8/20/2014 – 346 mi – MT, SD
Maybe every trip needs bunnies. They’re pretty cute. They wander somewhat fearlessly (for rabbits) around the campground in Hardin, MT.
So those tires Kevin put on his bike in Anchorage? The reviews varied widely in how long they would last; most said somewhere in the 5-8k mi range. We were hoping they would get him home, but it was not to be. The rear tire was toast at just 3600 mi. So, we had a new rear tire put on in Rapid City SD. The upside is that I also got a new rear tire, as it was questionable whether mine would make it home either. This made me SO HAPPY. My original tire was so very, horribly square after all those miles. Since it’s a gradual change, I had just gotten used to it. The new tire was almost like getting a new bike. It was AWESOME. We had curvy roads, and my new rear tire actually had, you know, a profile, so it turned in properly, and held a line properly. And it was much stickier. Like magic I tell you. New sport tires are the best.
8/21/2014 – 328 mi – SD, NE
We missed out on riding in the Black Hills in South Dakota during our 2012 moto trip, so this time was a good chance go and get in some good riding in the middle of otherwise boring flat roads crossing the plains.
We spent the morning playing on curvy roads in fantastic weather, riding the loop created by the Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road.
Where does the road go?
Oh, it goes through this single lane tunnel.
At some points, Iron Mountain Road splits into single lane paths through the woods. It’s awesome; it’s like having your own racetrack in the forest. It feels a bit like the speeder chase scene in Return of the Jedi. There are also a couple of bridges/overpasses where the road spirals down and back underneath itself. Basically, I spent the entire morning going “wheee!” and grinning like an idiot. If you don’t like riding Iron Mountain road, then you just don’t like riding motorcycles.
We took a short unpaved road at one point, and were rewarded with sightings of antelope and a herd of buffalo. (The buffalo were too far away to get any good photos).
Exiting south of the Black Hills was a bit of a letdown. It would be fun to stay in the area for a few days, plus the Black Hills area represents the last destination on our trip. After this, it’s over, we’re going home. More photos of arbitrary political boundaries. Nebraska is also a new moto state to us.