Monday, July 5, 2021

Day 23 - The 3 State Trifecta

Happy 4th of July everyone!  While many of you are marinating the steaks and pulling together the fixin's for an afternoon BBQ, we are preparing for a ride to Belle Fourche South Dakota.  It will be the last of an 8 day "vacation" for Jack.  Jack owns a printing business and summers are his busiest time and he hasn't taken a week off in the summer in 30 years so I am thankful and honored that he chose joining Cheryl and I as the reason to the break the streak.  Certainly not comparable to a Caribbean cruise, but hopefully Jack got an opportunity to take a break from the routine.  Our wish is that these 8 days and over 500 miles on the bike (on some of the most challenging routes) is an "experience" he will remember for a long time (I know his butt will). We really enjoyed our time together Jack, thank you.  Special thanks to Jack's daughter Kolbi for giving him a "nudge" and minding the business while he was away.    

We started at our favorite post office in Hammond MT and were hopeful that the biking gods would smile upon us and provide a downhill route with a slight tailwind and cool temperatures as a final send off for Jack.  Unfortunately the biking gods were in a bad mood today and though the route was relatively flat, we had very difficult headwinds, 18 wheelers, rumble strips and increasing temperatures the ENTIRE RIDE.  68 miles and nearly 5 hours of grinding into the wind.  It was the hardest ride of the trip so far.  

There was one highlight of note however.  We did pass through 3 states today!.  We started in Montana, clipped the upper Northeast corner of Wyoming then finished in South Dakota.  At least that is something good we can hang our hat on for today's ride.  We finished by 1 pm we were ready to put the bikes on the rack and have some fun.  

With the wrath of the biking gods behind us, we figured today we would visit Deadwood and Sturgis on our way to Rapid City so we are close to Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse.  We planned the rest day (tomorrow!) so we could see those two famous monuments before taking Jack to the airport.  Deadwood is an old western town that is famous for being the site where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried.   The downtown area has kept the "old town" feel and though a little touristy, that is just what we were looking for.  We found a nice outdoor table at the Buffalo Restaurant and Saloon that has been in business since 1877.  

Fortunately for us the annual 4th of July parade was about ready to start so we got a front row seat to see the governor of South Dakota and Miss South Dakota ride by in their fancy convertibles waving to the crowd.  Those headwinds are already fading in my memory!  Next, we were off to Sturgis, home to the famous motorcycle rally.  Unfortunately we were way too early for that and the town was pretty quiet so we didn't stay too long.  In fact I was so impressed I took a nap in the RV while Cheryl grabbed a couple T-shirts.  

We hit the RV park and Jack packed up his bike and I fixed the water line while Cheryl made a delicious meal.  As night approached we wondered how we were going to finish off our 4th of July celebration since fireworks were prohibited in the RV Park.  The neighbors in the great town of Rapid City didn't disappoint.  There were fireworks (I mean the BIG ones) shooting off into the sky all around us.  A constant pop and crackle for a couple hours that was really enjoyable to just sit back in the lounge chairs and watch.  Zuri didn't like it at all and hid in the bathroom all night.  A memorable 4th of July to be sure.

Tomorrow is a rest day, so sleeping in and coffee in the morning.  Yes!

Until then....


  1. LOVE Montana, but really happy as a spectator that you are through that HUGE state!! Love the fireworks pictures too . . . we had more than I have ever seen in the Tri last night. Spectacular! Safe travels and wishing you an extraordinary rest day.

  2. Stupid biking gods! Would it have hurt them to give you a flat ride with no wind for Jack's last day? What a great friend to spend his precious summer vacation time with you on the big adventure across Montana (and parts of Wyo and SD).

    What a treat to get to see Miss South Dakota, although I get the feeling Miss California or Miss Hawaii might have been more of a treat. I've heard that Miss South Dakota cooks and sews all her own clothes and all the girls like her.

    How cool is going to a saloon that's been around since the mid 1880s. Enjoy your rest day tomorrow. Happy 4th.