Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 8- Flying Solo

This is the day I have been awaiting... to see how I would do out there by myself. Early this morning, I said bye to my good friend Peter and headed across South Dakota alone.
BUT... not before stopping by The Corn Palace! World famous from what I understand. They reface the building once a year, the team works full time all summer and fall to complete it. You just have to love a mural made of corn cobs!
I90 across SD is the land of billboards! I started seeing ads for Wall Drug. In my opinion, any business that invests in a billboard every 20 yards for 200 miles, deserves a visit, even if it IS 25 miles farther than my exit was. Even if it is a tourist attraction (although the woman at the motel the night before called it a trap). You just have to love a fake western street, (Wall Drug smack in the middle). I forgot to get my free ice water though. If I get near it again, I'll go back and get one, just to say that I did.

As I sit here in the cutest motel room EVER, a small family owned place in Wyoming, I am reviewing the thoughts that ran through my head today...and they ran everywhere! I think the most oft thought was about just how small I really am in this world. If you ever want to be reminded of this, take a solo ride through the Badlands of SD. After passing through the spectacular rock formations, the landscape opened up far and wide.

Miles ahead, behind and side to side. I rode for nearly an hour before a vehicle passed in the other direction. It was a little disconcerting, I will admit. The 'what if something happens' thought teased me a few times. But I squashed it with thoughts of my SPOT tracker letting people know where I am.

After that wide open landscape, I ventured north into Rushmore National Park, riding the Needles Highway. It was so much fun! When I entered the highway, the first thing I encountered was a sign that stated,
"Do not interact with the buffalo! They are dangerous!"
"ooooh....buffalo!" was my reaction. I got out my camera and rode with it in my left hand, at the ready for the herds that I knew I would see. boohoo... no buffalo. I guess I have to go into Custer Part for that. Maybe I will see them another day.

Needles Highway is tons of fun to ride, compact little twisty roads, single lane tunnels cut out of the mountainside and "Pigtail bridges". These are cool wooden bridges that spiral 360 degrees. I was pretty nearly giggling as I rode around them, wishing they were longer. Rushmore was just as I thought it would be, only smaller. From the photos, I expected the faces to be enormous on the mountainside. But the scale of them fits into the landscape without making it tacky.

I was quickly in and out of Rushmore's visitor center. The crowds were not what I wanted to face today. Jumped back on my bike and pointed toward WY...

I am finding, or rather, I know that once I park for the night, I don't like to get back on to go anywhere. I did half heartedly go into a store to see if they had some sort of food for me to bring back for supper, but it was a discount hardware kind of place. So tonight, I had a handful of peanut m&m's for supper, and I am thankful I had them in my trunk!

oh, and this is the party favor I could not resist buying at Wall Drug. The doves did it to me. Anyone that knows me, knows how I feel about doves.
Totally unexpected, which makes them so delicious!!

A great 400+ miles far, just under 3000 miles on the trip meter!!

Thanks for coming along for the ride.
peace, bee


  1. Kate,
    I absolutely LOVE the boots!!! You're description of the wide open spaces is the same thing I experienced in Arizona. Nothing and I mean nothing from here to the horizon in all directions. It makes you realize how vast this land is and where we fit in. Great reading, keep it coming and stay safe.

  2. Love the boots gal!! I look forward to reading your blog every morning. You're doing something I'll only get to dream about, so I'll live vicariously through you. Take care and keep the shiny side up.