David Freeze: Got some things done but wanted more

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2017

I started the day with a plan to get quite a bit done since I didn’t expect to do many miles today. My night at the Newell Hotel went about like I thought it would, especially since I was only there for a few hours. The bed was great and I think I only shared the shower with another person. The hotel itself reminded me of some from the late 1800s and early 1900s on my 2013 cross-country trip. The boards creak and the building seems to make noises of its own.

I jumped back on SR 79 to head to Sturgess, and right away I started climbing toward the Bear Butte. This one was great to look at but not so much fun to climb around. I do mean around because it was so big that it seemed like I went around behind it before starting to go down. A steady headwind built up over the morning as I made my way toward Sturgess, home of the world’s largest motorcycle rally that starts just 31 days from today. Huge saloons and campgrounds dotted the countryside, all in anticipation of the next big event. When I reached the town itself, it reminded me of visits to Yankee Stadium or Lambeau Field. There are always a number of people just hanging around enjoying the feeling of the place. Lots of motorcycles traveled the many streets of the town, which has a population of just under 7,000.

My plan included trying to get to Deadwood today also, but it was physically impossible. Too many miles to get done and not enough time to take in things if I did make it. I called several tour companies and asked about a tour that included Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park and Deadwood. They said I was asking too late. Well, sir, we have a new plan for tomorrow that should get it done all in one day! You will hear all about it tomorrow.

My ride from Sturgis to Rapid City was into the headwind again, up and down more of the buttes, and I battled some rough road shoulders along Interstate 90. The headwind was a monster but let up just as I reached Rapid City, where I will spend the night for the next two evenings.

I pushed to get to an open bike shop at an outdoor place called Scheels. The guy in the bike repair shop looked at the shifting mechanism and said that he didn’t like the way it worked and that there was nothing he could do. He oiled it and I took it back out of the store. The ride today ended up at 59 hard-earned miles with almost no coasting because of the wind. Every day seems to involve the wind, the variable is whether it is with you or not.

I am excited about seeing all the things around the Black Hills tomorrow. I even plan to see the sunrise at Mt. Rushmore. There is a rumor of a famous pie place too. Two pineapple milkshakes are already history for today.

I did pass the Fort Meade National Cemetery on the way to Rapid City. It was started by the surviving members of George Custer’s 7th Cavalry after the Little Bighorn and named for Union General George Meade.

Since my legs won’t be pedaling tomorrow, I hope to bring back plenty of great information. There have been so many emails about these local sites, many telling me not to miss this or that. I am going to do my best to get it covered. See you tomorrow!

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