The rally unofficially started in Cheyenne, where we met the 4E's and their group for breakfast.The buffetwas wonderful. It is always good to reunite with friends. Jack 4E sits here with Patty, CB and his wife, Wanda. Bucky was our ride leader, and she excelled at cracking the whip. Thanks to her we arrived on time. We met in a parking lot in ColoSpgs at 6:00 am, then cruised to Denver to Pick up Solo. We made the 3 hour trip to Cheyenne and arrived at 9:01! Hows that for punctual?
Gretchen Lohman, Utemike, Jack, Barb, and Pattyseem to be in good spirits! Unfortunately, I didn't get to ride the rest of the way to Custer with these fine folks. Goofywizard noticed threads showing thru the rubber on my rear tire, it needed replaced.Bucky found a shop in Cheyenne that would replace it right away, soBucky, Goofywizard, Corvette and Ispent a couple hours taking in a coffee shop just a few doors down from Madd Cyclez while they replace the tire. Corvette's rear tire was alsoshowing signs of age (no tread) so we replaced hers too.
The Rock Crest lodge in Custer SD, we have arrived!There were Buffalo statues, all painted differently, throughout the town. I think I liked ours the best.
The main lodge. The facilities appeared brand new. The innkeeper was very accomodating. He set up 3 large awnings for us to party under, in a large grassy area. All in all, a very nice spot for central command.
We stayed at the cabins back behind the main lodge. They were very nice, but parking for a bike was hard to find.The drive way, or loop, was fairly steep and not paved. Ihad to usemy expensive 'crushed can' kickstand puck for greater stability! Note the tree thru the roof! They had left an opening so that tree didn't need to be cut down.
Inside the cabins, the fit and finish were very nice. Fridge, Microwave, coffemaker and hair dryer were provided. Strange, the TV never even got turned on.
The two queen beds were more than comfortable. We shared a room with Bucky, who was a most considerate roomate.
On our way out of Custer for the first ride! That sky looks pretty grey and cranky.
We rode straight to Custer State Park and took the wildlife loop. Off in the distance we saw this herd of buffalo. I wished that we could find some a bit closer!
It looks like I got my wish, although this is more than a 'bit' closer. We sat here for a few waiting to see how the buffalo treated the cars that were passing thru. They didn't seem aggressive so we decided totake our turn.
Chunk posted: Jim and Yvette approach the herd.
Whoa big fella, these guys are much bigger looking when you are looking at themfrom eye levelin your saddle. It was kinda unnerving going between these beasts, and when the one on the right started snorting at me I was ready to hit warp 9 to get out of there. But he just stood there like he was bored with the whole deal. Riding a bike thru that herd was one heck of an experience, and one that the folks in the cages couldn't have appreciated like we did.
Ok, snort all you want, I aint skeered! Hehe, this fella here is more my size! Earlier there were 2 baby antelope that were running along side of the road. Man, they are fast! So fast they were gone out of sight before I could get the bike stopped and the camera out of my pocket
The pocket of blue sky we were chasing continued west while we needed to head north. It was looking pretty grey up there, so we decided to spend some time in the exibit at the Mammoth Site. Bucky, Jim Ayers, me, Corvette, Goofywizard and Chunk posed while a nice young lady snapped the picture for us.
The 'Bone Bed' inside the exhibit. They tried to tell us they were still excavating this area, but it looked pretty sterile to me.The sitelooked very much arranged to my untrained eye, but that just may be the skeptic in me.
One of the other fossils pulled out of the mound was this creature. They called it a 'short nosed bear'. The thing stood 6' on all 4's, and could look into a 2nd story window if standing on its hind legs. Stretched out, it could reach as high as 30'! Look at the size of its paws, and the claws on the end. Why did 'mother in law' pop into my mind when I saw this guy? (Just kidding Macha)
Riding up Iron Mountain road, one of the many single lane tunnels lined up just perfectly with Mount Rushmore. If you squint and have a good imagination, you can just see it there, thru the trees. As you can also see, we didn't wait long enough for the grey clouds to go away. On our way down to Needles highway, the rain caught us. It was cold and heavy. My glasses fogged up so bad they were useless. Of course my rain pants were safely stowed away in my saddlebags, but I didn't want to stop the entire group to put them on. Luckily it was a short ride (11 miles) to Custer. Needles highway would have to wait for another day.
Sherm, you ol dog. You had a much better time than you thought you did! What? you say you don't rememberThrillseeker giving you kisses? Man, how could you forget that!
Curly, Moe, and Larry? Nah, it's Skid, Snubs and Spitfire. Relaxing after a hard days riding, and telling tales about the events of the day.
Not a bad picture of two breathtaking views! That is my honey standing in front of the Needles.
Another picture of the needles, this one from a slightly higher elevation. I thought wewere riding, but evidently somehiking was also in the plan. The road up here was great fun, lots of tight twisties.Thispart of the country is truly beautiful.
Last shot of the Needles, this was taken by some kind tourists who didn't mind making the hike. Why is it the nicest shots are always from the top of some rock?
John Fleisner and Hammy in deep discussion. This was John's first VROC rally, he drives a very trick Drifter. You can just see the turquoise on the front fender.
This is one of the many single lane tunnels on the Needles Highway and Iron Mountain road. Not hard at all for a Nomad, but we saw more than one large pickup with a camper, and someone had a 40' motorhome up here! I think I would have rented a car, and left the campers in a park.
A much better picture of Mount Rushmore. They wanted $8 to park, so we just (illegally) pulled over to the curb to take a picture. Now I can say I've been there, done that. I don't know why, but I expected it to be much bigger. I was impressed at whoever did the carving, that was not an easy feat.
The last picture already. Hammy, his wife Rocketgirl, Eagle, ?, Slots, Bucky, Jack 4E, and Thrillseeker hanging out. Being new to this blog stuff, I realize I should have taken more pictures. I did not get pic's of Scorpion, Snake, 6-pack Jack, Barb (how could I not get a pic of Barb!), El Nomad, Solo, Brillo, CB, and many others. I also missed out on pics of Madd Cyclez, the Pigtail bridges, and a few other significant places. In my defense I was very busy socializing with these fine and wonderful folk, and enjoying every minute of riding this beautiful country side. The Black Hills are a great place to ride and anyone who has been to a VROC rally or ridden the Black hills willunderstand my lack of pictures. I will try to do better next time!