Monday, September 8, 2014

Badlands to Colorado via Custer State Park and some more Nebraska Aug2014

We got rather quickly to Badlands National Park and the hill sides were already visible from great distance. We entered by using the annual pass which we got from David in NYC. No problems and again some 20USD saved :) The rock formations and the sediments were very interesting to watch and we stopped a few times to enjoy the spectacles. It was a hot day and shade is a really rare thing to come by in Badlands.
Approaching Badlands.
Wildlife in Badlands.

Views and ...
more views ...
more views ...
and more :D

Girls hiding in the sidecar from the sun.
 We were both pretty tired and even though we agreed that we would ride all the way to Rapid City, the signs advertising the campground(s) in Wall were too tempting and I pulled into one. Of course Skippy got upset that we already pull-in here as we just agreed to ride on a bit more. It would be another 80km or about one hour to there and in addition I did not have a glue where there would be a campground. Here was one clearly marked. I think in the end she was also happy that we ended that day somewhat earlier.

We went shopping and I thought that Wall drug (famous tourist trap in Wall) would also have groceries but they only had souvenirs. Since they typically don't fill one's stomach we continued our search for a grocery shop. On the way to there, we saw one biker lady which looked very familiar.

There was also a bike from NYC and Skippy remembered that this was the lady which we met in NYC when we loaded our bikes at the day of our departure. We saw her before but where was she now? We did our shopping and came back through the village when suddenly somebody shouted after us. And there she was – Agi from New York City with her fiancee. Now what were the odds of that?

We got some company from a neighbor at Wall.
Next day we went to Rapid City to get some organic produce. The shop had quite a good selection and Skippy was happy (me too of course). We lost quite a bit of time in finding this shop as it was marked in my GPS with wrong coordinates, the webpage I saved the night before was corrupted and I could not open it and the lady in some other shop sent me in the right direction, but gave wrong street crossing.

Then it was time to enter Black Hills National Forest, see Mount Rushmore, ride through Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park. We saw plenty of wild life there. Prairie dogs were watching us riding by, deers were eating grass besides the roads, “mountain goats” were standing on the top of the rocks almost like statues and there we saw a buffalo. A few minutes later and there  was a huge herd of them – fascinating creatures. One does not want to mess with them so I took it easy and suppressed my urge to get closer in order to get a better shot :D
Been there, seen it - done that!
Majestic buffalo.
Prairie dogs.
and then there was a whole bunch of buffaloes.
Nice break spot.
Ulpu found a nasty cactus with her paws!!!

It had been again a long day of about four hours of riding and four hours of breaks, shopping etc – a full eight hour working day and that in hot weather. When we were in the mountains it was a bit cooler but as soon as we descended it got hot again. We entered Hot Springs, found a campground and called it a day. Now quickly building the tent (and milady put up her hammock), taking care of girls, writing the blog, dinner and off to bed.

The next morning was rather chilly – only +11C and it stayed with +20C comfortably cool during the entire day. The streets were once more rather boring all the way to Scottsbluff, where we looked for a night in a motel. Skippy got more and more tired and needed a decent good night sleep which she typically did not find when we camp.
Great morning view from the campground at Hot Springs.
On our way we passed National Grassland and stopped by Chimney Rock. Since we came from north Chimney Rock was a bit hard to see against the hills. However if you came from the east Chimney Rock would be a visible landmark not to be missed by anybody. In this way it was of importance for the settlers.
Chimney Rock.

We spent the night in a motel in Scottsbluff. We needed a break from the mosquitoes and a good internet connection to plan the upcoming days. We went to the cheapest hotel which was listed on the Tourist Info leaflet and when we arrived we realized that the entire motel was gone. The foundation, a sign and the office building were the only indices that the motel existed some time ago. We picked the next on the list and got us a deal.

Skippy made delicious veggie nori rolls for dinner :)

It rained and sizzled during the night and we were happy not to be in the tent. The next morning we went first to Scotts Bluff National Monument. Actually it is a rock formation and then somebody had the great idea to title it monument and it costs something to get in. I made a U-turn in front of toll both, took a few pictures and we continued south.
Scotts Bluff National Memorial.

Next stop was Kimball. No sign which said “Bobby was here” - Skippy was disappointed ;)
The reason for that was that authorities have a Titan 1 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on display in the Gotte Park. As I read later, the top third of the rocket has been blown off by a storm some years back and not been rebuilt. According to some comments in internet about 200 of those were hidden in Nebraska. What else to say – humans are the greatest enemies to humanity!

ICBM - the upper third got destroyed some years back by heavy wind.

Ever since we left Minden we were on a mission! On the 24th of August there was supposed to be a GoTopless event in Denver (as it was in many cities all over the world). Therefore the rest of the day we tried to stay awake when riding on those flat plains of Nebraska and Colorado. It was not easy!
Our track: Gordon - Denver 1100km

Another travelogue made by Skippy:

Click here if you have trouble to watch the video in youtube.

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