August 7, Day 36 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
Today started out well enough. We had a good night sleep and awoke to an article about our trip and TheHopeLine published in the MetroWest Daily News back in Massachusetts. Our moods quickly changed when we discovered a flat tire on Tim’s front wheel. This is his third flat on this trip and we are kind of shocked because we had only two flats the whole time we biked across the country in 2010.
Anyway, we left Newcastle, Wyoming, around 11 am to sunny skies and warm temperatures. We had ten miles to go before we hit our fifth state, South Dakota. People had been warning us about the construction on Route 16 East, but we had no problem with the four miles of unpaved road. We enjoyed a ride through Jewel Cave as we entered the picturesque Black Hills National Forest.
It is insane how many motorcyclists we are sharing the road with. They are everywhere. Often they ride by and give us encouraging thumbs up, peace signs, or just waves. Today was amazingly noisy on the road, though. We arrived in Custer City, South Dakota, around 2 pm. I have NEVER seen so many motorbikes in my life. They were parked up and down Main Street as their owners filled the many restaurants in town.
After lunch, we joined the loud ride, along with the motorized cyclists, toward Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore. We bypassed Crazy Horse and headed to Mount Rushmore so we could take it in before it closed. Despite another tire issue on Tim’s bike, we arrived at Mount Rushmore, took a few quick pictures, and headed to Keystone, where we camped for the night. Tim’s bicycle needs some attention, so tomorrow we’ll head to Rapid City and make a bike shop our first stop.
The Black Hills are beautiful! I don’t exactly know why they are called “black” because they seem anything but black. They tend to be covered with sparse tree cover at times, maybe because of the frequent fires in the area. Mount Rushmore is a fascinating memorial to past leaders in American history. At one rest stop along the way to the gate, I looked up, and much to my surprise, there was the profile of George Washington! Moments later and a few turns down the road, we entered the gate and enjoyed a view of all four presidents.