Romping Through the Black Hills - Day 2 - "Bikes, Booze, and Boobs"
Day 2 (6/7/19)
Woke up feeling medium rested, the beds weren’t like home…but they never are on the road. As we were packing up we realized Bob lost a bolt for his luggage carrier and the hardware store didn’t open until 9 so it gave us an excuse to stand around and scratch for a while. I needed some morning rocket fuel, so Al and I walked over to the truck stop for a cup of coffee and whatever quick breakfast items we could find. Al grabs two cups for coffee…oh sweet, thanks. Nope, two cups for Old Al! We also discovered this massive tire on the walk so of course I hopped in. A little coffee and powdered doughnuts down the hatch, a new bolt securing Bob’s luggage, and we were off for the day.
The ride into the Black Hills was amazing! Being from Colorado and having grown up in the mountains it takes a bit to impress me with scenery, but wow, I could barely keep my eyes on the road. Mountains weren’t massive by any means but they were just breathtaking. We got into Custer around 11am and stopped quick for fuel before heading into Custer State Park…where of course you have to pay $10 per bike even just to ride through. Fine take my money. I made the boys stop and take some pictures with me since we were paying to be there anyway, might as well soak it up and get our money’s worth. Plus I’m trying to be better about taking pictures, so there’s that.
I’d never been to Mt. Rushmore before so I was pretty excited to check it out, and for a bunch of faces cut out of the side of a mountain (symbolic meaning aside) it was very impressive. The first curve you go around on road 16A where you can see it off in the distance was definitely another stopping point to get off and check it out. We did that a few times along the road so I didn’t feel inclined to actually go up and pay the extra fee to see it up close…my eyesight is pretty good, I saw it just fine from a distance. The road we were on that leads into Keystone was a blast too! A few tunnels and big loops taking you up and down the mountain, it was so cool to be able to do it on two wheels.
We stopped for a beer in Keystone and then headed over to Hill City area to go to a winery a friend told me about and insisted I bring him back some bottles…cool no problem, we’re not in any rush. Pulling into the parking lot of the Prairie Berry Winery it was a little telling we were out of place but none of us gave a shit, right on in the door we went, motorcycle gear and all. We were immediately greeted by a nice fellow who gave us the rundown and pointed us in the direction of the tasting bar where we each got to try five different wines and learned a little about each. It’s a good thing my fiance told me to bring my bike trunk because I ended up leaving there carrying six bottles. Oops. The winery is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area and enjoy wine, but it’s more of a novelty than anything. Their big seller is a wine called the Red Ass Rhubarb, it’s definitely worth a go.
With the freshly acquired cargo, we got out of Hill City and headed for Deadwood. The ride was more of the same amazing scenery, but we rode by the Pactola Reservoir and boy was it beautiful…reminded me a lot of Carter Lake in Colorado if you’ve ever been. Just a big body of water surrounded by mountains and seemed so peaceful. Next time I’m in the area I will definitely be taking some extra time to spend even just an hour or two at the lake.
Coming into Deadwood was way neat – just an old looking town (clearly modernized now) in the mountains…couldn’t ask for much more! We got checked into the SpringHill Suites, moved our bikes into the underground garage (luckily just in time because it POURED shortly after) – off came the boots and the bottle of whiskey opened once more. We were recommended to check out Saloon No. 10 for dinner so we eventually made our way down there for a pretty decent steak. We wandered Main St. some, ran into a bachelorette party we had seen at the restaurant, where some of the girls sprinted across the street toward us to complete a piece of their scavenger hunt. Bob, being the gentleman he is, stuffed a $5er down the bride-to-be’s shirt and off they went looking for more unsuspecting victims.
I don’t know if it was just the time of year or what, but Deadwood was relatively quiet the whole time we were there…which was kind of nice but also made it somewhat mood dampening, so we just headed back to the hotel after a quick wandering and beer at the Wild Bill Bar. Bob and I went and gambled for a bit and then hit the hot tub for some after-hours, no children allowed relaxation before hitting the sack.
…and on the third day there were more wild times!