The Buffalo Bill Historical Centre in Cody is the most wonderful place. It covers not only the history of the man himself but the Lakota Indians, a fine art display including some magnificent Remington bronzes and finally the biggest collection of firearms I have ever seen in one place. So anyone who grew up with the stories of the Wild West and a steady diet of John Wayne cowboy movies would also love this place. I managed to comprehensively cover the centre over two days. Unfortunately the weather turned a little inclement the first day I was there and walking the two miles from the motel into town didn’t seem such a good idea in the torrential downpour on the way home! At least the discovery of a liquor store not far from the motel on the way back brought some sort of small comfort once I had changed my soaked jeans.
|One of the posters advertising Buffalo Bill's show|
|An old stagecoach|
|Some of the original wagons|
|Buffalo Bill worked as a Pony Express rider for a short time.|
|Two of the guns used in the TV series Bonanza|
|This is the Moose I wanted to see, but not on a wall!!|
On Tuesday I rode out of Cody and headed east towards the Bighorn Mountains with the intention of going along the scenic byway Hwy 14 which runs over the top of the mountains. Just after I made the left turn in Greybull the lights were flashing on the sign that indicated that the road was closed 30 miles ahead. I wasn’t about to put it to the test and do a 60 mile detour for nothing. So Mother Nature won again. Sooner or later I will get far enough away from the snow that it won’t keep causing me to change direction! I got to my destination of Buffalo far too early to check in anywhere, so I kept going. Once on the interstate (I90) the distance past very quickly, but the ride is oh so boring. Soon I was at the turn off for the Devils Tower, this was the final destination for all those who had been called in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. As I approached this weird and wonderful Monolithic Igneous Intrusion (look it up) I wondered how many people under the age of 25 would even remember that film, not many I’m guessing.
|The Devils Tower|
|Up close it's even more impressive.|
The back road from here to Spearfish was a great end to a long but satisfying day. The heavens opened again just as I unloaded my gear into the motel room, but only lasted ten minutes and then stopped. After a feed of the biggest plate of BBQ ribs and a couple of pints of dark beer to wash them down I wobbled back up the hill and crashed for the night.
The Black Hills of South Dakota is another of those biking heaven places. And the Harley’s were out and about in force to prove it. Down through to Custer and around into the Custer State Park where I ran into some more Bison which had just calved. The Mums are quite protective of the little ones and when you are sitting on a bike you are very venerable.
|Out of the way, dopy! Or whatever you want.|
|The calf's are cute though|
Further round you come to Mount Rushmore and also Crazy Horse Mountain which in my opinion is the more impressive of the two, even though it’s a long way off being finished yet. I saw it ten years ago and it doesn’t seem to have progressed. Although I expect when I get home and compare the old photos with the new, it will have.
|Crazy Horse Mountain|
|There is still a lot to do.|
|My lands are where my people are buried.......|
|An Indian of a different kind. This one was being raffled.|
The following day I set off through Sturgis which wasn’t that much to talk about, but I can imagine what happens to it when thousands of bikers turn up in August for the annual rally there. It’s one of the largest in the world and must be mayhem.
|Sturgis. Quiet now but in August, not so much!|
I rode through Rapid City, and on to the Badlands National Park. There are parts of the park where the rock formations and colours remind me of the Bungle Bungles in Australia although on a smaller scale but it’s an impressive place all the same. As I exited the park there was a small town called Wall, and I decided that I had had enough for the day. The motel was good and the largest single store I have ever seen in a small town almost filled the one side of the main street and they sold everything.
|The Badlands National Park|
|One that we don't have in Australia|
|Very impressive, and in the middle of summer, very hot!|
|Wall main street|
From Wall there is no escaping the interstate, unless you deviate by 50km and then you are on a secondary road that is just as straight and has smaller towns along the way. I did see signs for the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo and as the day was going to be a very boring and long ride I thought that would break the monotony. I’m glad I stopped, there are some very nice and some very unusual cars and bikes in the museum along with thousands of pieces of memorabilia. Some do need some time and money spending on them in my opinion, but then it’s not my collection. If you want more info on what’s there, check out their website at www.pioneerautoshow.com/
|The body on this is entirely made of wood!|
|The second General Lee this trip! One of the original five|
|Elvis's Harley, It's still registered to him (when he turns up!)|
|A 1968 Shelby GT500 Mustang. Nice......|
So eventually I arrived in Sioux Falls and decided to rest up for a couple of days and update the blog and fix the rack for the top box that has broken for the second time in the same place, the central securing bolt bracket has snapped in two. This could have happened a long time ago and I only just noticed it when the bracket jumped the washer holing it down. The other thing I need to do is plan the next few weeks. I’m about a month ahead of schedule and as a result can see more of the Midwest and South of the USA than I had planned.
|The Missouri River. It's in flood in North Dakota and pretty full here!|
|The Sioux Falls in the town of the same name.|