Romping Through the Black Hills – Day 3 – “Town Hopping”

By: Kevin JohnsonJun 24, 2019

Day 3 (6/8/19)

We woke up to a little bit of rain…which of course isn’t the end of the world as we all have rain gear, but still isn’t favorable.  It was another good excuse to take our time eating breakfast and getting going that morning, not that we needed one since it’s supposed to be a vacation after all, right??  Bob and I shared a room while Al had the other, so when we all met up after breakfast we chatted some about where the day would take us…and it sounded an awful lot like Old Al wanted to head back toward Lusk and we would eat the cost of the rooms for the night, but Bob and I quickly nixed that idea as we weren’t about to let a little rain keep us from seeing some of the places we’d never been.  So we spent a little time putting a plan together, loaded up the bikes, and off we went!

New F850GSA Rally Style

First on the list of stops was Sturgis, so we jetted down US-14 through the hills to the [mostly] sleepy little town.  As none of us are big fans of being in big groups of people, this trip was planned earlier in the riding season to avoid the droves of other two-wheeled enthusiasts and the shenanigans that are known to go on.  Coming down into town was decently cold, so we stopped quick at the Sturgis Motorsports for Al to look into a better pair of pants, which unfortunately they didn’t have for a reasonable price so he ended up passing there…BUT it gave me a good opportunity to look at the new Motorrad F850GS and R1250GS beauties, and they are just that!  They come with lots of new features and equally impressive price tags, but they sure are nice.  If we’d had more time to kill I would have liked to give them a ride, but I didn’t want to make the crew sit around while I went joy-riding, so I just instead kicked tires and asked some questions.  Al tried to convince me to leave the old bike behind and bring a new one home…no thanks!

We rode through town, gave it a quick once over, and it was neat but not much to write home about so we made our way back out of town and up to Spearfish.  By now the rain had pretty much stopped entirely so that was nice.  No one could decide what to do so we made our way through residential neighborhoods until we came across a gas station where we could fuel up and actually decide what the hell was on the docket next.  Cruising up Old Belle Road toward Belle Fourche was a nice little route that a fellow gas station patron told us would be nice, so that’s what we did.  Obviously we’re in a decently rural part of the state, but it was cool going by a bunch of older farmhouses and dirt roads, and felt kind of like where I grew up in Gunnison.

Aladdin, WY General Store

We got up to Belle Fourche, rode through town, turned around and went right back out.  It was a cool little town, and I especially thought the Dakota Mill & Grain elevator and silo setup was nifty…a lot smaller than I would have imagined.  But there wasn’t much for us here and we were more interested in riding so we got out of there down 34 toward Wyoming again and hit the beautiful nothing town of Aladdin.  We stopped for some pictures at the only place in town and did some stretching and called it good at that town of 15.  After a few more miles we got down into Beulah where Saloon 333 awaited.

If you’ve never tried Rocky Mountain Oysters before I would recommend giving them a shot.  Is it weird?  Sure.  But they are pretty tasty once you stop thinking about what you’re eating.  Why are you talking about bull nuts you are likely wondering…well at the Saloon we had just missed the annual Sand Creek Testicle Festival the week before, but we didn’t miss all of the signage which gave us all a good laugh.  Going back to my first post of this trip, everyone we encountered in Wyoming is absurdly nice!  All of the folks in the bar knew we weren’t from around there and wanted to visit.  Even as we left Al talked to a couple outside who we would actually run into again the next day in Lingle, WY (some roughly 200 miles from where we met) during a quick gas station bathroom break.

Now up until this point, Al was enjoying throwing a few jabs my way about a recent GPS purchase I’d made mainly for the next trip Bob and I are taking to Canada (stay tuned for more on that soon), but that I wanted to test out on this trip.  Apparently those are things only BMW riders need and rely on.  Well it just so happens Old Al had forgotten his swim suit and we needed to hit up the nearest Wal-Mart which none of us knew the location of, nor how to really navigate to…enter Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S to the rescue!  We got to the Spearfish Wal-Mart, found Al a suit, some snacks for later that evening, and got out of there back to our hotel.  Overall it was a good day of riding despite really not going anywhere and the weather being somewhat rainy, overcast, and cold.

We got back to the hotel about 4pm, too early to go to dinner, but good timing to have a drink and sit in the hot tub for a bit, so we did just that.  And sure enough, we encountered another bachelorette party all hanging out in the hot tub.  These ladies were fun to chat with for a while, especially the bachelorette whose snarky and cocky attitude made for some good banter.  They eventually left to go get ready for their night on the town, and it’s good that we didn’t run into them again because they were in the very early stages of a wild night ahead, something none of us were interested in witnessing later on.

Deadwood has a little trolley system where a few of them go all over town, basically from the hotels to Main St. and back and each ride is only a dollar, so if you time it right it’s a pretty good deal.  From what I can tell though they pretty much come whenever, no rhyme or reason to them, so I wouldn’t plan around what the signs say.  We got lucky enough to hop on one from the hotel so for three bucks all of us got to Main St. in no time.  Initially we were going to go to the Eagle Bar but the bartender told us that earlier in the day they were slammed and were unprepared for the dinner crowd now so it would be about an hour before they would even take food orders…okay no problem, we walked down the road and had dinner at a burger joint, Mustang Sally’s, on a recommendation from the trolley driver.  Now maybe it’s my fault for ordering fish and chips at a burger place, but I wasn’t impressed and neither were Al and Bob who both had burgers.  Also they didn’t have liquor, just beer and wine which seemed weird for a bar/restaurant on the main strip in Deadwood.

After dinner we spent some time wandering around some but none of us were feeling like doing much out so we waited and waited and waited for a trolley to finally come and take us back to the hotel.  Bob and I did a little gambling while Al made friends at the bar, but none of that lasted long as we were all pretty spent from the day so we all retired pretty early in preparation for the almost 400 mile ride home the next day had in store for us.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin was destined to ride motorcycles from a young age since bikes are a family pastime.  Only recently did Kevin become an internet motorcycle influencer and change the lives of no one while blogging about his exploits, both on and off the road.  He is currently (and constantly) thinking about the next places two wheels might take him, much to the dismay of his wife, so stay tuned for what's to come!