Started to leave town when I noticed a bunch of mail trucks. Quick turn around to get this photo. The building was beautiful.
The first part of the day I was in pretty farm country but the sun was in the wrong spot for photos. That was OK because I wanted to get some miles before the day got too hot. And…my legs felt like they didn’t want to cooperate. Not sure if I had too much fun on the “flats” the previous days or if I forgot what it feels like to climb a steeper grade.
Early on we rode into Wind Cave National Park. I’d never heard of this park but would definitely come back. Beautiful grasslands, valleys, mountains.
They have bison. I saw one that was walking toward where I was riding. I was glad when the riders behind me got his attention and he stopped. Those critters are SO HUGE, they scare the beejeezuz out of me. I then saw a herd of bison in a draw but they were far away.
There were also prairie dogs, lots of prairie dogs. They make a chirping noise and were quite noisy trying to warn their neighbors as there were coyotes in the area looking for a meal. I saw two coyotes and other riders saw more.
There is a cave system in the park but we didn’t have time to stop. From one of the signs in the park: To the Lakota Indians, Wakan Tanka, the “Great Mystery” sent the buffalo (should say bison) out of the sacred cave of the winds and on to the hunting grounds.
When we left Wind Cave NP, we entered Black Hills Nat’l Forest. More beautiful country.
A little later I saw some others riders on a different type of steed.
We also rode by the Crazy Horse monument which is still unfinished. I tried to get a photo but was too far away.
Our next big stop, after a lot of strenuous climbing, was Mt. Rushmore Nat’l Memorial. Before I got to the full memorial, there was a pull out where one could see just George Washington.
And here’s the rest of the gang with me.
We also stopped at the National Presidential Wax Museum in Keystone for a rest stop. I didn’t go in but would like to when I come back with Dan on the motorcycle…next summer?
Ended the day in Rapid City. Not long after I got into town, there was a thunder/lightening storm with wind and rain. It passed through quickly. We were able to walk over, on almost dry streets, for a good dinner at a chain restaurant, Ruby Tuesdays.
Tomorrow is a shorter day, mileage-wise, so we don’t have to load until 8am. I may walk down the street to another eatery for breakfast. These motel breakfasts leave a lot to be desired.
Yesterday’s average speed was 16. Today it was 10. Hope to go around 14 tomorrow so I can ‘rest’ for the 114 mile day coming up.
I almost forgot to include these pics…