On the road in South Dakota and
Wyoming - 2008 . . .
on our route to the Pacific Northwest
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.
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 . . .
We saw again that the right-a-way was being farmed.
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.
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.
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.
Many times a group of motorcycles would be followed by a 'supply' vehicle.
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.
Part way through the state park, we encountered some roadside buffalo. They were very successful in causing a significant traffic jam.
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.
Various groups were gathering in the state park for - of all things - buffalo burgers. Some were set up for a large number of bikers
One of many lakes . . .
Custer . . .
We were greeted to the town of Custer by barricades and motorcycles parked all along Main Street.
. . . and official greeters . . .
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.
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.
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.
We did find some deer roaming around behind the sheriff's office.
Painted buffalo were standing at many locations in Custer.
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.
This guy was at the wrong party.
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.
The rides to Mt Rushmore and Sturgis was beautiful with motorcycles everywhere.
A sign on the route to Mt. Rushmore from Custer said "watch for low flying aircraft".
Yes, it flew low - it landed.
Another attraction visible from the highway to Mt Rushmore and Sturgis was the Crazy Horse Memorial.
The ride across Wyoming was beautiful. But, sometimes very flat and long.
A fire watchtower on a burned out hill . . .
Strip mining coal just outside Gillette . . .
Beautiful scenery . . .
Snow . . . (in the mountains)
Cody . . .
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.
A couple others . . .
And this neat folding trailer
big enough for only one motorcycle.
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.
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.
Rain jacket without flash . . . Rain jacket with flash . . .
The reflective emblem on the rider's back is a terrific safety
in addition to the small taillights on some motorcycles.
Grizzly bears were the common decorations around Cody. We found this poster in a store window showing all the grizzly bears.
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.
The cherrywood bar dates to the period of construction and is one of the most photographed features in Cody.
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.)
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.
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.
The raffle included, a bracelet . . . a print . . . a pair of revolvers . . .
Also a promo for the evening rodeo.
Followed by our National Anthem,
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.
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.
The little skit leading up to the gun fight and the gun fight were as hooky as they could be.
the 'bad' guys . . .
. . . the 'good' guys won the gun fight.
We visited the Buffalo Bill Historical Center while in Cody. That visit will be posted on a separate page later.
Leaving Cody . . .
We left Cody heading for Yellowstone National Park.
The terrain west of Cody was very mountainous. To avoid removing rock, they tunneled through it.
From the first tunnel, you could see the second.
Leaving the second tunnel, the third one was in view. The third tunnel was longer than the others, requiring that it be lighted.
The end of the third tunnel exposed a water recreation area for campers, day picnickers and boaters.
Past the lake, the views were also beautiful.
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.
Farther down the road we saw an Incident Base where the firefighters were living during their time fighting the fires west of Cody.
Several small 'hot spots' were being observed by fire staff parked along the road.
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.
Unfortunately, forest fires of this type are a constant happening. Again, a ways down the road the smoke was not an issue.
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.
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