Heading for the Hill (City)

It was a short jaunt from our hotel in Mitchell to the Perkins Restaurant located just a couple of miles away. Breakfast was good and Emma did a great job of taking care of us. The perfect way to start our day.

If you have tried to get to the Black Hills of South Dakota, you know that the choice of roads is pretty limited. Primarily it’s I-90 otherwise you’re making a lot of jogs and turns to try to stay on state highways. Interstate travel is not my favorite but it is necessary at times. Today was one of those times.

We said goodbye to Emma and headed for the super slab. Along with the limited number of roads to travel comes the constant cross wind. I would guess that today it was a 15 to 20 MPH force trying to push the 4 motorcycles around. At least the temperature was cooler which made the ride much better than the days it was in the mid 90’s.

There is one spot on I-90 that signals I am really in the West. That is coming down the hill to cross the Missouri River at Chamberlain, SD On one side of the river, there are lots of trees and greenery. On the other side, the trees and other vegetation are pretty sparse. It is a beautiful spot. In this location stands a 50 foot statue of Dignity. This is tribute to the Native American women who helped build this country. The 50 ft piece of artwork has drawn large numbers of visitors since it was placed here in 2016.

You can also find a lot of signs of no dignity if you look hard enough. This guy thinks with every Covid test you get a free brain implant so the government can track you.

There are all kinds of visitors to Dignity statue. Some may not be as welcome as others.

The opportunities to get gas across I-90 are infrequent. We rode the first hundred miles then pulled in to fill the tanks. While we were there, we thought we would ride another hour or so then look for gas and lunch. Well, the hour or so turned into an hour and 45 minutes. We needed to find gas pretty soon and the closest stations were in Wall, SD. If you have driven I-90 from east to west, you know about Wall Drug which is the entire town of Wall. I’ve talked about this place many times so you will need to do a search for Wall Drug if you’re interested.

We found a good place for lunch – The Red Rock Restaurant and Saloon. The food was good and our server, Sam made us feel right at home. I think the effects of the wind and the extended time between stops was beginning to wear on us.

After lunch we saddled up and were ready to hit the road again. We didn’t get very far. Rain is not too bad on a motorcycle (if you’re prepared for it). We had not reached the second Wall exit when we saw lightning. There is no preparation you can do to make lightning OK when riding. We took the second exit and returned to Wall to wait out the storm.

It took sitting on a picnic table in the “back porch” area of Wall Drug for 90 minutes while we tracked the building storms on our phones. What did we ever do without these phones. I’m glad we had them.

It looked like we had an opening so we made our way to the bikes and put on the rubber suits. This is a way, way, way down the list of my favorite things to do. It worked like it usually does and we rode the final 80 miles without a single drop falling from the sky.

We made it Hill City where we will spend the next 3 days enjoying the great roads and scenery that the Black Hills has to offer. The Quality Inn here is really nice and fits our needs perfectly. There is even a laundromat right next door. What there isn’t is pizza. Not a single pizza establishment exists in Hill City. I had high hopes of a cold beer and some pizza but ended up with some junk food and cold beer from the convenience store which is within walking distance. Hey – sometimes – any port in the storm actually is true.

I didn’t want to forget to say a special thanks to our wives for taking care of everything on our home ranches while the four of us are out here rolling up the miles. Donna, Kathy, Eldonna, and Jana – thank you.

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