Road Trip part 2
Good morning! So, the last blog finished with me in Aberdeen South Dakota being completely surprised by how cool Aberdeen was and how hopping it was too! That town really is amazing. It is out in the geographic center of nowhere and it is great!
The next morning I woke up early with a big plan. I was going to finish the transverse navigation of S. Dakota by going through the black hills and out into Wyoming. I had never been to Sturgis and honestly, I don’t ever want to go there during the Harley rally but I hit it perfectly. The town was quiet and quaint. I found a nice place to have lunch and relaxed a bit. As I rolled through town I found out that there WAS a rally going on, it was the Cushman Scooter Rally! It was great! There were tons of vintage Cushmans rolling around everywhere. I stopped where they were gathered and I can tell you that I very much enjoyed hanging out with the Cushman crowd. I fired up my V Strom and headed into the hills, the sound of Cushmans, echoing through the canyons!
I have never understood why Sturgis is such a big deal but I do now. Those roads through those hills are absolutely amazing. It is the perfect place to ride a street bike, there are even sections of road that are like single track. One lane, going one way with no oncoming traffic and beautiful black top with no gravel. You can fly! I wound my way through the hills and ended up at Mt Rushmore. I had never visited it before and it was impressive. Like most people say, it's not as big as you imagine but I would hazard to say that it's more impressive. Not the size but the detail and quality of the carvings. I can’t imagine what it took to do something like that, on that scale. I highly recommend visiting if you haven’t ever been there.
From Mt Rushmore, I headed west out into Wyoming. Up until this point, I had been blessed with clear weather but as I turned my bike South to head down towards Colorado, things changed very quickly. It’s hard to describe the hateful look of the ink-black clouds that hovered between me and Ft. Collins. I didn’t really have any real rain gear so I tucked my phone away in my tank bag, flipped the visor down on my helmet and rode into the maelstrom. It started off with light rain then turned quickly to heavy rain and wind. No big deal, I thought as I leaned into the wind to counteract its attempt to push me into the oncoming lane. Rapidly the weather deteriorated even further into sideways hail with inches of standing water on the road. I was very much afraid at this point, but stopping wasn’t an option in my tiny mind. There were no overpasses to hide under, no trees to get next to, nothing to protect me from the gale. At the very worst of what I was riding through, I looked ahead and saw something out of a science fiction movie. It was a bar of light about 5 feet wide, 6 inches off the ground and moving towards me quickly. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I thought, “Well Lord if this is how I go, I am ready as I’ll ever be.” All of a sudden the light, flashed past me and I realized it was one of those storm chasing tank things. Holy crap!! Were they out chasing tornadoes??
I kept listing to starboard to keep the bike in my lane and then BAM! As suddenly as it had started, the storm quit and I rode, unscathed, into the sun again! It was amazing really. In a matter of less than a minute, my fear of death had morphed into a feeling of thankfulness and joy. I rode into the next little town and found a service station to fill up my bike and get a cup of coffee to warm my soul. As I walked into the store (looking like a drowned rat) the attendant asked if I had come from up north. “Yeah, how’d you guess?” She shook her head and said, “A tornado just ripped through up there.” “Huh, that would explain the storm chasing tank,” I quipped. She just rolled her eyes and shook her head more. At this point in my life, I was very used to that reaction so I just grabbed my coffee and walked outside to dry off.
The rest of my trip home was uneventful, fortunately. I spent the next night in Ft. Collins with friends and then finished the journey the next day. When I got home, Ruth was there, welcoming me home into her arms just like she always does eventually. It felt so good to be welcome, to be missed, to be worried about. With all that had happened in our relationship, I hadn’t felt that in a while and it was wonderful! Maybe, just maybe we would be normal someday!
Thanks again for reading along. I like telling my motorcycle stories just as much as my life stories so thanks for putting up with them. Don’t worry, I will be getting back into some more stupid mistakes soon. It’s amazing how many times I have messed up and God has helped me back on my feet.
Today I am thankful for Highland Cycles, my employees and summer time!!
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