My Second Trek to the Midwest
Day 6, Friday, June 29, 2007

Billings, Montana to Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Day's Route Overview:
I started from Billings, Montana, and headed east on Interstate 90.  East in this case means mostly south at first.

As you can imagine, I filled the gas tank a lot more times today than yesterday.

I passed some oil refineries and a large open face coal mine.  Everywhere there are very long trains made up of 80 or so coal cars.
They seem to be going both east and west.

Planned 395 miles, ridden 412 miles.

Starting out: Trip / Odometer / Time: 69.5 / 40,572 / 8:00 AM PDT

First rest stop was the town of Hardin, Montana.  Hardin is the county seat of Big Horn County.

My reputation must precede me.  Certainly, they named this county Big Horn after me.  They must have known that I was coming through.  Isn't it obvious?  They knew that just two years ago I installed a loud air horn on my bike.

It's like the Idaho city of Long Wood that I passed by this past Wednesday.  They named that after me as well.  They knew that I was born in the heart of the redwood empire.

Just south of Hardin is Little Big Horn.  So I stopped in to pay my respects to the history that happened there.

Gillette , Wyoming has a Harley dealer, time for a pin and maybe a shirt
Deluxe Harley-Davidson - Gillette Shop 3300 Conestoga Drive Gillette Wyoming 82718
Open Tuesday thru Saturday,, 307-687-2011

I also picked up a tube of blue Locktite.  My left running light bulb burned out.  I had brought along a spare, but I didn't think of the Locktite to prevent the screws from backing out due to the vibrations.

I stopped at a Super Wal*Mart to get something to snack on.  They had some nice plums and nectarines and a bottle of fruit juice.  I know that some people are not enamored with Wal*Mart, but I like them, particularly the super ones with the groceries.
Sundance, Wyoming.  No, this not where the film stars go to play.  It is however the place that claims the Sundance Kid as in Butch Cassidy's pal.

There's a Post Office at 119 North 2nd Street, Sundance, Wyoming 82729

The whole day was hot.  Every time I saw a sign with the temperature along the way, they read consistently in the middle 90's and even ranged up to 102.

How hot is that?  When I parked Lola at a rest stop, the kickstand sank into the pavement.  And note that that is in the shade of that tree.

Soon after arriving in South Dakota, there was a visitor center.  Now normally this just means a rest stop with a lot of coupon brochures and a few maps behind glass.

This one was different, there was an elderly man and woman.  Although it was about five minutes to six (their time) and they were getting ready to close, they delighted in spending whatever time I needed to get me to Mt. Rushmore and a place to stay.  They kept handing me brochures and telling me about things I should try to see.

They advised a shorter route to Mt. Rushmore on Highway 385 through the Black Hills rather than circling around through Rapid City.  It would cut off a some miles,  was extremely scenic, and went through Deadwood.  Yep, that's right, THE Deadwood of HBO series fame.

I forgot to ask them where the Indians used to get the concrete for the ribs of that enormous tepee.

My timing at Mount Rushmore National Memorial couldn't have been better.  I got situated in a motel in Keystone which is two miles outside of Rushmore and then headed up there.  It was crowded, but okay.  After my initial walk around of the place, I went into the thrift shop and tithed.  It was almost 9:00 and the evening program was about to start.  I then went into their cafeteria for a bottle of water and asked what time they closed.  9:00.  Hmmm, I haven't had supper yet and the cafeteria has a wall of windows and when they light the presidents, I can see them from here.  Someone had some sort of stew that had lots of potatoes, carrots, pearl onions and smelled really good.  I went back and discovered it was buffalo stew.  I asked if it was strong flavored and the young girl asked if I wanted a taste.  She must have given me about 3/4 of a cup and it was good so I got a bowl.  That plus a salad was more than I could eat and really hit the spot.

I went outside to see what was happening and there was a movie describing each president and what they did and then the story of how the faces were carved.  The movie went on forever.  Finally, they did light up the faces and it was pretty good.  One gets the feeling that Disney would have done a more spectacular job, but this was fine.  Of course, when this got old, a crowd of about 2,000 cars all wanted to leave the parking lot at the same time.  Surprisingly, everyone was polite and it went smoothly as far as I can tell.

Done for the day: Trip / Odometer / Time: 70.6 / 40,984 / 7:45 PM PDT

ABC Letters:  States: South Dakota

Day's Totals: 412 miles, 11 hours 45 minutes
Trip Totals: 2,089 miles, 51 hours 19 minutes

Overview Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Updated: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 10:19:32 PM