Romping Through the Black Hills – Day 4 and Final Trip Thoughts – “Putzing Home”
Day 4 (6/9/19)
With nearly 400 miles ahead, Bob and I were hoping for a pretty early departure around 7am but we forgot to bring it up with the third member of the crew, who wasn’t as interested in being prepared to get out of dodge that quickly. So we all settled that 8am would be just fine, and for the most part stuck to it, we hit the road only fifteen minutes after the hour. It was actually better, we got to sleep in some, enjoy breakfast vs. shoveling something down quick, and enjoy a nice hot shower. Once we hit the road we realized quickly that it was going to be another cold one – but luckily it wasn’t raining today!
Headed down highway 85 I was trying to watch the temperature gauge on the bike while also making sure no deer were going to get plowed into. The lowest I saw it get to was about 38 degrees F, and for not a lot of gear on that was pretty cold, even with grip heaters on full blast. I had left Bob and Al back a ways so I stopped to let them catch up and come to find out, poor Bob was in his “nose picker” fingerless gloves the entire time to that point. If I was freezing with some heavier, but still summer gloves and grip heaters, I can only imagine how that poor bastard felt. He put on some heavier mitts and we were back on the road, hopefully to find some sun and warmer temperatures.
Things didn’t warm up much until we got down into New Castle where the bike was registering about 55 degrees which felt pretty nice by that point. We cruised right along, the temperature slowly rising as we made our way into Lusk to have a quick bite to eat at the Pizza Place where the fate of the coin kept us from dining the first time through. Of course it’s closed on Sunday…so back over to the Pub we headed. I guess people don’t eat before noon in Lusk because their kitchen was closed too, so we settled for a few beers and hit the road to eat at the Broncho Bar in Torrington where we’d also stopped before. Then second bachelorette party said they had pretty good food so it was worth a shot – and they weren’t lying. I hammered down the cardiac burger and fries and despite how terrible for me it was for me it was totally worth it and kept me satisfied all the rest of the way home.
We stopped a few more times to rest our legs and asses and for a spot of fuel, but from there on we pretty much jetted home – after all it was starting to get late in the day and I know I was ready to unpack and unwind. Bob and Al got off at Loveland to fuel up, but with my 6.3 gallon tank I signaled that I was fine, waived goodbye, and finished the last 50 or so miles solo, getting home about 5pm. When it was all said and done, my trip registered 944 miles total, all decently easy and peaceful. Al’s total trip was at 981…not sure where those extra 37 miles came from as we went everywhere together but we noticed a similar thing on our first day’s ride last year to Vegas when my trip was 525 miles and Bob’s was slightly higher. Either way it was a decent amount of miles and was an amazing first ride of the season to get things kicked off.
Sitting on the couch with my fiance later that evening was so relaxing. I love these trips but it always feels good to be home, especially on a Sunday night knowing that work awaits the next day. It also is a good time to sit back, veg out, and reflect on the trip as a whole experience. I’ll be the first to admit, I tend to be somewhat controlling and definitely like things a certain way. I’m also a planner…so flying by the seat of my pants isn’t always my style. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t much care about the little details, so long as there is a general idea of what is happening I’m a happy camper. This trip helped me to remind myself to settle down, let the chips fall where they may. Regardless of circumstances, we prepare for these types of adventures so that we’re able to figure anything out that comes our way.
I’m also glad we embarked on this shorter ride, it gave me an opportunity to test out some new gear and bike accessories for Bob and my Canada trip next month! I won’t go into much about that here, but jet on over to that section for some trip planning posts and the adventure itself!