After our wild night spent on Main Street in downtown Sturgis last night, our first order of the day was to open our eyes and crawl out of bed. Let me tell you, this wasn’t difficult because it would have been more exciting watching paint dry than what we saw on Main Street last night. Usually you can’t find a parking spot and last night there were tons of them. Usually you can be entertained for hours just people watching, and that got boring after about 15 minutes. Oh, don’t get me wrong – there were a few oddities here and there, but nothing like the norm. Either it was too cold for all the weirdoes to be out, or they were all showing off at one of the three concerts that was taking place last night. Or maybe it was too cold as it did cool down pretty substantially last night.
So we were all bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning and decided because it was Ham and Jam Day/No Panties Wednesday at Hulett, Wyoming, that the traffic wouldn’t be bad in the southern Black Hills and we would go that direction. So we loaded up the bikes as our plans encompassed an all-day trek. We hit the trail heading from Sturgis to Keystone where we stopped for lunch. Once again we found the streets quite empty compared to normal and were even able to find a table on the boardwalk where we had lunch. By the time lunch was over there was a nasty looking cloud blowing in making us wonder what we were going to have to deal with going down the road.
So several members of the group leathered up in anticipation (they were from the South, snicker). Us Northerners stayed in just our t-shirts (snicker). I admit it was a nasty looking cloud, but we managed to skirt it with just a few drops of rain that hit Ole’s Rain Sensor. Nothing serious. But even those few drops of rain can be very painful when they fall on bare skin. At least I have hair to protect my head – – –
So on we went doing the jackets on/jackets off thing depending on if the sun was shining or it was behind a cloud. And it wasn’t long until we came across this:
One of the members of our party, and I won’t mention names, was wondering where the National Park Service is going to find space to insert Obama’s face??? I won’t even speculate on that – just leave it up to you readers!!
As we circled around enjoying the scenery and skipping past all the storms we turned onto the Wild Life Loop in Custer Park. Now this is always an adventure as you never know what you’re going to see. Unfortunately, today, we didn’t see much. Years past we’ve seen mountain goats, lots of buffalo, tons of prairie dogs and of course the ever-present donkeys begging for food. A couple of years ago some disease came through and just about wiped out the prairie dog population. So as a result, this year there was only one small village, and there weren’t many prairie dogs in it. The area that used to cover many acres was all overgrown with weeds and nary a sign of a prairie dog in the vicinity. This was disappointing as it was always fun to stop and throw chunks of carrots to them. They would pop out of their holes, scramble for the treat, chew on it a bit and then haul it downstairs.
And of course, there was the constantly present donkeys looking for food. We always bring carrots or apples to feed them. This guy was standing in the middle of the road stopping traffic and nibbling at your looking for something to eat.
They all looked pretty healthy this year. In years past some of them have been covered with sores and just kind of bedraggled looking. This year you actually felt comfortable petting them. And there were a number of babies in the group, which also indicates their health status. Just off the road under a tree was a mother with her little one, who was napping in the sunshine. She obviously wanted him to get up and she kept pawing at him with one of her front feet. He just kept ignoring her as I suppose he wasn’t done napping yet. When she finally managed to get him to his feet she led him over to all the “tourists” and their “goodies” so that he could partake in all the snacks. I wish that this blog would let me post the video I took of this as it’s so cute.
But then it was feeding time from Ole’s napsack.
I’m not sure who enjoyed this more – Ole or the donkey.
So down the road we went and in short order it was time for another butt break. You can’t imagine how it feels to have no sensation whatsoever in your backside from riding 200 miles on a motorcycle. Here’s a snap of one of our butt breaks.
So then it was on down Iron Mountain Road which is famous for its pigtail bridges. They’re quite the thing to navigate as they look like a corkscrew and you go round and round in a tight turn. They were built back in the 30s to negotiate drastic changes in elevation in a small area. See how they wind back upon themselves?
One of the things I forgot to show you yesterday was this:
And this – the price tag for the above bike:
Kinda’ blows your mind, huh?