Day 10 – 2020 Go West – The last day, recap and pictures

Day 10 was supposed to retrace some twisty roads from earlier in the trip, on our way from Gillette to Rapid City. Terry had planned to head home from Gillette as there was no reason for him to go back to Rapid City…you know, he rode his bike the whole way! 🙂 He didn’t often let us forget that.

By morning, the heat and slab of Lander to Gillette the day before had everyone thinking that the fastest, straightest route to the airport to load our bikes and get out of town was in order. We ditched our last night in Rapid City and all just moved down the road.

Some interesting (or not so interesting) stats:

1. We rode 2600 miles on our Rapid City – Rapid City loop, averaging only 260 miles per day. Terry rode an additional 3000 miles.

2. The western roads are much easier on tires than our roads in eastern TN, southwestern VA, and western NC. The tires on our K1600 have approximately 50% tread remaining (and that’s with the bike fully loaded, including a hitch-rack bag); riding at home, we average 1800 miles for a set of tires.

3. COVID-19 significantly impacted the crowds at Yellowstone. The park hosted 534,155 visits in June 2020. This is a 32% decrease from June 2019. Although the numbers were down, visitation substantially increased over the month. In the last ten days of June, traffic counts ranged from 90%-116% of 2019 numbers. We were in the park June 21 – 23, so traffic must have picked up immediately after we left.

After time to reflect, gather pictures and quit laughing from the time we had together, we’ve added post-trip edits to the days below, including videos and our route track. Many thanks to Bob for his video editing and his Spot Tracker app.