Rapid City, South Dakota

Just as I thought I'd get a couple of days off from T or C, New Mexico and do some motorcycling in Louisiana, home office called and had me scrambling for a ticket to Rapid City, South Dakota.

As we were landing, all I could see was something that looked almost as barren as New Mexico only it appeared to be frozen...and it was.

As I soon found out, South Dakota's weather changes ... a LOT.  The wind is incessant and it can be -4° one day and 60°F the next.  It's crazy.

The last time I was in this area was 2½ years ago when Gary and I stopped off in Sturgis for 2 or 3 days on our way to Idaho and Washington.  It was windy then but the temperature was much more agreeable in August.

I did go out to Mount Rushmore to see the presidents.  It's an obligatory thing if you're up here.

This weekend, a friend and co-worker of mine went out in search of wildlife in Custer State Park.  We were pretty excited seeing wild turkeys, Pronghorn antelopes,


Mule deer

Wild burros

and an endless supply of Prairie dogs.

 Then there was the sad reminder of life and death on the prairie a hundred years ago.

A couple of interesting events happened on our trip was when we were on a dirt road, we met several buffalo ambling on the narrow way.   Rather than moving forward,  I thought it best to just stop and let them pass.  As one had passed, a second stopped to peer into the car.  As I began to slowly move past them, the one in the rear gave the car a little poke with it's horn.  Fortunately, it was light enough to not have any damage.

The second incident was similar but this time it was a drove of wild burros.  They too stood their ground in the middle of the road.  Thinking burros probably were not quite as dangerous as the bison beasts, I rolled the windows down.  One burro, on Chris' side became aggressive and for a moment, I thought he was going to try to eat my friend.  At that point, Chris was almost in my lap and that's not a pretty nor an easy thing.

The one thing we didn't see that I was hoping for was a Big Horn Sheep.  Too bad, maybe I can find one before I leave.


Truth Or Consequences

One of my favorite regions to work in is the southwest and I've had the opportunity to work New Mexico three times.  First in Silver City, New Mexico a few years ago and two years ago in Alamogordo.  There's just something about the dry desert conditions that does it for me.

My third time in New Mexico was a 6 week assignment in Truth Or Consequences. (click the link for details)  As the locals call it, T or C is located on the Rio Grande river and sits beside the Elephant Butte reservoir.l  There isn't a lot going on in T or C so weekends usually amounted a ride through the desert, down to Las Cruces or visiting places like the cliff dwellings in Gila National Park.

Aside from endless roads and nothingness, there was always an assortment of roadside curiosities.  I have no clue to what this bike was about other than a tribute to a local man who had passed on.

You begin to strain for amusements in a place like this so anything like Sparky's in Hatch, NM is a worthy stop.

Gila National Park cliff dwellings, located north of Silver City.  A good place for high altitude cardio hiking. 

Endless high desert roads all begin to look alike so the best part of being in a place like this is some of the relationships you forge, such as Vicki, Sid and Charlsie.

Thanks, T or C, it was great.