Friday, August 03, 2012

Pines and Needles - 2 August 2012

Leaving the White River campsite we headed back along  SH240 for one last trip along the scenic highway through the Badlands and on to Wall for another couple of 5c coffees.

Back on the I-90 the plains gave way to hills and valleys, the acres and acres of corn gave way to dozens and dozens of Harley Davidsons.  The guide book actuallly suggests avoiding this area in August because of the Annual Sturgis Motorcycle meet.
This year some 800,000 bikers (yes, that is the correct number of zeros) will congregate here for a series of events in and arround Sturgis. We have not got to Sturgis yet but for the last few days the number of Harleys en-route has been steadily increasing and today it was wall to wall Harleys.

Before long we had reached the environs of Rapid City which we skirted on a ring motorway and headed south through the pine forests of the Black Mountain National Forest for Custer State Park.

The rest of the day was basically spent wozzling along the scenic drive, stopping at every pull-off and scenic overlook as we made our way around the park looking at bison, burros and bikers on a simply bewildering array of beautifully presented Harley Davidsons.

There was the odd other make of super-bike, Victory, Can-am trkies, massive Triumphs, big BMWs and the very rare Japanese make, but 99% were Harleys and wherever we stopped the distinctive sound of the Harleys reverberated through the forest.

Along this fantastic drive there are very narrow tunnels carved out of the granite, switchbacks and  wooden trestle bridges where the road loops back over itself to cope with the terrain and our very first view of the Mt Rushmore faces.
Ultimately we got to the Cathederal Spires, the Littel Devils Peak and the Needle.  The rocks and views in Custer State Park are quite fantastic.

194 miles today, total trip 3176. States: South Dakota

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