Wild Wild West
Yellowstone to Rapid City and lots in between.
Leaving Yellowstone through Roosevelt and the North East Gate we head up through the Bear Tooth Pass and down through Buffalo Bill Cody country, across the Big Horn Pass and into Sundance (yes, yes it is where The Kid got his name).
After two hot days (40 degrees C) riding we came to Devils Tower, made famous in the 1977 Steven Speilberg movie Close Encounters of the Thid Kind.
It is such a cool thing to see (entry is $US5.00 per person, there is camping at KOA or about 7 miles up the road camping by donation at Tower View Restaurant), especially once you have seen the film and the significance it plays and the obsession the characters have with the Tower through the film.
There are different Native American Indian tribal Ledgends that are associated with Devils Tower from Cheyenne, Sioux, Crow, Kiowa and Arapaho thus making it a very spiritual place for alot of people. (See http://www.nps.gov/deto/stories.htm for more information)
It rises 1267 feet out of the middle of a prarie. It was proclaimed as the United States frist national monument on September 24 by President Theodore Roosevelt.
When you get up closer to it you can see the detail of the columns that make up the outside.
We camped up on the hill at the Tower View Restaurant and had a beautiful sunset to watch the colours of the rock change by.
We rode on from Devils Tower to Rapid City through Deadwood - yes thats THE Deadwood all you Calamity Jane fans "whip-crack away!", through the famous Sturgis (for those of you who are motorcycle rally fans) and into Rapid City.
On our way into town, searching for the ever illusive camp ground, Brad and his son Rhoan in thier little white convertable pulled up and showed us the way. Half an hour later Brad phones the campground and invites us for hamburgers at his place. Brad and Brenda entertained us and fed us very well. It was a nice welcome to Rapid City. Baby Oona was asleep!
We stayed in Rapid City for about 5 days where Grant performed a full service in the campground. At one of the motorcycle shops we managed to pick up a 100mm nail in the rear tyre. Luckily it was imbeded into the middle of thick tread and not the side wall and Rosco of Roscos Motorcycles was the only person in town who was even willing to repair it. (Roscos Motorcycles and ATV - 1125 Kennel Drive, Rapid City, South Dakota - 605 348 3946) Once again, THANKS ROSCO!
After an excursion to the Ellingsworth Airforce Base and Museum we managed to look up the friends of Judy & Robert from Yellowstone Bonnie and George. They fed us, took us out for icecream and generally showed us a lovely and memorable time.
Quick Note: Try not to ride in Rapid City at Night as there are Deer EVERYWHERE! We came across about 4 in the space of about 5 miles.
Posted by Julie Rose at August 18, 2005 07:51 PM GMT