Day 18 – Entering South Dakota (Wow, a whole lot going on here)

Day 18 – South Dakota

Date: 06/19/2016 Sunday
Starting Location: Broadus, MT
Ending Location: Custer, SD
Starting Odometer: 10572
Ending Odometer:
Mileage Today:  297.1 Miles
Mileage Total:  4015.9 miles
Today’s MPG:  43 mpg
Total Average MPG:  42 mpg

Departing Broadus

I left the hotel at about 7AM, rode outside of town for breakfast, and then departed the restaurant at about 7:45.  So, I was able to get a reasonably early start for the day.

A Surreal meal

I ate breakfast at the Cashway cafe, which is about 1 mile outside of the city of Broadus.  it seems that the entire town of Broadus is struggling with the concept of hospitality.  This is the second meal that I’ve eaten in Broadus, and this is the second time that I was ignored, and all of the locals were addressed and served before me.  in addition, i did not get a “hi ya doin’ hun’ or a “what’ll it be darlin” at any point during the meal.

Breakfast was pretty mediocre, and the service was pretty off-putting.  I can’t be sure what’s causing this, but it is a statistical anomaly that both of my meals were so similar, and the service was so bad.

Small town – No Gas

There are two gas stations in Broadus.  The first one I stopped at did not have any 91 octane gas.  So, I took about 3 gallons, and then went to dinner.  This morning, after breakfast I stopped at the Conoco station, and filled the rest of the tank with Premium.  It’s a good thing, because the gas would only last as long as I needed to get to the hotel this evening.

Oh deer me, a conspiracy

I’ve ridden more than 4000 miles so far, and throughout those miles, and across this US, there are wild animals just about everywhere.  On most highways, if there is a highly likely chance of confronting a wild animal, the state’s DOT puts u signs to alert you to the concentration of animals.

As I’ve been riding, I’ve only see two deer visible after being warned about the chance of hitting deer.  However, in Montana and Wyoming, it seems that they don’t alert you as much as other places, yet the number of deer on the side of the road is much higher.

In Wyoming, as I was approaching South Dakota, I spotted deer, on two different occasions, and there were no warning signs whatsoever.  So, what conclusion am I to draw?  I assume that this is a conspiracy by the people of that state to cause damage to my bike and body, and to be sure that I never return.  Given how nice everyone has been, I can only assume that the people of Broadus are behind this evil conspiracy.

Devils Tower

The Devils Tower is 867 feet from its base to the summit. It stands 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River and is 5,112 feet above sea level.  It was formed when lava swelled from inside the Earth, and escaped through a hole in the surface. The cooling process caused the lava to form into 5, 6, or 7 sided columns, which were surrounded by dirt and other softer stone.

After a millenia, the softer material wore away, and the tower was left.

Lunch in Aladdin, WY

After visiting the tower, I stopped just down the road at a Cafe called Cindy B’s Aladdin Cafe.  You can read about the cafe, and the attached hotel at  The building was originally built in 1896, but for me, I’ll focus on the fact that the food and the service were excellent.  That said, while I was sitting there, and older gentleman started to talk to me.

After a brief period of time, he started talking politics, so I couldn’t resist.  I provided a few facts, in response to some of his statements, and I decided that it was not going to do either of us any good to continue this conversation.  So, we moved on, and talked about my next sightseeing item, the Center of the Geographic United States.

The Center of the USA

A report from inside the museum

A report from the geographic center

I just can’t help myself.  Each time I have a chance to stop in at one of these special geographic representations, I just have to stop.  in this case, this statistic is pretty interesting, but it’s not really significant in the bigger scheme of things.  nevertheless, it’s kind of nice to be able to say that I was here.

Channeling Rocky Racoon

As I entered the Black Hills of South Dakota, I couldn’t help but recall that a good friend of mine, named Rocky Racoon had been here once before, and his day didn’t end very well.  So, i thought i would tell the story, from the combined perspective of Rocky, and Cliff.  So, here goes

I’m somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota, where I lived since birth.

You may not know, but my woman ran off with another guy, who ended up punching me in the face.  For sure, I did not like that one bit, and I vowed to exact revenge.  So, one day I walked into Custer and booked a room at the Chief Hotel.  When I checked in, I was surprised to find a lineup card for the TV channels, and a Gideons Bible.

When I came to town, I had just about all of the tools that I might need to service my BMW, but I’m not a gun advocate, so I did not bring a gun, even though having a gun is pretty common in this part of the country.  To exact revenge on my rival, I just might use a pair of pliers.

You see, I might need these pliers to take care of the guy who stole the girly of my fancy.  Perhaps you know her?  Her name was McGil, and she called herself Lil, but everyone knew her as Nancy.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that she was staying in the room next store, with her man, who called himself Dan.  So, I burst into the room with my pliers in my hand, expecting to do some serious damange, but Dan had a gun, and he was a deadly aim.  He fired, and I felt the warmth of blood flowing, just before I collapsed in the corner.

Luckily, the Chief Hotel is located very close to the urgent care clinic, and the doctor on duty ran across the parking lot to provide aid.  But it seems that he had been drining, and smelled of gin.  Through the haze of too many gin martinis, he looked at me and said that I’ve met my match, and that the end was near.

But I said Doc, this is really not serious at all.  In fact, it’s only a scratch.  Given the proper care, and time to heal, i’m sure I’ll be better in short order.  The doctor helped me get up and walk to my room in the hotel.  I collapsed on the bed, and reached for the TV channel lineup card, but found a Gideon’s bible instead.  Arghh, what a day.

Custer State Park – Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh My)

After driving through the park, and getting to within about 1 mile of the end of the Wild Game Loop road, I finally came upon a Buffalo.  As it turns out, I came on about 250 of them.  It seemed like all of the buffalo that called this park home, had been herded to this one location.  At this point, I was sure that there would not be any more sightings.

But, as fate would have it, I came upon about 5 other sightings of the Buffalos, and in one case, I was riding out of the park, towards the hotel, and I came around a turn, and found a Buffalo running right in the middle of the road.

I slowed to a trials stop, and carefully made my way past the Description of Buffalo

Buffalo video from roadside

And then, from the perspective of my helmet camera, I came upon some more Buffalo, which were pretty brave, and were walking in the center of the road.

What’s in store for tomorrow?

Tomorrow I’m planning on going to see a number of other SD landmarks.  This includes Mt Rushmore, Jewel Cave, Wall Drug, and Bear Country USA,.  The day is only scheduled for 178 miles, but I’m sure it will be a long day.

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.