Sunday, June 25, 2006

Custer South Dakota to Sioux Falls South Dakota

We were up before 6:00 AM. Didn’t see the first bike to pull out but Cargo’s bike was missing. We opened the door and found Bucky, Scorp and Dutch getting ready as well as our next door neighbor Lanny from Arizona with his granddaughter Patience. It was a cold morning, but everyone was cheerful contemplating an early start.

We opened the trailer and stowed the gear as people started leaving in ones and twos. Wompus and Montene of Georgia prepared to continue on west and Malachi, Yvette and Trevor loaded up to return to Colorado. (Reminder to self: send Mal Harry Chapin's All My Life's A Circle)

It was while I was watching everyone pull out that I considered a change of plans. Next weekend is my high school reunion in Sault Ste. Marie, a destination that arose from a change of plans the week before. We had 1,400 miles to go and six days to get there. But we’ve been on the road a month so, after consulting The Boss, I decided we would run straight home and start getting things ready for the west trip. Then we will head back the 180 miles to the Soo on Friday for the Reunion.

Now that I had another plan, we hooked up and headed out. We took the scenic way across 244 by Mount Rushmore. At the profile view parking area, there was a family of mountain goats feeding on the side of the road with many spectators watching. We rolled on past the great carved heads, George, Tom, Teddy and Honest Abe, on down through Keystone City and north towards Rapid City. There we took the truck by-pass and stopped at the McD’s at I-90 for the usual.

Once on I-90, the pace picked up. I was doing an indicated 120 KPH and was one of the slowest vehicles out there. After Wall, I started to get a bit drowsy and pulled into a rest area to stretch my legs. I need to mention two guys we met on Thursday at the Flying J as we pulled off I-90. One was on a black Wing towing a trailer and the other was on a Yamaha Venture. They were from Iowa and we talked a bit. I saw them riding through Custer on Saturday and now, right out of the blue, they pulled into the rest area right behind us. Small world. We laughed about that.

Later on, about 2:00 PM, we were navigating eastwards near Vivian SD when I saw we were being overtaken by another bike. As it got closer, I saw it was the familiar Kawasaki Concours towing a camper trailer of Chunk Keisling. Chunk is another VROCer who travels widely and we see often. He made the coffee motion so we got off at the Vivian exit and got let into the local restaurant just as they were closing the doors. It seems they finish at 2:00 on Sunday. We all had coffee and Chunk had pie. Thanks for the coffee, my friend. Then, in true VROC style, we set out at our individual paces and the last we saw was him pulling out of sight ahead of us.

Later, we were passed by a solo rider on a GS-1200 BMW. At the next rest area, he was stopped for a smoke and a free coffee. It seems he was from Peterborough, Ontario and was ferrying his bike back from Seattle where it had ended up after spending the winter in Mexico.

As we rode along looking at the spectacular (read boring cornfield) SD scenery, We talked about changing some more plans. The run out to Stockton California and back to Topaz Lake Nevada next month was originally going to be another back road wanderfest towing the trailer and camping, but I suddenly had an urge to make it a destination ride. Leave the trailer at home, pack light and ride hard. This will cut the time on the road and should save a few dollars while still allowing us to see the people we want to. It should also give us the time to attend Dave McLeod’s poker run in Cheyenne Wyoming. Plans were made to change. At this point, the idea of running light appeals to me.

We were debating where to stop and camp when I pulled off at Sioux Falls. We decided that, since we were runnin g direct, we would motel instead. Went into a Day’s Inn with WiFi and was quoted a rate of $78.00 since summer rates had kicked in. When I made as if to leave, she knocked it down to $57.00,which seemed fair.

I checked the NASCAR results and called Mom to congratulate her on winning the week, as well as to tell her of our revised plans. Then we went over to Perkins and had supper. Then I updated two days of Blog before calling it a night. One more Custer day to get done in the morning.

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