Monday, July 12, 2010
Day 22 - Hot Springs, SD to Rapid City, SD (75 miles)
What a day of climbing this was. They didn't mention until yesterday, that this was considered the 2nd or 3rd toughest day of the ride, behind the 117 miles to John Day, and possibly the day through Teton Pass. Personally those are far enough back in my memory for this one to stand out as being one rough day.
Ok, enough complaining about how tough it is (I am on vacation....how bad can it be?). Here's my start of the day shot from just outside Hot Springs. A little muggy, but still pretty cool around here.
Just a few miles out of town, we entered Wind Cave National Park. We were told ahead of time that the wildlife here have the right of way over bicycles. The SAG truck topped one hill and had a huge herd of elk crossing the road, so had to wait. Being in my usual position towards the back of the pack, I missed that. I did see a bunch of these little prairie dogs everywhere....
....and a couple of elk (was a little slow getting stopped and getting the camera out).
Of course this guy was not about to run off. He was one of those that had the right away over everybody. I only saw 3 or 4, but was told that you never know where the heard might be with these rolling hills. I did see one about 4 or 5 feet from the road as I was going down one hill. Stopping that close just didn't seem like a smart thing to do at the time.
...and of course the monuments. Here's the Crazy Horse monument from the highway. We went into the entrance of the park, but with the fees, and the climb to the parking lot, I didn't go in. The views from the highway were pretty good already.
Our route took us into Mount Rushmore from behind the mountain, so the first view we had was from the side of Washington's profile. I tried to make a deal with some guys on their Harley's at this turnout, but my bike didn't interest them for a trade.
....and from the park.
.....had to add one with me in it. Alex was nice enough to agree to be in the picture, so it wasn't just a bunch of old guys.
Well, we're looking at a shorter (and hopefully easier) day tomorrow as we head to Wall, SD.....home to the famous Wall Drug. Check back later to see how we do.
Thanks for reading.