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Trans-Canada - Day 16

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Start Location: Hot Springs, SD
Ending Location: Hardin, MT
Miles Today: 410
Trip Miles: 5081
States Visited: 11
Provinces Visited: 5
Low Temp: 64° F
High Temp: 98° F
Min Elevation: 2886'
Max Elevation: 5983'

Route Map:

Today started out a little cool, but quickly warmed up. We were hoping it would take a little longer than it did. A week ago, it was too cool and this week it is too warm. I guess we are hard to please.

We arrived at Crazy Horse bright and early -- relatively speaking. It was only 9 am and not the least bit crowded. We were the only ones parked in the area "For Bikes Only." Crazy Horse was as impressive as the last time. We couldn't really tell how much has been done since we were here in 2000, but once we get home we will look at the pictures and compare them. The actual size of the monument is almost incomprehensible. All of Mt Rushmore would fit in the head of Crazy Horse. Once again, it was well worth the stop.

Then it was on to Sturgis via Deadwood. It's a real tourist trap, but kind of quaint. I don't know exactly how they do it, but the sound of cars going down the street sounds like horses hooves on pavement. I bet that gets a little old if you live there. Sturgis sure does look different when it is not Bike Week. There were lots of leftover places selling t-shirts, but that was about all. It is such a normal looking town that could be Anywhere, USA, for 50 weeks of the year. The thing that surprised me the most was that most of the bikers had on helmets. There were some days when we were here last time that we were the only ones WITH helmets. The scenery through the Black Hills was awesome. Lots of curvy roads suited to motorcycles.

From Stugis we picked up I-90 and just cranked out the miles. The weather was not as ominous as some of the pictures look. However, it was very windy. We were very thankful when the clouds rolled in, but it didn't last long enough. It was just plain hot. Somewhere along here we stopped at the worst gas station of the trip. The wind was blowing very hard and dust was swirling everywhere. Besides that, the gas the most expensive in the US so far. Thank goodness neither of us needed to use the facilities. Didn't want to see what they were like.

We are off to Missoula tomorrow and are in the "let's get home" mode. I think the heat is getting to us. Doesn't look like we will be using the heated vests again.