Thursday, September 13, 2018

Days 1 and 2 of the Trip to South Dakota.

Day 1. 9-4-18. It started with rain... I was all packed and ready to go by 0830. I was going to meet John 25 miles away at the Holiday gas station in Hayward at 0900. It was raining when I left home and it was still raining in Hayward... We left town and headed west on highway 77. An hour later it was still raining as we crossed into Minnesota.

We stopped in Cold Spring for some gas and a snack... still raining... The cashier at the Shell gas station suggested that we might be able to get out of the rain if we took highway 55 up to Glenwood, MN. That was not the original route we were thinking of, but we figured we'd try anything at this point.

In Glenwood, 250 miles from home, the rain quit... kind of.. We had managed to get out from under the long, slow moving storm system that was making things miserable. We had sporadic rains for the next several hours though. We still had to get south, as we were planing to ride west on highway 212. We dropped south and got into Millbank, SD about 3 hours later and gassed up again. We eventually made it to Faulkton and got a room at the Faulkton Inn. The little detour added a few miles for the day, making the day's total 505.

I will say that I'm very happy with the performance of my rain suit. It's a two piece set from Joe Rocket, style, RS-2. It's a heavy plastic material that doesn't pack super small, but it has worked much better for me than the light weight, coated nylon types. Those always seemed to leak. I just need to find a pair of rain gloves that I like...

Day 2. 9-5-18. Faulkton to Belle Fourche. In the morning we continued west on 212. We made a couple of stops along the way. We had breakfast in Gettysburg at the "212 Coffee Bean". It's a coffee shop, restaurant, and gift store all in one. We took another short break at the Missouri River crossing, and another at the wayside rest Ben Ash monument.

The Ben Ash monument, complete with graphitti..

It was too overcast for us to see the Black Hills from there.

When we got to Belle Fourche we had a quick lunch and John took off to visit some friends in the area, and I did some sight seeing. I knew that Belle Fourche is the "geographic center of the nation" and knew there was a marker in town, but I had never seen it. There's a small park along highway 85, south of 212. In that park there are some markers and displays about local history, a visitors center and museum, some war memorials, and a large stone compass rose to mark the center of the nation.

When I was done, I checked in at the campground. John had reserved a camping cabin at Wyatt's Hideaway. We've stayed there many times. I think it's one of the nicest campgrounds around. They have a very large and clean shower house and bathroom, and the atmosphere is laid back and very quiet, even during the rally.