Day 43 – Pressies, Chiefs and Badlands

Sturgis SD to Valentine NE – 28th July 2021

I am up and out before 7am as I want to spend some time visiting Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial before getting on my way east wards.

It’s a beautiful morning and I take the opportunity for a selfie with Linda, unfortunately Adam has already left for work.

Another huge thanks to Bunka Biker and the outstanding generosity of the people who open up their homes to wandering bikers.

It’s another bright morning, with the moon still visible in the blue sky

As I pass through Sturgis I stop for a few photos, this is what it looks like before the biker hoards arrive in a week or so

The roads are pretty clear and I enjoy the 50 or so miles through the famous Black Hills of South Dakota towards the truly world famous Mount Rushmore

When I arrive I have to take a ticket, I thought it was going to be free as it’s a national monument, but there is a $10 entrance fee payable on exit, oh well so be it. I was expecting it to be virtually empty, but it looks like lots of people had a similar idea to me

I have to say, despite some of the comments I have had about this from people I’ve met, I do find it quite impressive

The avenue leading up to the viewing platform is lined with flags, one for each state and the details of when each achieved statehood. I also see this couple, I wonder if they arrived in a horse and buggy and if so where is it parked??

So I can’t spend too much time here as I want to go on to the Crazy Horse Memorial that everyone has told me is far more interesting than this. I go to the pay station to get my exit ticket and find that ‘Seniors’ over the age of 60 only pay $5.. am well pleased about that.

As I leave the road takes me behind Mount Rushmore and I get some more interesting views from there

I also like the rock formations around here

just some 17 miles from here is the Crazy Horse Memorial, no senior discount I’m afraid, $15 to go in… but that’s ok as I am really looking forward to this

Pretty underwhelming to say the least… they have been working on it since 1948… don’t think it’s going to get finished in my lifetime or indeed the next generations either.. it seems very slow. This is what it is going to look like

Obviously it is going to be extremely impressive when it is done, it’s going to be the whole face of Thunderhead Mountain….

Clearly a massive undertaking. The museum here is indeed very good and the exhibits are both informative and interesting

Another very impressive flag display; this one is all the First Nation tribes

There is also an extensive shop and I do take the time for a wee browse and pick up a couple of bits and pieces to send home.

They are raffling this rather beautiful motorcycle to raise funds to continue the work, I would definitely love to win this.

Time to get back on the road. I have looked at the map and have decided to head for Valentine, Nebraska. I have found a reasonably priced motel there and booked it already via so I am not relying on Bunka for tonights accommodation.

First stop however is Hill City and then Rapid City Harley Davidsons, got to build up my poker chip collection for this tour

As I am now quite late I decide to take the faster roads which means a pretty uneventful ride today. The plains of South Dakota and into Nebraska don’t lend themselves to much in the way of interesting photography and the towns are pretty sparse. As I pass over the Stateline into Nebraska I see a sign which says helmets are required by state law so I pull over and put my helmet on.

I pass through the northern part of the Pine Ridge Reservation through to Wall and Kadoka then turn right at Murdo. The road then takes me into the Rosebud Reservation, on the outskirts of the ‘Badlands’. There is pretty much nothing for miles and miles until I reach Mission and then again Valentine

Interesting rock formations again, they look almost sculpted; similar to open cast mining, but completely natural.

I am exhausted by the time I arrive at my motel. It has been another scorcher of a day and am looking forward to a shower and bed asap

Keep Reading



Leave a Reply