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Archive for the ‘Vermont’ Category

A very weak internet connection at our hotel prevented me from posting on our blog last night.  Here’s a bit of info to go with the pictures I shared on Facebook.

  1. We enjoyed one more night at our hotel in Deadwood — it’s such a treat to stay somewhere for 2 nights and not have to pack everything up in the morning.
  2. Needles Highway — in the Black Hills of Custer State Park.  14 miles of sharp turns, low tunnels and impressive stone spires
  3. Iron Mountain Road — another big WOW on the motorcycle.  This road has 3 one lane tunnels, 3 pigtail bridges, 22 switchbacks, 400 bends & curves over 17 miles and two counties
  4. Mount Rushmore — as imposing and impressive as I imagined it would be.  I learned it was built by 400 workers over 14 years.
  5. Sturgis — arriving a week after the motorcycle rally is like arriving at a wedding venue after everyone’s gone.  The downtown was basically deserted and all the bits and pieces haven’t been cleaned up yet after the 76th annual rally.  We had a beer at the famous Iron Horse Saloon just to say we did.

This morning after passing Elvis in the lobby of our hotel we walked outside to feel the cold South Dakota morning.  Yikes !! It’s still August and we had to wear all our layers.  For so many weeks I whined about how HOT it was but we’ve turned a corner into much cooler temperatures.  I didn’t take nearly as many pictures today because it was just takes too long to take off gloves and carefully ease the camera out of my pocket.

I’m not sure how many minutes we were in Wyoming 😀 Looking at today’s route we just skimmed the north east corner before entering Montana.

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We saw more wildlife today than our whole 2 months travel put together.  We saw about 100 antelope and some deer as well as long-horned cattle, horses and thousands of sheep & cows.  And why did the chicken cross the road?  To show the raccoon it could be done.  We have seen hundreds of dead raccoons on this trip.  Absolute raccoon carnage.

Traveling most of today on a secondary highway was great with stunning scenery and very little traffic.  Unfortunately it means very little in the way of services.  We finally found a cafe for breakfast and it was perfect.  Small little cafe full of local farmers and our server chatted us up wanting to know if we were frozen yet.  It wasn’t just cold.  It was cold and very windy.  Windy to the point of Chris having to ride on a tilt we were being buffeted so hard.

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We weren’t sure how far we’d get today so didn’t book ahead.  Here we are in the lobby at Best Western Kelly Inn in Billings Montana.  The decor just oozes “western” and the staff here are lovely.  There’s a bike washing station outside so our ride is absolutely gleaming !!  I’ve done some laundry, sorted through receipts getting read to cross the border and we’re watching a bit of TV before we rest our weary but happy selves.

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Tomorrow is another day of riding until we’re tired but I know we’ll still be in Montana.

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Love & hugs from Billings…

 

 

 

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Just a few miles outside of Kadoka, this morning we started seeing signs for the Badlands.  Even the gas stations are all dressed up in Wild West exteriors and we saw genuine Cowboys at this one.  Had to laugh at the coin operated horse on the front porch.  That’s the only horse I’ll ever ride — my allergies won’t allow me to get near anything with fur, hair or feathers.  The landscape quickly changed and we got our first glimpse of what the Lakota Indians call “mako sic meaning “land bad.”image.jpeg

The national park is more than 242,000 square miles of protected buttes, pinnacles and spires.  We were awed by the enormity and majesty of it all and stopped at quite a few of the view points to take it all in.

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It was another incredible day — very few clouds — glorious sunshine.  The temperature rose steadily to a high of almost 40 degrees celsius or 100 farenheit.

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What a dry and inhospitable environment it seems and yet there’s obviously enough moisture to sustain grass & trees.  No luck seeing Buffalo but Chris pointed out some Bighorn sheep.

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After leaving the Badlands we made our way to Wall and the famous drugstore. We didn’t take the time to tour the whole property but wandered through a few stores like the one selling leather goods.  Look at all those pretty cowgirl boots !! I caught Chris flirting with a saloon gal and we popped into the tiny chapel.

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Next up was the Harley dealership in Rapid City. They were expecting us and took the bike right in for a full tune-up.  And there were lots of comfortable leather couches & chairs, complimentary cold drinks and free wifi. We chatted with Chip and Brenda Roy from Brighton, Ontario who are also on a long distance trip. It was nice swapping stories of life on the road.  Took about 4 hours before we were on the road again with a new front tire, an oil change and the assurance that all systems are go.

We’re spending the next two nights in Deadwood and maybe a third so we can fit everything in – Mount Rushmore, Sturgis and Needles Highway.

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Love & hugs from the road…

 

 

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Today was an absolutely glorious day — sunshine & comfortably warm.  We traveled for a while on the I-90 and then got off onto less traveled roads.  Living in a place like Port McNeill that’s only 50-years-old we just don’t have the history that we’re seeing on this trip.  The architecture is fascinating and we’ve seen so many old cars/farming machinery along the way.  Check out the haunted house which just happens to be across the road from a cemetery.  Wonder how many kids have taken the dare to step into the creepy looking thing.  Looks like it’s right out of a horror movie.

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Lots of homes & businesses are still dressed up after Independence Day.  This is a very patriotic country.  And we’ve seen quite a few political signs in front yards.  So far no Hilary signs.  Megan we thought you’d like the license plate.  It’s the perfect nickname for daughter of Megan lol.

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Most of today’s pictures are from Bennington, Vermont.  It’s so quaint and old timey. Chris is a huge fan of front porches and we are definitely in white rocking chair on the porch country.  Not sure exactly where this beautiful vista was.  We’ve learned to pull over when we see a viewpoint sign and lots of vehicles pulled over. This picture doesn’t do it justice but the 100 mile view was spectacular.  Vermont maple syrup is advertised everywhere.  I see pancakes in my immediate future !!

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Arriving in Brattleboro, Vermont we scoped out the accommodation situation and quickly decided today would be treat day.  We’re at the Riverside Hotel and our balcony overlooks the Connecticut River.  Lovely !!  The front desk clerk recommended Marina Restaurant for dinner and we found out why.  A very trendy coastal bar/restaurant it was very busy.  Chris had lobster mac & cheese and I had lobster and scallop in pastry. And I was happy to try the beer of the day “McNeill’s” a local pale ale.

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Tomorrow we’re heading to Hwy 1 to wind our way up the coast of Maine.  We’re trying to slow down a bit so we can arrive in St. John New Brunswick on Saturday for a family party where we’ll meet relatives from Chris’s Grandmother on the Stewart side.

imageLove & hugs from the road…

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