Saturday’s ride from Rapid City to Gillette, WY was different than our time the day before, but equally awe inspiring.
The long, sweeping curves of Vanocker Canyon were a great morning wake-up. It was easy to get into a great rhythm of the curves and enjoy the steep rock/evergreen covered cliffs in one of the best roads the Black Hills of South Dakota has to offer.
We tooled around Sturgis for a bit and got commentary from Matt about how different it is when the annual bike rally is taking place. We stopped in the BMW dealership to say hello and buy a tshirt. You don’t often see the BMW roundel and Sturgis on the same shirt!
We did a drive through of the Deadwood, SD historic district which has beautifully restored shops, casinos and theatres.
Leaving Deadwood, the road starts getting flatter and straighter. Stopping in Belle Forche was our last good chance at decent food until Gillette. They claim to be the geographic center of the nation. Knowing that that point is in Kansas, a lively discussion about how that could be was our lunch time conversation. If you count Alaska and Hawaii, yes, Belle Fourche is the geographic center, with a city park to commemorate it. So, to the park we went for a photo – because how many more times can we say we are standing at the center of the US?
From there we headed to the open prairie and grasslands until Devil’s Tower. A butte standing 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, it is 867 feet from base to summit. While we did go in the park, see tons of Prairie Dogs, the majority of us weren’t up for getting out of gear and hiking up the trail – it was too hot.
We rolling into Gillette at decent time to shower, have a few cold ones, walk to dinner and get to bed at a decent hour.
Tomorrow, we head Northwest to Red Lodge MT. Thanks for following along as we roll on 12!