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Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

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Day 14 ride map

Today is day  14 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

Everyday, except one or two, we have been up at 5:30 getting the bikes and us ready to ride. We are usually on the road around sevenish. This has been an amazing ride, not only because of all the wonderful scenic country and great people we have met all along the way, but also because we have felt good both physically and mentally. We are not getting any younger and this is always on the back of our minds. All of this makes for some enjoyable riding…

Five years ago we rode up this way for the first time. It is good to be back and to be able to ride some of the places we didn’t have time to ride on that last ride.

The front desk clerk at the motel gave us some good information and a map about riding today. Due to some confusion on my part we rode the route backwards from what he suggested. I may have just misunderstood his directions. It ended up being a good mistake. We rode the loop counter-clockwise instead clockwise. I think this is the best route (counter-clockwise)  because when you ride Iron Mountain Road, Mount Rushmore is framed in the tunnels. A picture perfect view of Mount Rushmore. If we had ridden in the clockwise direction Mount Rushmore would have been behind us when riding through the tunnels. I was also given some misinformation by a friend, who said Needles Highway was the road where you could view Mount Rushmore through the tunnels. Needles Highway does have 3 tunnels just like Iron Mountain but there are no views of Mount Rushmore. That caused us some confusion since we rode Needles Highway first. Larry asked a park ranger to help us. He got us straightened out about Iron Mountain and showed us how to get there. We got some good pictures riding Iron Mountain to prove it.

If you would like to ride the loop we rode, these are the directions.

  1. From Rapid City take US-16 south to US-16A
  2. Left on US-16A to SD-244
  3. SD-244 follow the signs to Mt. Rushmore
  4. From Mt. Rushmore continue on SD-244 west to US-385
  5. Left on US-385 for 0.2 of a mile to SD-87 (Needles Highway with 3 tunnels)
  6. Follow SD-87 for about 16 miles to Highway 753 (Playhouse Road)
  7. Follow Hwy 753  for about 4 miles to US-16A (Iron Mountain Road with 3 tunnels)
  8. Left on US-16A for a little over 9 miles to SD-244 (Take the pullouts and take pictures of Mt. Rushmore through the tunnels)
  9. When you reach SD-244 you have completed the 41 mile loop.

Below is a map of the ride around the loop.

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41 Mile loop with views of Mt. Rushmore

If you like narrow twisty roads you will like the Needles Highway. It is a must ride if you are in the area. The best part of the loop was riding Iron Mountain Road with views of Mt. Rushmore through the tunnels. Because of the speed limits and stopping to take pictures it takes about 1 hour and a half to 2 hours to ride. It is well worth the time.

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View of Mt. Rushmore from highway

After finishing the loop we doubled back on part of the loop to stop at the Crazy Horse Monument. I was interested to see how much progress they had made carving Crazy Horse into the mountain over the last 5 years.

The Needle rock formation the Needles Hwy is named for...

The Needle rock formation the Needles Hwy is named for…

Mount Rushmore viewed tunnel on Iron Mountain Hwy

Mount Rushmore viewed tunnel on Iron Mountain Hwy

Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started Crazy Horse Memorial June 3, 1948. The project continues to this day. 63 years and they have a lot more to do before they finish. Korczak died October 20, 1982. The work continues today under the guidance of his wife Ruth and their children, together with the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation board of directors. It was and is a monumental undertaking.  The most amazing part of the project has been accomplished without any public funds.This is a must stop if you are in the area.

Crazy Horse Monument a 63 year work in progress

Crazy Horse Monument a 63 year work in progress

It was lunch time when we got to Crazy Horse.  We had lunch here at the Laughing Water Restaurant  on the Crazy Horse Monument campus. I had Buffalo Stew the last time I was here and since it was so good I had Buffalo Stew again. They have other Native American specialities you may want to try. The dinning room has a large picture window with  a good view of the Crazy Horse carving. The waiter staff was good and as pleasant as last time. They take the time to answer any questions you may have about the campus.

Heading South to Nebraska

Heading South to Nebraska

After a good meal at the Laughing Water Restaurant we headed south to Alliance, Nebraska, our destination for the day. We thought this was going to be just another leisurely ride. When we reached Alliance it was still early so we decided to ride another 37 miles to Bridgeport for the night. We stopped at the first motel to get a room but they were full. We asked where we might get a room in Bridgeport and was told all the motels were full. I asked why… The son (who plays football for the University of Nebraska) of one of the wealthy families in Bridgeport was getting married and anyone who was someone was there for the wedding… Hence no rooms… They said the nearest town on our route that would probably have a room was 80 miles away… No big deal except… we were also told there was a big storm headed this way… We did notice dark clouds as we rode into town. We jumped on the bikes and rode like the wind to try to beat the storm. Forty mile down the road we came to Oshkosh, Nebraska. What luck there was 2 motels and we were able to get a room for the night. Not a chain motel and nothing fancy but a room to get us out of the weather… which never came… We have been so lucky with the weather…

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom left column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time to leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

Tomorrow we will be heading home… Larry back to Georgia and me back to Texas. I can’t believe this ride is almost over… but it will be nice to finally get back home to Janet…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument

Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell

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Day 6 Route Map

Today is day  7 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

Today we head toward Glacier National Park. 407 miles from Gardiner to Kalispell, Montana. Much of the ride was on I-90 so we made good time. Our ride took us through Bozeman, Butte and Missoula, Montana. There was beautiful scenic views all along the way. Rolling hills, prairie grassland with mountains in the distance. The highlight was riding by the west side of Flathead Lake. Flathead is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. It is clean and clear. The water is the clearest I have ever seen. You won’t believe how far you can see below the water’s surface.

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Car Museum in Deer Lodge, Montana

Rolling down I-90, we kept seeing signs for a car museum in Deer Lodge, Montana. Do billboards work? These did. We decided to have a look and we were glad we did. Deer Lodge is the home to the Old Montana Prison,  Frontier MuseumPowell County MuseumMontana Auto Museum and Yesterday’s PlaythingsCottonwood City displays the Snowshoe Creek School, Blood Cabin and other buildings. Many of the museums were housed in the old prison.

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I found Janet’s dream car…

The main reason we stopped was the Car museum. The admission (less than $10) was for all the museums. The car museum had an interesting collection starting from the early 1900’s to present. It is amazing how old cars can transport you to a different place and time. Memories… good memories…

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Studebaker Avanti Car Museum Deer, Lodge, Montana

We had a little time to spare so we did a quick tour of the old prison… When touring the prison, I thought of a friend serving time in the Texas prison system. Seeing the area with 3 levels of cells that seemed to go on forever, I imagined what the sights and sounds would have been like when the automatic cell doors opened. The clanking of the metal doors… the chatter of the prisoners… all being amplified by the metal bars, concrete floor and walls. The sounds would  have been deafening and depressing. There were no good feelings here. If walls could talk, I’m not sure we would want to hear what they had to say…

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Prison museum in Deer Lodge, Montana

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Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana

While in Deer Lodge we had a good lunch and I called my good friend Avis, who lives in Troy. Montana, to let her know we were on schedule and would be rolling into her place about 5:30 or 6:00 pm tomorrow.

Deer Lodge was a good stop and I would recommend you stop there. There is much more to see and do there… I wish we could have stayed longer…

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Heading north on Hwy 93 to Kalispell, Montana

From Deer Lodge it was on to Missoula down I-90. We turned onto Hwy. 93 and ended our day of riding at Kalispell.

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Flathead Lake in Montana

The adventure continues… Come follow along tomorrow as we ride through Glacier National Park via”Going to the Sun Highway“… Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom right column to receive notifications of new post by email. Also please take some time and leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY

Pinedale to Grand Teton to Yellowstone to Gardiner, WY

Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY

Today is day 4 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

We have another  long (429 miles) ride today from Georgetown to Pinedale, Wyoming so we got another early start. We didn’t plan any stops except for the occasional photo stop as we rode through  many scenic areas.

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Day 4 Silverthorne Colorado pit stop

From Georgetown we headed west down I-70 to hwy 9 where we headed north to Steamboat Springs.

In winter Steamboat Springs offers excellent skiing and snow boarding opportunities. In summer the Yampa river is a popular conduit for water sports like fishing, rafting, tubing, and kayaking. In 2011, Steamboat Spring’s was recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

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Day 4 Farm: Heading to Pinedale, Wyoming

From Steamboat Springs we rode west on Hwy 40 to Craig where we stopped for gas. From Craig we headed north on hwy 13 to I-80. We rode I-80 to Rock Springs, WY and another stop for gas. Turning north again on Hwy 191, we rode to Pinedale our destination for today.

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Green Mountain Reservoir, Hwy 9

We rode past many scenic farms and ranches in the Rocky Mountain valleys. I did not know there would be so many farms and ranches on this leg of our trip. Many of them had beautiful lakes or streams which caused my imagination to wander to a different place and time. Such a beautiful,  rugged, rural life it must be living here.

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Kaw A. Saky with Larry following

Today was another good riding day with beautiful weather and scenery. I love riding in the Rockies and was glad to be able to ride places today I have never rode before.

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One of the many farms and ranches on our route today.

Tomorrow we will be riding through Grand Teton and the west side of Yellowstone National Park… See y’all Tomorrow… Ride safe…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Texas Independence Trail Motorcycle Ride Day 3 May 2013

Map of Day 3 Ride Route

Map of Day 3 Ride Route

Today is an easy ride. I am only riding 110 miles.  I am riding to my sister Edna Jean’s to spend the night and visit and catch up on what has happened with her and her family.

Rolling down Hwy 35 toward Palacios

Rolling down Hwy 35 toward Palacios

There are no stops at any historic sites today just riding through nice coastal scenery.  I have another cool, clear sky riding day today. It’s been a very long time since I’ve come this way so I was taking it slow and easy allowing me to take it all in and remember the many days gone by. Leaving West Columbia, my ride today will take me down Hwy. 35 through Bay City, Palacios to Port Lavaca where I pick up Hwy 87 to Victoria.

Tres Palacios Bay at Palacios, Texas

Tres Palacios Bay at Palacios, Texas

I must say my ride through Palacios was the highlight of the ride. As you ride into Palacios from the east on Highway 35 it takes a sharp right. If you look to the right you have a good view of Tres Palacios Bay. When I saw the bay I continued on to East Bay Blvd to a boat ramp. I parked to stretch my legs and take in the view and enjoy the nice breeze coming off the bay. It was nice walking around the pier watching the fish jump and Seagulls hovering looking for their next meal.

Palacios (Spanish for palace) is midway between Galveston and Corpus Christi. Palacios is a small town of 5,000 and is the Shrimp Capital of Texas. I love small towns and this is another good little town.

Palacios is a favorite for tourists from all over who enjoy its palm-tree lined bay front, parks, fishing and boating as well as its year-round beautiful, mild weather and it is a favorite with birdwatchers.

A seawall walkway is a great place for a stroll; the adjoining fishing piers offer a good spot for fishermen to try their skills. There is a beach area for swimming and for sunbathing.

There is a lot of lodging in and around Palacios, so I may have to come back and spend some leisure time here away from all the hustle and bustle.

On the bay at Palacios

On the bay at Palacios

After 30 minutes or so I was back on the road. My rides across Carancahua and Lavaca Bays gave nice views from the bridges.  Views from the Lavaca Bay Bridge are exceptional.

I got to my sister’s around 5:30 and spent the rest of the day visiting and catching up.

On the Texas Independence Trail

On the Texas Independence Trail

A short easy ride today but a very nice one…

You can read the other posts about this ride here…

 

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride November 2012

Texas Hill Country

Ingram on the river

Texas Hill Country

Ride map – 270 miles

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride. 

In Central Texas we don’t get the fall foliage displays like they have in some places. Most of our trees are evergreen. Live Oak and Cedar trees are the most prevalent. There are pockets of deciduous trees throughout the area.” Lost Maples State Park” is the best known for its fall colors. The fall foliage displays here can be hit or miss depending on the weather during the year. The drier and colder the weather the better it will be.

On our ride we saw some good colors but not as bright as in the past. The trees with leaves were still green or have not completely turned. The weather has not been cold enough for some of the trees. The Red Oaks and the Lacy Oaks were starting to change some. The ride along the Medina, Guadalupe and the Sabinal Rivers, had beautiful golden brown Sycamores, and copper-colored Cypress trees.

This was a spur of the moment ride. The weather the day before was perfect riding weather with clear sunny skies with temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s. I thought we had better take advantage of our good weather and ride while we can. As it turned out today was overcast. I assumed the clouds would burn off as it did the day before… but I was wrong. There were short burst of sunshine earlier in the day but it remained overcast for most of the day. Being overcast made it a bit chilly riding.

Texas Hill Country

Stonehenge II in Ingram

Our ride took us from Georgetown to Llano via Hwy 29. We then headed south on Hwy 16 to FM 965 past Enchanted Rock to Fredericksburg. From there we picked up Hwy 16 again heading south to Kerrville. We stopped for gas and got a hot cup of coffee to warm up a bit. From there we headed west on Hwy 27 to Ingram. In Ingram we stopped to see the new home of Stonehenge II. Stonehenge II was moved from its original home just outside Hunt to Ingram.  The land of its original site was sold and the buyers did not want Stonehenge II. We were glad that it was saved and preserved here in Ingram.

Texas Hill Country

Picnic Area on Guadalupe River off Hwy 39 outside Hunt

From Ingram we picked up Hwy 39 to a picnic area on the Guadalupe River. The picnic area is just outside Hunt. Because of a special diet we are on we packed a lunch. The picnic area is a beautiful spot with the river, waterfalls and cypress trees that had turned to a beautiful copper brown.

Texas Hill Country

Guadalupe River off Hwy 39

Texas Hill Country

Lunch at Picnic Area

After lunch we continued down Hwy 39 to Hwy 187. We always enjoy the ride down Hwy 39. It is always scenic as it follows and criss-crosses the Guadalupe River. The fall colors were good all along the way. Hwy 187 takes us past “Lost Maples State Park”. 187 had nice views of the hill country and the changing colors of the trees. Just past “Lost Maples” we turned east onto RR 337 to Medina. RR 337 is one of the “Three Sisters” or “Twisted Sisters” (RR 335, 336 & 337) as some refer to them. At Medina we turned onto Hwy 16 again and headed north back to Kerrville and Fredericksburg. In Fredericksburg we picked up Hwy 290 east to Johnson City (named for President Johnson). At Johnson City we turned north onto Hwy 183 to Burnet. In Burnet we headed east on Hwy 29 to home.

Texas Hill Country

Hwy 39 Outside Hunt

Texas Hill Country

Guadalupe River

It was a good ride except it was a bit cool. We should have worn an extra layer to help with the cold. Normally we carry extra clothing just for such things, but I misjudged the weather. I won’t do that again.

We hope to see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe…

If you like this post you may like “Hill Country Fall Foliage Ride November 2010”