I woke up today in ND to the sound of thunder. What? No rain in the forecast.
By the time I had my coffee and went outside the skies were clear. Apparently everything had taken a nice soaking in the early morning hours.
Loaded up and on the road by 7:30 local time. Heading north to Fargo then west on I-94 towards Bismark. As soon as I hit I-94, it hit me. WIND! 45mph gusts out of the northwest. For the next 250 miles I battled some of the worst riding conditions I've ever experienced. When the road was all mine it wasn't as bad, but when overtaking semi's, it got weird. I found it best to accelerate to get past as quickly as possible. Spending too much time in a trucks wind blast, along with the prevailing winds sent the bike all over the place. It was either get blown in front of the 18 wheeler or get blown off the road and onto the median. At the posted 75mph speed limit, neither was acceptable. Obviously. Another practice I employed was to put the windshield down, lay my chest and rest my chin on the tank bag in a full tuck position. In doing this, it prevented the wind from separating me from the handlebars! This also allowed me to get my helmet out of the wind and be able to hear the Akropovic sing.
Finally, I got off the highway and took route 1806 south, with the wind at my back. The road wound south and with any deviation in my direction of travel, by more than 10˚ - 15˚, and the wind would make its presence felt. I battled it all day, 585 miles, relentless.
My stay over stop is in Wall, South Dakota. Tomorrow, I will head back east 20-30 miles on I-90 and into the Badlands.
Up to this point, me and Ol' Blue have traveled approximately 5235 miles. I count 20 states so far. She's been rode hard and put away wet. Always eager to crank up every morning.
What's not to like?
My wind warning
Ol' Blue about to get out.
This ain't Florida
I'm Hooked! Your pics are great the narritive wonderful. Keep posting my friend and we will keep reading.
Wish I were there with you.
PS. I have Ole Blues brother and we are leaving for the blue ridge tomorrow am.
Now that looks like a smooth road!
Yesterday, I had no internet connection so I'll do my best to bring it all up to date.
Staying the night in Wall, SD allowed me to get to the Badlands first thing. The sky was slightly overcast as I pulled into the first viewing point. A thought came across my mind that since my dad was such a bad ass, wouldn't it be appropriate to spread some of his ashes here? As I gathered the ashes all of a sudden the light pierced through the clouds and lit up the formations that are unique to the Badlands. Amazing!
With that behind me, I got to the business of the ride.
Riding in the park, every so often, in the distance I'd see various types of animals from prairie dogs to antelope among others and I swore it was some sort of Disney animal-tronics. It wasn't until later that as I was driving by some of these prairie dog mounds, that a bunch of them popped out of the holes and watched me as I went by. You've seen people's heads as they watch a tennis match, well this was the same way these guys watched me. I was cracking up. Then I came around a corner and there were a bunch (herd?) of antelope right by the road. All of these guys were real!
After leaving the Badlands I hopped on over to the Black Hills. The scenery is beautiful and every so often I'd get a glimpse of Mt. Rushmore. The roads are really too tight for any serious sport riding; think of riding you bike inside of your house. Lots of switchbacks, but the roads are narrow with no guardrails or runoffs.
Heading north on route 385, I picked up I-90 to Gillette (think of Juarez, Mexico but in the U.S.) where I got onto route 14/16 into Sheridan, WY
In Sheridan, which is a sweet little town, I walked down to Main Street where they were having a street festival. Live music, bars and restaurants that have a feel from another time, like the 1800's.
Had a few beers and, what else, a great steak dinner.
The Black Hills roads as they appear on my GPS
Sheridan, WY bar
I feel your pain pal.
Wyoming steak dinner.