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Published: July 15th 2018
Day 16 - We had a massive storm overnight, plenty of thunder & lighting, heavy rain around 2-3am. Still heavy overcast skies this morning and light drizzle, we headed out to Sturgis for breakfast and a walk around town before the 78th Sturgis Rally gets underway in approximately a months time. All the shops are up and running with all leather biker gear & t shirts stocked to the hilt. As we were due to leave it started to bucket down again, so we headed back to Deadwood to stay out of the rain. Another stroll in Historic Main Street, and the skies started to clear. We decided to head out to Bear Country, 10 miles the other side of Rapid City. It looked pretty dark and bleak as we rode the Interstate to Rapid City.
Arriving at Bear Country we paid our fees and as we were on bikes, received a complimentary courtesy car to drive the loop of the park. We entered the park and were greeted by elk, bighorn sheep, bison, wolves, then the big fella's showed up in their paddock, probably 30 + bears, black & brown bears wandering across the road, so plenty of photos
taken. Back to the centre and rode the bikes to the walk around displays where there were Grizzly's, skunks, coyote's, mountain lions, bobcats, beavers and others. Then we came to the baby black bear enclosure where 12 cubs were running rampant for the crowd. Playing in the grass, climbing the trees and generally being naughty little black bear cubs.
To finish off the afternoon, we headed down Nemo Road then onto Vanocker Canyon Road, which is an amazing canyon to ride, not as scenic as Spearfish, but a great surface with immaculately cambered corners. The sky was blue and not a cloud in sight by 4.00pm so Nifty & I couldn't wipe the grin off our faces as we hooked into this fantastic ride.
Back to Deadwood for dinner at The Stockyard complete with entertainment by a great Willie impersonator and a lot of great covers as well.
Day 17 - We figured we should head out to The Badlands today, as it had been 4 years since Ange, Nifty & I had been there. Leaving early to beat the heat of a forecast 95*F, arriving in Wall, South Dakota at 9am. We had breakfast in Wall
Drug, a buffet breakfast, which wasn't the best on offer either, we did the tourist thing of checking out each section of Wall Drug. For the uninitiated, Wall Drug is a massive shop containing a small pharmacy section, coffee shop, diner, ice cream bar, all the usual tourist sections of stuffed toys, ladies & men's western wear, novelty rubbish, oh....cowboy boots too. I took a walk up to Badlands Harley Davidson for yet another t shirt for the collection.
On the bikes and off to the very scenic and this time, green Badlands. This really is an amazing place, plenty of tourist buses, bikes & RV's stopping at the viewpoints for photos. As we'd pics from our last trip in 2014, only a few stops along the way. Angela's camera packed it in today, funny seeing as last time we were in Wall, she lost over 800 photo's from a dodgy SD card. And the bad luck doesn't stop there either, more to follow. We headed into Rapid City to replace the camera at Walmart, yes folks, Walmart, home of almost everything, from tea bags to rifles, from batteries to lawn mowers, it all here in Walmart!
great ride followed back to Deadwood, along 44 again and all the way from Nemo Road to US385, terrific gentle sweepers for the entire length. Off to dinner at The Deadwood Social Club, for a 10oz Bison Steak and a few bourbons in Saloon 10. Now this is where Nifty advised us that he'd been skimmed for $270 in Wall. So on arriving back to our room, I discovered the I'd been done for $250. We did some detective work and found that Wall Drug was the common denominator! So after being on the phone to my 2 banks & Wall Drug, it was off to bed at 11.30pm.
Day 18 - Leaving our beloved Deadwood, ;-( , today was going to be a long riding day, breakfast in Newcastle, Wyoming at Donna's Diner, another excellent brekkie, Nifty had an omelette he couldn't jump over. So then to Lingle where we inadvertently joined the Saturday Parade of Floats going on. On to Lusk, Cheyenne, Thunder Mountain HD to our nights stop in Loveland. Off for a feed of Mexican now and maybe just a Corona or two!
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