Ted's Big Ride---Day Thirty-Three

Crazy Horse, SD to Mitchell, SD
June 1, 2006

Got up early, about 6am local. Used the campground showers, packed up and had breakfast in the camp meal hall. My plan was first to see Wind Cave and then tour some of the Black Hills roads that were recommended to me. Claudia gave me details over the phone and then planned to head for the Badlands after I had had enough of the Black Hills. Mid-day I headed for the Badlands, overshot the route to the visitors center because the road I was looking for, Rt 2, was not labeled. I ran way too far south, but got there anyway. After a dip into NE, it was time to make tracks toward eastern SD. Not much to see along the way but VAST open pastures. It was a real long day in the saddle.
Plan distance: 440 miles
Plan time at posted speed limit: 12 hours 18 minutes

Actual distance:  Today=486 miles    Total=6,918 miles

Average Miles/Gallon: 43.0
Average Price/Gallon: $2.995

9:22:00 AM
My overnight view of the work-in-progress. I got packed up and headed off to the breakfast buffet at 10:18:31 AM in the campground main lodge; then, got on the road .

12:04:35 PM This was my first stop of the day. I took Rt 385 South from Crazy Horse to this cave which is located just south of the Custer State Park. I was advised to ride the loops of Custer SP for the scenery/animals/rock formations, which I planned to do after the day warmed up.
This was the sole opening to the cave when it was discovered. This hole would be a tight squeeze for me today. As the air temperature changes, pressure is balanced through this opening creating quite a breeze out or in depending on the time of day.
Today another entrance is available, through and airlock so as to maintain the climate within the cave as it was when it was formed. The cave tour takes 1:15 and is quite interesting. Unique calcium formations are plentiful but photography underground with pocket-cam lacks pizzaz. Ya gotta see it to believe it!
2:44:48 PM How I'm off to ride around Custer State Park
Animals are plentiful and CLOSE to the road.

3:52:47 PM I reached the section called Needles Hwy. VERY interesting rock formations that indeed look like needles on end.
3:55:02 PM
3:56:19 PM
3:56:40 PM
5:48:40 PM My next route took me to Badlands National Park which is southeast of Custer. I took route 40/41 from Keystone.
This is NOT a place that I would pick for a pedestrian mode of travel.
6:09:02 PM This is another view of BAD LANDS with which to drive over. Rt 41 was under renovation and I got held up here for about 1/2 hour. The miles of dust got my bike SOOOO dirty (I must schedule a wash tomorrow).
7:00:53 PM I ended my ride through the Bad Lands at Pine Rigde. There I noticed that I was only 2 miles from the Nebraska border, so what the heck. I rode to the border and Nebraska did this one on the cheap, NO WELCOME TO NEBRASKA.
7:04:40 PM I rode through Whiteclay, NE (an Indian inhabited town) to the far side and no welcome signs to be seen. I reversed back into SD and continued back to Pine Ridge where I started heading East again.
7:40:21 PM This is about all the scenery that eastern SD can muster, so I pressed on Easterly.
9:30:03 PM SD has a safe drivers awareness program that placed one of these signs whereever someone bites the big one in an alchol related crash. There are some stretches where the stack them up next to each other----Ride Safe!!!
10:24:00 PM The sun is fading and so am I. I decide to ride to Mitchell, SD before I quit so that I have a feature awaiting me in the morning.
1:08:46 AM I get to Mitchell and find a patch of grass next to the road. I'm tired and call it a day.