- A Motorcycle Ride Report /w Pics - Sturgis 2012' - Page 2:
Two hours later, the storm passes and it feels warm, so I’m back on the road.
I make it to a small village in South Dakota. Anyone who as ever traveled through the back roads of SD knows that almost every little town has a city park where it is often possible to camp. It is simply part of the culture here.
Off the corner of my eye in the dark, I see an RV parked at a small city park, perfect. My camp is up in no time. It feels great to be dry and bedded down.
Strong coffee, water, nuts, trail mix and dried apricots, I am good to go, yeah!
It is still raining a little in the morning but soon stops. I pack up early and take off.
Flying west into South Dakota is enjoyable as always with the speed limit rising from 55 to 65 MPH on the state and county roads. All is good until I pass through a couple towns without gasoline. Now I know I am not going to make it to the Missouri River without running out of fuel, so I ride south to highway I90 where I know there will be fuel. I coast along at 50 MPH for what seemed like forever paying attention not to use any unnecessary throttle or fuel.
There is a motorcycle couple on the side of the road. I give the ‘what’s up’ sigh with palms facing up. The woman returns the gesture, they are probably out of gas, like me in two minutes. I will return with gas, it’s only ten miles before the freeway, that is, if I don’t run out first.
The bike coasts into a little gas station on fumes. My tank is a 4.3 gallon thing I bought on Ebay in 2006’, I pumped in 4.62 gallons, a record. I empty an old water jug to use for gas to bring back to the couple. That’s the yellow stuff in the photo.
About half way back I see the couple is back on the road, they must have had someone else bringing them gas. All is good, I will use this fuel eventually, plus I planned to go back to the Missouri river anyway. At the gas station, I can see I-94 is packed with RVs, SUVs pulling trailers and motorcycles. There is almost no traffic on the roads I’m riding, just the way I like it.
The gravel back roads in SD are great for riding and sightseeing.
Old abandoned farmhouses are fun to photograph. I think that by looking at the image long enough it will eventually tell a story.
What is the deal with the school buses?
While taking photos a local stops to chit-chat. He is a young guy, maybe late twenties and says he has lived here is entire life and how he enjoys it. I rave about the scenery and beauty of the land. He is a pleasure to talk with.
These roads are not on any of my maps, which add to the fun.
This road leads to a dead-end, all good, at least I tried it.
This could be a space vehicle ---
Time to use the spare gas.
It is windy as heck today so the only reprieve out here in the middle of nowhere is behind some type of structure.
The road turns to tarmac.
Then more gravel, and that is good.
There are areas called ‘Public use areas’ all over SD. Many of them are ten or more miles down a rough dirt road. Check out the ones along the Missouri river if you have a chance, the hardest to get to are often the best, and you most likely will have the place to yourself.
A swim and a little laundry is a favorite thing for me while traveling, it allows me to bring less stuff and for some reason I just like it. I even find myself doing laundry in a hotel sink while traveling for work, like I’m obsessed. It just feels good. Maybe it reminds me of being ‘On the Road’ and I don’t want to let that go. I’m sure.
While riding along, the bike is feeling squirrelly. I pull over next to a farmhouse and find my real axel nut has come off. S! I knew the cotter pin was brittle when I changed the rear wheel, it half fell apart! I even bought 2 new cotter pins in Minnesota, but of course never installed them. HS am I a dumb F!
The axel worked itself part way out and is pinned in by the lip where the threads are. I cannot get the axel pounded back in with the bike standing. I have to find a ditch to drop the bike to be able to get the axel back in all the way. I borrow a hammer from a woman at the farmhouse who had come out to see if I need anything. How nice is that! I love SD.
The axel pounds right back in. Vice-grip pliers are the best, with rope it’s a temporary fix. Now its fifteen mile back to Pierre South Dakota, where I hope there will be a hardware store or bike shop open. It’s goanna be after 5:00 PM and I need a big bolt and washer. I have a cotter pin.
Unreal, Pierre has a Harley Davidson shop and its still open at 5:40PM, Oh Yeah. It cost me under three dollars for the parts. I make a comment at the checkout and a guy says “I thought there was a fifty dollar minimum!” we all laugh.
There is still plenty of daylight left, hopefully enough to make it to the Badlands on all back roads. If it starts getting dark I will be camping somewhere along one of these back roads, and there isn’t nothing wrong with that, right.
Hold on! Much more...
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