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US 191 Day 08-Ride to Keystone SD

Hardin – Buffalo – Gillette – Devil’s Tower – Spearfish – Deadwood – Mount Rushmore – Keystone

The ride was 383 miles with about 6.5 hours of ride time.

Thursday July 25, 2013


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At night the wind blew so hard it would collapse our tent, then it would spring back. One group of tent campers left in the middle of the night for a hotel because of the wind.

We got up, were dressed, packed and ate breakfast at McDonald’s all before 7:00. There was a full day of riding with sightseeing in front of us and we needed an early start.

On my last trip through Gillette I ate breakfast at Lula Belle’s, it was a great meal, but because it was breakfast I did not try the pie ( it looked so good). So I promised myself the next time I got to Gillette I’d stop in and get some pie.

It was only around 9:30 when we got to Lula Belle’s but we all had pie. My pie was delicious, it was everything I’d hope it would be even after hours of anticipation.

Next we rode up to the Devil’s Tower after taking some pictures we took SD 24 and US 85 into Spearfish staying off the Interstate.

After filling our tanks in Spearfish we took SD 14 (the longer route) to get to Keystone. We made several quick stops for pictures on these roads.

After checking in and quickly set up our camp for the night we rode to Rushmore. We spent lots of time trying to make a picture with our heads the same size as the presidents. People were taking pictures of me laying on the ground trying to get the right shot.

On the way back to camp we stopped at Teddy’s Deli for dinner. I had the Reuben and some buffalo bites. The buffalo bites were buffalo jerky with raisins mixed in it.

After a long day we got back to the camp. Our camp site got a great WIFI signal but the internet was so slow it was not usable. But I was so tired I just fell asleep.

 

US 191 Day 07-Ride to Hardin MT

Fort Peck – Miles City – Hardin – Little Big Horn

The ride was 293 miles with about 5 hours of ride time.

Wednesday July 24, 2013

 


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About 3:00 in the morning a loud horn started blowing, at first I thought it was a car alarm, but it was too loud. Just as my ears starting really hurting it stopped, never found out what was causing it. We slept in till almost 7:00 giving us a later start than normal, but today is a short ride.

Our first stop was Terry MT, it was a 123 miles out and the first gas on our route. After filling up we went to the Dizzy Dinner for breakfast. My daughter had a small man and I had a middle man breakfast. The furniture in the dinner was from the 40’s or 50’s and Chuck found it fascinating.

Then we rode to Miles City and made a stop at Walmart, to do a little shopping, we got things like sunscreen, bug spray, quick food for snacks and a air pump that plugs into a cigarette lighter.

From Miles City it was 120 miles to Hardin our next camping spot. We checked in and dropped off our gear. Then we went to see Little Bighorn battlefield.

At Little Bighorn we listened to a talk about the battle, then we toured the museum. We rode out to the hill where Reno fought, I was surprised at how far away it was from where Custer died.

We got back to the Hardin KOA and rested. This park had great facilities and we took advantage of them. The owners of the park let us hang out in the rec room where we ordered in a pizza for dinner and relaxed. After dinner we attended an Ice Cream Social they held by the pool for a local charity.

US 191 Day 06-Ride to Fort Peck

Big Timber – Lewistown – Canadian Border – Fort Peck

The ride was 431 miles with about 7.5 hours of ride time.

Tuesday July 23, 2013

 


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We got up and started packing around 6:00, we were ready to get a start on the day that was going to take us the the Canadian border.

 

After riding back into Big Timber we started north on US  191. My expectation was for lots of empty flat countryside. Boy was I wrong. The views were not as spectacular as the last few days, but much better than I’m used to seeing. In Harlowton we stopped at a local store for some supplies. We asked the clerk the best place in town to eat and she sent us to a place on the edge of town, it was closed. This was the second time on this trip we had been recommended a restaurant that was out of business.

 

We stopped at the McDonalds in Lewistown for breakfast. I bought a one gallon gas can to make sure my thirsty bike would make the next town. It was 135 mile leg without a town or gas station and I wanted to make sure I didn’t run out of gas.

 

About 49 miles out of Lewistown we saw a sign that told motorcycles to seek an alternate route because of road repair. We talked briefly about what to do and then pressed on US 191. In New Mexico they will detour you to muddy rutted roads for miles without warning. My imagination went wild with how bad it was going to be if they wanted us to reroute. When we finally got to the area with the road work, it was 30 feet of hard gravel. I felt relieved and a little cheated.

 

In Malta we gased up and talked with some other riders headed for Glacier National Park. We only had 60 more miles to go, I felt excited and ready to get riding on this last leg.

 

When we reached the border Chuck crossed into Canada and on his way back asked if we could go to the border for pictures. We weren’t going to cross into Canada because my daughter doesn’t have a passport. The crossing guard allowed us to ride to the middle of no mans land for some pictures.

 

On the sixty miles back to Malta I couldn’t stop smiling. We did it, we rode from one border to the other just using US 191.

When we got to our next camp we broke out some apple cider and had a toast to our cross country ride.

After setting up our camp we went to Park Grove for dinner. It was a small bar and the only place for miles. The food was passable and the service was great.

The food was so cheap at this place Chuck got two plates of food for his dinner. After our meal  we rode to the nearest fuel ( 9 miles north) , so we could fill up for the next day ride. It was going to be 135 miles before we found a gas station in the direction we were headed.

After gassing up, we came back to camp, showered and got into the tents to avoid the bugs.

This was a great day, we did what I’m guessing few people have done. We crossed the United States using only US 191. This highway passes through deserts, forests, plains and more cities than I can remember. US 191 took us over several mountain passes and past many lakes both large and small. Most of US 191 passes through remote empty country and when you find a town, it’s usually very small.