This is part of the Seventh section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Canada or read our previous
visit to U.S.A.
22/8/01 Moose Jaw, through the Canadian badlands and crossed into the U.S.A. at a small easy border post, fighting a strong partly head wind all day. Ended up at Roosevelt National Park. Back into that region of the U.S.A. where "characters" are abundant. Small roads bring smaller towns and usually just one eatery, always selling pancakes and maple syrup and where you can never empty your coffee cup. The middle aged staff usually friendly women happy to tell a story or two about the big thunder storms, fire or drought that has affected life where little new happens.
23/8/01 Woke this morning to the grunts of randy bulls chasing bison cows in our campground. Calving is almost over and the rut is on. Herds of bison wander alongside and along the park roads unfazed with our presence. This section of badlands highlights the turning point in U.S. conservation. Theodore Roosevelt spent considerable time here. Initially intending to hunt but found most of the animals already decimated turned to conservationist wanting to protect nature for future generations. The park bearing his name the only one named after a president.
24/8/01 We are heading East and Ron and Lou back West through Northern America, so we said goodbye after only a few weeks of travelling together. We headed to a relaxing easy going HOG rally. A bunch of Harley-Davidson owners from Bismark, North Dakota and thinly across neighbouring states, plus two Aussies. We were easily identifiable as the only ones not sporting a logo or advertising on our shirts. About 500 riders and passengers congregated to ride together, drink together, meet new and old friends. Different from the Australian rallies we are used to, here everyone stays in motels and drinks in the bar, we camp and bring our own alcohol. The bikes the same and the people the same age, new bikes old people. The uniform more pronounced with the dealers shops being 70% clothing.
25/8/01 A day of organized rally activities, two rides, bike games and skill tests, a boat trip and dinner in the evening. Join in as many or few events as you like. As always in America the company friendly and informative, the events well organized but seemingly relaxed. We selected the bike games and dinner choosing to rest in the afternoon having ridden quite a bit lately.
26/8/01 The final rally day with breakfast at historical Fort Lincoln where Custer was said to have left healthy before he departed on his "last stand". Here he prepared for his last days. Prizes for events were awarded, speeches delivered and people thanked. We were mentioned as the much talked about Aussies and said goodbye to many new acquaintances with promises of seeing each other at the 2003 rally in Milwaukee.
27/8/01 600 km, along the interstate to Fargo, then back
roads to Hill City where we received our first motorcycle infringement notice
for the entire five year trip. While looking for the camping area, three STOP
signs were on dirt roads and the speed limit 30 km/hr, we slowed but didn't
stop. More STOP signs than people in the town it brought back memories of
movies of the 60's where to raise revenue these small towns would over regulate
traffic rules. It seemed also to bring back movie memories of the 60's to
the police officer in this bible region of Middle America where anyone dressed
in black and on a motorcycle must be a bad guy. Send a cheque, $90 US or
be in court on the 29th Sept, no we won't accept written explanations. Seems
a little severe as most people fined here would be travellers and would have
difficulty appearing in court on the designated day. What happened to presumed
innocence. At least in Australia the courts will accept a written explanation.
Not wishing to tarnish our record of not having paid a fine on the entire
trip, so far, we wrote an explanation anyway and await the results.
Move with us to Canada
, or go to our next visit to the United States
of America .
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