Friday, July 6, 2012

Rapid City

Wow, this week is done !  Our toughest week so far on the Big Ride, as we did 56 miles, then 88, then 112, then 78, and today 80.   We rode from Newcastle to Rapid City this morning and picked up our 5th state that we visit on this ride across the USA.

I rolled out first this morning.  Wasn't sure what kind of a day we were going to have, and quite frankly I was hoping that it would not be like yesterday.  Yesterday was just plain tough.  I think it beat everyone down, both physically and mentally.    But this morning started out with a really nice breakfast at the Senior Center in Newcastle, where we were staying, and I headed out on my own.

Morning Deer
I saw this deer right on the outskirts of Newcastle.   Newcastle looked a LOT better this morning than it did yesterday afternoon.  There were some pretty areas, a nice little downtown that we rode through ( as opposed to the west side which was a dump more or less ! )    This deer ran across the road and hung around long enough for me to dig my iPhone out of my pocket and snap a picture.

Sarah taking a picture of Todd
Eleven miles up the road was the South Dakota border, and things started looking up.  We started seeing trees, and lots of them.  

Me at South Dakota State Line
And then we climbed up a little higher and got into some low clouds.   The visibility was quite restricted for several miles, just picking our way along the highway, and me thinking that I should have changed the batteries in my taillight as it was a bit dimmer than normal.

Foggy morning going towards Custer State Park

This is actually outside the Custer State Park, but in the National Forest.  There is quite a bit of deadfall around, from fires in previous years.  With all of the clouds and all it was quite pretty.   Think I had some Sarah Brightman on my iPod

In the park, lots of deadfall, but pretty
I really should have taken more pictures in Custer Park.  It was beautiful, and we had this long sweeping descents that I think I got up to 38 mph on.   Reminded me of coming down Mt Lemmon, only much greener, and with a pretty little stream running alongside.   Finally at about mile 60, we were out of the State Park, and back onto the high plains.

Back on the plains, loved these horses !

Madonna of the Prairies along Hwy 79
The last 15 miles or so, were along a really noisy 4 lane highway that led into Rapid City.  The wind picked up, and we had those long rolling hills again, as I tried to stay in the far right shoulder as the traffic showed no signs of moving over the left even a few inches !   But the shoulder was pretty wide and it all worked out.

I had an Alfa Romeo !
Got to our dorm at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.  It's a Mining and Engineering school here in Rapid City, and looks like a really nice place to go to school.   I headed out to a local restaurant,  Tully's, and got myself a "buffalo burger", that hit the spot, and spied an Alfa Romeo sign hanging along with signs for Triumph and MG cars.   OK, for you younger readers, Triumph and MG were British sports cars  ( I had a Triumph Spitfire ), and Alfa was an Italian car ( and I had one of those, the model before the model that was in "The Graduate" ).   Turns out, the store is a pet store now, having sold it's last MG many many years ago, but the signs are still there and in excellent shape.

Mt Rushmore tomorrow at 7:30 in a van !  And Happy 39th Anniversary to my Susan !   It's our anniversary tomorrow, the 7th.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Alfa Romeo sign! Ask Rob about his MG.

    Happy Anniversary!