_1.JPG (29076 bytes)   a f0802 sd_163_1.JPG (32099 bytes)   a f0802 sd_174_1.JPG (33103 bytes)   a f0802 sd_115_1.JPG (20342 bytes)



We saw again that the right-a-way was being farmed.




   a f0802 sd_117_1.JPG (31129 bytes)   a f0802 sd_103_1.JPG (33272 bytes)   a f0802 sd_104_1.JPG (34030 bytes)


a f0802 sd_105_1.JPG (28567 bytes)

 a f0802 sd_110_1.JPG (22147 bytes)      a f0802 sd_116_1.JPG (27143 bytes)       


a f0803 sd _109_1.jpg (48351 bytes)   a f0803 sd _114_1.JPG (36152 bytes)   a f0803 sd _126_1.jpg (33369 bytes)   


At times we noticed several motorcycles going the 'wrong' direction. We found out that the Sturgis Rally is a drop-in event that goes on for close to three weeks. The scheduled days may have the largest activity but not all of it.

One retailer interviewed on television said attendance was down some this year. He was concerned because the Sturgis Rally was 30% of his annual business.





a f0802 sd_126_1.JPG (31321 bytes)At this rest area near Chamberlain, SD, we saw the Mississippi River . . . and . . .a gathering of motorcycles and motorcycle trailers. The sign in the window was painted by a friend of one of the greeters at the rest area.




a f0802 sd_127_1.JPG (24887 bytes)   a f0802 sd_128_1.JPG (50409 bytes)   a f0802 sd_129_1.JPG (48519 bytes)   a f0802 sd_137_1.JPG (22986 bytes)

   a f0802 sd_133_1.JPG (45872 bytes)      a f0802 sd_125_1.JPG (31356 bytes)



Across the road from a rest area just outside of Wall, SD we saw the outskirts of the Badlands. We could not figure out why these cows were lined up at the fence also watching the motorcycles go by. You wouldn't think they cared.


a f0802 sd_171_1.JPG (27952 bytes)      a f0802 sd_177_1.JPG (20726 bytes)




a f0802 sd_155_1.JPG (23879 bytes)a f0802 sd_109_1.JPG (32099 bytes)Many times a group of motorcycles would be followed by a 'supply' vehicle.





 a f0802 sd_111_1.JPG (20964 bytes)   a f0802 sd_112_1.JPG (23114 bytes)   a f0802 sd_113_1.JPG (25800 bytes)   a f0802 sd_114_1.JPG (33378 bytes) 





a f0802 sd_154_1.JPG (32043 bytes)   



Driving through Custer State Park was a convenient route for us. You were permitted to drive through the state park at no charge as long as you were not stopping to use any of their facilities. We shared the two-lane road with motorcycles. 


       a f0803 sd _144_1.jpg (10657 bytes)



a f0803 sd _149_1.JPG (62633 bytes)a f0803 sd _152_1.JPG (55479 bytes)Part way through the state park, we encountered some roadside buffalo. They were very successful in causing a significant traffic jam.     

a f0803 sd _155_1.JPG (49710 bytes)The park ranger with the whip climbed into the back of a pickup truck for protection. We continued driving - not knowing if the whip was used on the drivers or the  buffalo.




a f0803 sd _163_1.JPG (43727 bytes)Various groups were gathering in the state park for - of all things - buffalo burgers. Some were set up for a large number of bikers 

                                a f0803 sd _167_1.jpg (36376 bytes)



a f0803 sd _209_1.jpg (27977 bytes)
One of many lakes . . .


Custer . . .


We were greeted to the town of Custer by barricades and motorcycles parked all along Main Street.


a f0804 sd custer downtown_218_1.JPG (49999 bytes)   a f0803 sd _244_1.JPG (58517 bytes)   a f0805 sd mc custer _802_1.JPG (54433 bytes)   a f0803 sd _246_1.JPG (63393 bytes)   


a f0803 sd mc _259 crop_1.jpg (47310 bytes)   a f0804 sd custer mc_107_1.JPG (57344 bytes)   f0804 sd custer_104_1.JPG (64750 bytes)



a f0804 sd custer flag_101_1.JPG (56404 bytes)
 . . . and official greeters . . .



a f0804 sd custer vendors_105_1.JPG (40113 bytes)a f0804 sd custer vendors_106_1.JPG (44723 bytes)Two blocks of a side street in Custer were blocked of for vendors. A couple days later, a vendor tried to sell this child's motorcycle to Fred. He told him how fast it was and offered it to him for only $2,800.

a f0804 sd custer toy mc_215_1.JPG (45683 bytes)



a f0803 sd custer sign_507_1.JPG (22868 bytes)We drove into Custer our first night in camp to see what was going on. What we found was a quiet little town and a few motorcycles.

      a f0803 sd_516_1.JPG (36646 bytes)

We concluded that one of two things was happening. Either everyone was tuckered out from all the day's activity ... or ... Sturgis was really hopping.

   a f0803 sd_deer in custer 502_1.JPG (18807 bytes)

We did find some deer roaming around behind the sheriff's office.





Painted buffalo were standing at many locations in Custer.


a f0804 sd custer buffalo_217_1.JPG (47429 bytes)      a f0804 sd custer buffalo_219_1.JPG (46933 bytes)      a f0804 sd custer_110 buffalo_1.JPG (64006 bytes)




a f0806 out our window_1.JPG (48698 bytes)a f0803 sd _269_1.JPG (53748 bytes)From our window we could see (and hear - not bad) the motorcycles coming and going.

Our site was high in the front and low in the rear. But, we had a good view of a lot of the campground.





Driving out of the campgrounds the next night, deer were grazing just the other side of the fence.


a f0804 sd custer deer camp_201_1.JPG (62200 bytes)   a f0804 sd custer deer camp_202_1.JPG (68601 bytes)



a f0804 sd custer roadster_210_1.JPG (38105 bytes)
This guy was at the wrong party.



a f0804 sd custer bear rock_209_1.JPG (53363 bytes)f0804 sd custer bear rock sign_206_1.JPG (59444 bytes)We drove by this rock between Custer and our campground many times.






Another night we were driving down the alley behind the ice cream store - our headlights caught a lone deer across the road. The deer looked at us a couple times, walked a few feet, laid down and ignored us.


a f0804 sd custer deer town_221_1.JPG (37067 bytes)   a f0804 sd custer deer town_228_1.JPG (40525 bytes)



a f0805 sd _784_1.JPG (38193 bytes)a f0805 sd _781_1.JPG (33298 bytes)The rides to Mt Rushmore and Sturgis was beautiful with motorcycles everywhere.

   a f0805 sd mc in mirror _753_1.JPG (52009 bytes)   a f0805 sd _748_1.JPG (55107 bytes)




a 0805 sd2 helicopter_100 crop_1.jpg (15766 bytes)A sign on the route to Mt. Rushmore from Custer said "watch for low flying aircraft".


Yes, it flew low -  it landed. 

f0805 sd _764_1.JPG (49875 bytes)




Another attraction visible from the highway to Mt Rushmore and Sturgis was the Crazy Horse Memorial.


a f0805 sd ch _107_1.JPG (24874 bytes)   a f0805 sd ch _114_1.JPG (31700 bytes)   a f0805 sd ch _772_1.JPG (41660 bytes)



a f0808 sdwy_106_1.JPG (25230 bytes)The ride across Wyoming was beautiful. But, sometimes very flat and long.




      a f0807_106 crop_1.jpg (56944 bytes)   a f0807_109_1.JPG (47585 bytes)   a f0807_112_1.JPG (35386 bytes)   a f0807_116_1.JPG (31021 bytes)



A fire watchtower on a burned out hill . . . 

      a f0807_118_1.JPG (23437 bytes)




Strip mining coal just outside Gillette . . .


Beautiful scenery . . . 


a f0807wy_101_1.JPG (32292 bytes)   a f0807wy_108_1.JPG (36430 bytes)         


Snow . . .          (in the mountains)



a f0807wy_176_1.JPG (21743 bytes)   a f0807wy_199_1.JPG (44939 bytes)   a f0807 near cody wy_436_1.JPG (32034 bytes)



a f0808 sdwy_104_1.jpg (40630 bytes)  



Cody . . .



a f0809 cody cycle shell_100_1.JPG (62415 bytes)a f0808 sdwy_123_1.JPG (51671 bytes)The first site in our campground in Cody was this motorcycle tent camp. 

Our one next door neighbor had a "Cycle Shell" for his motorcycle. We never saw his motorcycle.

This is a photograph of our other neighbor's motorcycle.
f0809 cody_493_1.JPG (64539 bytes)


A couple others . . .

a f0809 cody_713 mc_1.JPG (54380 bytes)                                                                a f0809 cody mc black_103_1.jpg (52004 bytes)


And this neat folding trailer
big enough for only one motorcycle.
a f0809 cody 515 folding trlr_1.jpg (57444 bytes)



a f0808 sdwy_137_1.jpg (61040 bytes)a f0807 mc_123_1.jpg (40964 bytes)Seeing motorcycles did not stop when we left South Dakota. It continued into Wyoming. Wherever we parked in Cody, WY, the next spot was occupied by a motorcycle - over 300 miles from Sturgis.

               a f0809 cody_714 crop_1.jpg (64349 bytes)   a f0809 cody mc blue_112_1.JPG (60636 bytes)



While in Cody, WY, Fred visited a H-D store to investigate reflective motorcycle apparel. Why? . . . While driving back to the HHII after visiting Mt. Rushmore on a rainy night, we noticed a large reflective 'spot' on the back of several riders.  We were close enough to one rider to identify it as a Harley-Davidson emblem. 

   a f0809 cody hd_728 crop_1.jpg (52237 bytes)   a f0809 cody hd_724 crop_1.jpg (54058 bytes)
   Rain jacket without flash . . .      Rain jacket with flash . . .

The reflective emblem on the rider's back is a terrific safety item
 in addition to the small taillights on some motorcycles.



a f0809 cody_719 bears_1.JPG (50124 bytes)Grizzly bears were the common decorations around Cody. We found this poster in a store window showing all the grizzly bears. 

               a f0809 cody_504 bear_1.JPG (59618 bytes)   a f0809 cody_505 bear_1.JPG (49599 bytes)   




a f0809 cody_507 irma flag_1.JPG (22428 bytes)Asking around town where the best place to eat, the answer was the Irma Hotel. It was built in 1902 by William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. He called it "the swellest hotel that ever was". He named it for his daughter Irma Louise Code.

The inside was decorated western style. The Governor's Room was setup for a dinner. A shop across the hall sold purses, hats, jewelry and other items. 

   a f0809 cody_527 irma_1.JPG (33301 bytes)   a f0809 cody_529 irma_1.JPG (47790 bytes)   a f0809 cody_531 irma shop_1.JPG (43768 bytes)


The cherrywood bar dates to the period of construction and is one of the most photographed features in Cody.


a f0809 cody_534 irma bar_1.JPG (53723 bytes)      a f0809 cody_537 irma bar_1.JPG (62941 bytes)  a f0809 cody_539 irma wm cody_1.JPG (53337 bytes)


a f0809 cody_536 irma buffet_1.JPG (46539 bytes)If you arrived after 5:00pm, they had a dinner buffet - an 'all you can eat' prime rib buffet. We both ate our share of prime rib. It was very good prime rib . . . medium rare and tender.

We were there promptly at 5:00pm to avoid the rush. At 6:00pm a gun fight was to occur in the side street next to Irma's. (Good marketing, then everyone could go inside for dinner. And, they did.)





a f0809 cody ml & cody_542 crop_1.jpg (44795 bytes)a f0809 cody_539 irma wm cody_1.JPG (53337 bytes)Buffalo Bill (himself) wandered the dining room hitting on the ladies. It didn't matter to him if a husband was around or not.






The gun fight drew a large crowd.


a f0809 cody_544 gf_1.JPG (60172 bytes)   a f0809 cody_545 gf_1.JPG (55724 bytes)



a f0809 cody_543 gf_1.JPG (46399 bytes)The Cody Gunfighters perform a free 45 minute Old West melodrama. The purpose of the program is to keep alive the spirit of the Old West and promote Cody. The  $5 donation to sit in a chairs at street level, the proceeds from the sales of posters along and with the annual raffle benefit local charities including the Children's Resource Center. 


  a f0809 cody_560 gf_1.JPG (63325 bytes)   a f0809 cody_561 gf_1.JPG (58920 bytes)   a f0809 cody_562 gf_1.JPG (56949 bytes)
The raffle included,  a bracelet . . .                a print . . .                    a pair of revolvers . . .


Also a promo for the evening rodeo.
a f0809 cody_556 gf_1.JPG (51648 bytes)


Followed by our National Anthem,

a f0809 cody_594 gf pledge_1.JPG (66298 bytes)



One very interesting part was a lesson in gun safety ... and ... three important words for the children in the audience.

If you find a gun, LEAVE IT ALONE.

a f0809 cody_571 gf safety_1.jpg (37141 bytes)He demonstrated that a gun laying there is not dangerous, will not hurt anyone if you LEAVE IT ALONE.

He showed how damaging a revolver loaded with only a blank cartridge can be.

   a f0809 cody_579 gf safety_1.JPG (52146 bytes)   a f0809 cody_582 gf safety_1.jpg (40753 bytes)


The little skit leading up to the gun fight and the gun fight were as hooky as they could be. 

a f0809 cody_616 gf_1.JPG (49587 bytes)   a f0809 cody_626 gf_1.JPG (51027 bytes)

a f0809 cody_611 gf_1.JPG (62993 bytes)
the 'bad' guys . . .


a f0809 cody_695 gf_1.JPG (52751 bytes)   a f0809 cody_673 gf_1.JPG (52306 bytes)
           . . . the 'good' guys won the gun fight.




f0809wcc_103_1.JPG (39837 bytes)We visited the Buffalo Bill Historical Center while in Cody. That visit will be posted on a separate page later.






Leaving Cody . . .


a  f0810 wy_100_1.JPG (28345 bytes)We left Cody heading for Yellowstone National Park.

The terrain west of Cody was very mountainous. To avoid removing rock, they tunneled through it.

   a  f0810 wy_103_1.JPG (48258 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_104_1.JPG (57615 bytes)



From the first tunnel, you could see the second.

a  f0810 wy_105_1.JPG (57414 bytes)



Leaving the second tunnel, the third one was in view. The third tunnel was longer than the others, requiring that it be lighted.

a  f0810 wy_107_1.JPG (27527 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_108_1.JPG (23107 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_110_1.JPG (36733 bytes)



The end of the third tunnel exposed a water recreation area for campers, day picnickers and boaters.


      a  f0810 wy_111_1.JPG (41447 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_113_1.JPG (43438 bytes)


a  f0810 wy_114_1.JPG (49755 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_116_1.JPG (40075 bytes)


a  f0810 wy_118_1.JPG (34860 bytes)


Past the lake, the views were also beautiful.

a  f0810 wy_119_1.JPG (44565 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_120_1.JPG (41402 bytes)



Our lunch spot did not materialize so we stopped along the road for lunch near a new housing/land development area. While Fred was making a photograph (or two) of the area, he noticed smoke in the mountains. Sure enough, it was one of the forest fires we had heard about.


      a  f0810 wy_125_1.JPG (41573 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_121_1.JPG (33272 bytes)    a  f0810 wy_126_1.JPG (26239 bytes)



Farther down the road we saw an Incident Base where the firefighters were living during their time fighting the fires west of Cody.


a  f0810 wy_130_1.JPG (29551 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_131_1.JPG (40511 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_132_1.jpg (36824 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_133_1.JPG (34563 bytes)



Several small 'hot spots' were being observed by fire staff parked along the road.

a  f0810 wy_134_1.JPG (51434 bytes)   a  f0810 wy_135_1.JPG (39569 bytes)



a  f0810 wy_136_1.JPG (28855 bytes)a  f0810 wy_143_1.JPG (41419 bytes)As we approached Yellowstone National Park, we could see the smoke from the fire in Yellowstone. When Mary Lou made our camp reservations, she asked for a spot in a campground away from the smoke due to her breathing issues. Madison campground met that need. 




Hot spots and flare-ups are a constant problem for the firefighters.


a  f0810 wy_144_1.JPG (41403 bytes)



a  f0810 wy_145_1.JPG (29934 bytes)Unfortunately, forest fires of this type are a constant happening. Again, a ways down the road the smoke was not an issue. 






c  f0810ys_239 b&k_1.jpg (66540 bytes)We arrived in Yellowstone's Madison campground. We had time to setup and prepare a meal for friends due at any time. Bruce and Kathy were on a trip including Yellowstone and we arranged to have dinner in the HHII Sunday night. (It is interesting how our paths cross.  We had met them for lunch in Flagstaff, AZ during another trip in 2006.)




Our time in Yellowstone National Park - 2008 were very enjoyable.



GO BACK TO  > > > Pacific Northwest - 2008


Top of Page














































Hit Counter