Trip Log – Day 56 – Spearfish, SD to Rapid City, SD

Spearfish SD to Rapid City SDJune 30, 2015 – Overcast, Sunny, 80 degrees

Miles Today: 56

Miles to Date: 3,412

States to Date: 15

There are several ways to get from Spearfish to Rapid City, depending on how hard a person wants to cycle. I opted for challenging morning and easy afternoon, which proved a good plan. Instead of taking the roads parallel to I-90 from Spearfish to Sturgis, I climbed U.S 85 for six miles, and then took the steep descent into Deadwood. It wasn’t my favorite climb, but then there’s no such thing as a ‘favorite climb’. When I turned east on US 14A from Deadwood to Sturgis I was treated to one of the nicest rides of my journey, through a canyon of tall pines, exposed stone, a loud brook and colorful wildflowers. Even the grey day couldn’t detract from their splendor. More than worth the uphill climb.

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I got to Sturgis by eleven. The town is bustling with construction; the 75th motorcycle rally is less than a month away and they are expecting one million visitors! I found the offices of the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which is actually an entire city department. Tammy Bohn had great insights into tomorrow, but more importantly, we became fast friends and after an hour together when I left exchanged hugs all around.

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I enjoyed the pulled pork special at Bob’s Family Restaurant and then headed to Rapid City. This time I opted for the Sturgis Road, which mirrors I-90 but has plenty of its own character. The I-90 corridor from Sturgis to Rapid City is developing fast, and the mix of ranches, campgrounds, golf courses, housing developments and RV superstores is fascinating. After spending a week in farming communities with declining population, I spent some pedal time considering why an area focused on tourism can be expanding so fast. It takes fewer and fewer people to turn out commodities, so agricultural population is waning. Meanwhile we crave more and more exotic experiences (call me Exhibit A), so outdoors oriented places like the Black Hills are growing.

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I arrived in Rapid City by three, with only a few scattered showers to keep me cool. I took a McDonalds Internet break (none of those in North Dakota) and got to my warmshowers host’s house shortly after six. Jessica and I sat on her back patio for hours talking and eating and drinking local beer while her three children and their friends came and went. The night sky was glorious until a flash thunderstorm finally sent us to indoors.

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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