Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cross Country 2007 - Ride to Sioux Falls

378 miles
We paid for the parking for the whole year so we were going to use it! ($8 for a motorcycle seems a little overboard since they always stuff them in the unused corners anyway.) So they have a deal called "Breakfast with the presidents". A nice breakfast on the patio looking out onto Mt. Rushmore. It was one of those surreal moments since I couldn't turn my head without feeling like I was looking at a giant TV.
We could not resist, we rode the extra 10 miles and saw the statue of Crazy Horse. Of course this meant we pulled over onto the side of the rode, took some pictures, and rode on. Neither one of us saw any real reason to pay for more parking.
From there we headed through "Bad Lands National Park". D. tried to get me to take a shortcut down a dirt road. There was no way I was taking a street bike on a dirt road so we took the long way through. It ended up being a really interesting ride. The badlands are basically mountains that are 100 feet tall. Depth perception gets really messed up since it feels like you are screaming through the countryside when only driving 30mph.
Riding out of the Badlands and there was the sign for Wall drug. I couldn't resist, we went. It is a drug store that is famous because there is nothing else around, so they put up billboards for 100's of miles. It was every bit as cheesy as you can imagine, a complete tourist trap in every way.
This part of the ride was hot and dry. we had a small scare when an expected gas station was under construction. Luckily there was another station at the far side of town in the direction that we were going. However when we stopped I realized I was burning up, the first stage of heat stroke. I quickly drake a Gatorade and sat in the shade for a while. With the helmet, jacket, and gloves you get used to sweating constantly and the breeze while riding keeps you from getting to hot. I really had to get used to listening to my body.
We next stopped at the "Corn Palace". Yep a stadium that is decorated with dried corn. They spend $100,000 a year to re-decorate it. Surprising how many different colors there are in dried corn.
We hit a big stretch of nothing and then it got dark. We finally stopped in Sioux Falls. The problem, there was a little league baseball championship. All the hotels were booked. We finally found a hotel (on the 5th try.) and got the last room. While filling out the paperwork we got to smirk as they told 3 people they were full.

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