Monday, 9 August 2010

Riding Through The Badlands. Wow.

I had heard of the Badlands, but I was not prepared for just how awe-inspiring they are. Wow.

I have leanrt that awesome is an over-used word in the US.  The Badlands ARE awesome!

I had to ride north to get to the Badlands. I crossed the border into South Dakota and started to head east towards Interior, but I had made a mistake. I had forgotten to fill up with fuel and on checking how far the next gas station was, it was about a 50:50 chance that I would make it before running out of fuel, even with the spare gallon I carry in one of my saddlebags. I had to backtrack and this cost me about an additional 50 miles today. The extra miles were not a problem but I was not pleased with myself for making such a stupid mistake.

I did however hit the 7000 miles ridden stage so as has become accustomed, I stopped at exactly the 7000 mile point and took a picture. I had to be quick though as I was on a fast road with many trucks travelling at high speed. I have been lucky so far in that I have been able to stop exactly at each 1000 miles point to take a photo, but my luck may not last – if it is not safe to stop, I won’t do so. Here is my 7000 mile photo....




















I took the Long Way Round (that sounds familiar!) to get to today’s destination. This was so I could stop and look at the site of a famous Red Indian massacre where Chief Big Foot and his men were killed. I had heard the graveyard where he is buried was very moving. It wasn’t....




















It was run down and very scruffy. I know that graveyards should be sombre places and that when in one, I should be very respectful, but I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the names of the people buried there. I apologise to anyone that I may upset with this, but take a look at these names....







































I rode with a group of 4 riders as we approached the Badlands....


























I had heard the Badlands were something special. I had no idea they were as stunning as they are. I stopped and fixed my cameras to my bike and made a short video of the impressive eastern section....



I did stop and take a few still photos as well. Here are a few of those....
























































































































































From all of the riding I have been doing recently, my bike is in need of a wash....


























After I rode through the Badlands, I went to the drugstore in Wall. Wall Drug is a huge shop and it sells just about everything. It is a bit to touristy for me and I didn’t buy anything in there, but it is worth going and seeing if you are in the area....




















As I have been getting nearer to Sturgis, there are more and more bikes on the road. Here are some parked outside Wall Drug....




















Jackie had booked somewhere for me to stay the night, at a ranch. As I approached it, I saw I needed to ride up this hill, on a gravel road. I am getting more used to gravel roads now, so this didn’t concern me (too) much!....




















The ranch is called the “Circle View Ranch” and this is the view from the deck in the back....






















While I was making the video of the Badlands, I saw this out of the bedroom window....


























I went and took a look. There were three Burros on the elevated deck. A Burro is similar to a donkey and they were very friendly....















































I think I will go horse riding today. I haven’t been on a horse for about 40 years!

19 comments:

Milwaukee Dan said...

Loved the video through the badlands. I liked the visual of you and your bikes' shadow as you wind down the road. Gary what was the name of that camera clamp you showed me when you were traveling through Milwaukee?

I bet it is more calming having burros outside your window rather than trains every 15 minutes.

chessie said...

Gosh, to be you...experiencing the Badlands for the 1st time .... OK, I've experienced them before, but I want to do it again. It's been too long. Thanks for re-awaking the bug to go... I'm enjoying your trip Gary...
Be well.

bobskoot said...

Gary:

why not a Burro ride instead ? I need to see a photo of you on one. You manage to find the neatest places, esp that ranch. I'm not sure I would have liked that gravel road though.

We are the same. If it is not safe to stop then don't. You can always stop farther on, a mile or so doesn't make much difference, unless you run out of gas and have to walk.

bob
Wet Coast Scootin

Eve said...

Wow Gary! I was in the Badlands when I was too young to remember now. I loved the ride with you and would love to go back again on the bike! That was fantastic.
The Burros were a cute surprise!
What a beautiful place!
PS I think I saw an 883 Iron ride by!!!

biker baby said...

You will find that most of Sturgis is over crowded, commercialized and touristy. We haven't been since 2001. We rode through during the rally in 2006 on the way home from Montana and didn't stop. People were even camped on the grass at the highway off ramps. Everyone should go at least once for the experience, but it's not what it used to be. We would like to go before or after the rally just for the riding. It's beautiful country.

Motorcycle Philosophy said...

Been reading your updates, sounds like a great ride. My guess is that the burros like to walk there because people throw food at them.

Radar said...

Gary,

Busted! I see you're riding naked again!

Enjoy all that is Sturgis. I suspect that some of what you'll see won't be exactly suitable for public consumption, but I'm sure you will enjoy the party nonetheless!!

Be safe.

motoroz said...

Great pics and video. The Badlands are awesome. You will have a great time at Sturgis and be careful. Enjoy Rushmore and Crazy Horse.

Webster World said...

The Badlands are just that. And do fuel up before you go into them. And you could still be in trouble. Bad is right now we know how Butch Sundance and my native brothers and sisters could hide so well.

Geoff James said...

Wow and wow! Fantastic photos Gary. The changes in scenery are really impressive!

irondad said...

Actually, I'd like to see Bobskoot riding a burro with both of them wearing pink crocs!

Just wanted to let you know I was following, just not commenting. I can read the enthusiasm in your posts. What an awesome experience, eh?

SonjaM said...

Nice vid! Did you actually ride 'naked' or are you in desperate need of a haircut...? Yes, the badlands are beautiful. We have our own in Alberta, and it has always been my favorite destination.

Tim France said...

Hi Gary, was surprised by the change in landscape too and of the 'feel' of the Badlands. Nice photos too, many thanks. And the Thick Loaf Bread made me laugh too, and the donkey outside the window. You're having a ball.

securityfactory said...

Gary, I assume your mention of Long Way Round was an allusion to the trip Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman took across Europe & Asia then Alaska, Canada to NYC. All motorcycle tour fans should see that great video coverage.

R!ch

Jackie, the Wife xx said...

Wunderbar..!!

You are travelling through a unique part of the County. I have never been there, but I think we should go back one day.?. What do you think.?. :-)

I just love riding with you through your blog. I wish I would have been able to come with you. Unfortunately, as we found out in New York City, it isn't possible. I'm thinking maybe a trailer and/or a trike for me (pink and aqua, Please).

I loved your video of the terrain. More than that, I loved seeing your shadow following you along. xx

The little burros were absolutely adorable.. xx Can we get one..???.. They could live quite comfortably in our back garden… hehehe

Your journey thus far, has been full of surprises. Be safe MD.. xoxo Kz…………………

Gary France said...

Dan – Glad you liked the video. The clamp is a Cardellini Clamp. If you read this post on my blog, there is lots of information in there about it and the spigot connector and the ball head. http://garysusatour.blogspot.com/2010/04/rough-guide-to-camera-mounts-2.html

Chessie = The Badlands were exceptional. I am pleased that you are enjoying the trip!

Bob – I think I need to lose a few more pounds before I inflict myself on a Burro! You will have to make do with a photo of me on a horse! You are right about not stopping, but in principle, I do want them all to be at exactly the 1000 mile points.

Eve – I have seen a few 883 Irons on my trip. The video helps to explain so much more than photos, or words.

BB – I am now in Sturgis and I think you are right – it is all of those things, so I avoid the touristy things and concentrate on the bikes and the people! There are some weird examples of each!

MP, aka Steve – Yep, a great ride. Glad you are reading about my travels. The Burros belonged to the people that owned the ranch and yes, guests feed them carrots. I resisted!

Radar – Well spotted! To be fair, I have only ridden without a helmet for probably 15 miles or so. This is about 0.2% of my ride. A tiny amount really. You might be right about the public consumption. I wonder, just what can I put on my blog?

Oz – Thanks! I have done Rushmore and Crazy Horse, which were both good to see, but I preferred just riding on the great roads the Black Hills have to offer. I will write about this soon.

WW – I really liked the Badlands, but I wouldn’t want to get stuck there without fuel.

Geoff – I absolutely agree. It was stunning.

Dan – Now that would be worth paying good money to see! Glad you are reading some of my stuff. It is the trip of a lifetime and I am enjoying it immensely.

Sonja – Going through part of the Badlands – the slow really picturesque part – I rode without my helmet. I have tried this a couple of times for a very small number of miles, but after what I saw in the Black Hills, I won’t be doing that again. The Badlands are my favourite scenery so far.

Tim – I couldn’t believe that headstone. Cracked me up!

R!ch – Yep, exactly that tv show. It was great viewing.

Jackie – The list of places we should go back to together is getting longer! I am glad you liked the shadow! Now, don’t go getting ideas about Burros in our back garden!

Chris Luhman said...

Gary: Great pics of the badlands. I will have to visit them again!

biker baby said...

Come on...no burros in your back garden? I'm with Jackie on this one.

Gary France said...

Chris - It is well worth it. The main parts of the Badlands are not very big so you can easily see them in a few hours, but combined with the nearby Black Hills, there is much to see.

BB - Stop it. Don't encourage her!