After the gloomy morning of day 4, day 5 started with bright sunshine. Weather that makes you want to ride. We decided to head down to Custer State Park down near Custer, SD. We basically took the same roads to get down there as we did to go see Mt Rushmore. While it was a little chilly, we had the appropriate gear and the weather was no problem.
After the first hour, we finally got to the road we wanted to take to get us into the first part of the park. Guess what? Construction! This was no ordinary construction either. They basically had one lane open and we had to wait until the “pilot car” could bring the traffic from the other direction our way and then slowly follow it back. The slowly following it back was the hard part. It was very slow, 2-3 mph. That’s hard to do on a bike. Especially with ruts in the road that want to grab your front tire and hang on to it causing balance problems.
We finally made it through, some very beautiful country down that way. The road we took south from Custer is SD 87. That got us to the entrance of the park where we made our first stop to take care of some business, get a drink and begin the journey. This day was incredibly awesome. We saw much of the wildlife that the park has to offer and probably the best way to demonstrate that is with this video. I titled the video “Through the Tunnels” and it includes all of the highlights from the day. Why that title? We went through a number of short tunnels that the road engineers cut through the rock for the road. Watch for the one near the end that comes out the side of the rock onto a bridge and then corkscrews around back underneath. Very cool. The video is a bit long at 30 minutes, but there was so much I had a hard time editing it down. Pics and story continue below the video.
After the buffalo, the park and all of the tunnels, we made our way back to Keystone, SD for lunch. Buffalo soup and a buffalo burger of course. We then angled over towards Rapid City and then on up to Sturgis. Stopped in “The Knuckle Saloon” to have a beer.
After Sturgis, our next stop was Deadwood for Dinner. We had a great meal, but considering what I had for lunch, I wasn’t that hungry. I ended up just having a seared tuna salad, which is not traditional tuna salad. It was a leafy salad with basic seared tuna on top. Yummy. Got a few pics of the Deadwood bars including where Bill Hickock was shot! Check it out.
Wild Bill was definitely a legend in this town. After that we drove the bikes on home and did our final packing. Day 6 would see us leaving South Dakota. Fantastic area and I can’t wait to get back up there some day.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. At one point, Mike and I had to fight this giant killer bee. We slew the bee, saved the princess and continued on our way. All in a days work…