Motorcycle Road Trip from Beltsville MD to Sturgis SD

From Iowa, into South Dakota

We headed west out of Des Moines, IA under dark and cloudy skys. We fueled up again at our new favorite gas station, “Kum and Go”.

The threat of rain hovered over us for a good portion of the highway to the far side of Iowa. As we got near the state line and the Missouri River, the clouds separated and the sun broke free to heat us and the day. As we turned north on I29 heading for South Dakota, the power of the river shown on either side of the highway. Sandbags piled as high as our motorcycles lined stretches of the highway on either side to try and keep the waters back. I had heard of the flooding in North Dakota, but hadn’t heard a thing about the flooding from the Missouri River. It was unsettling to see it up close.

Siuox City came and went as we blasted up the highway and before we knew it, South Dakota was under our wheels. Once we hit the SD state line, the speed limit increased to 75, so of course we rolled faster at about 80+ mph. We rolled onto I90 at Sioux Falls, SD and turned again for the West.

Barreling along at 80+mph took it’s toll on my fuel consumption. We had gotten gas at about 100 miles back and wasn’t expecting to need fuel for at least another 20 miles or so. Even so, the bike had other ideas as the engine began to die. It threw me for a few seconds as to what the issue might be and I quickly reached down and threw the switch for the reserve tank. That’s all it took and the motorcycle began to accelerate again and settle back into it’s steady rumble. Higher speeds and a fully loaded bike is not good for the mpg.

We saw our first live Bison at a little gas/convenience store along I90. The owner of the place had started with only 4 Bison about 40 years ago on their ranch. Now today they have over a 100 Bison roaming on their 160 acre ranch. They slaughter the older Bison at about the age of 7 or so since they get pretty mean in their old age. We had Bison burgers for dinner and it was pretty good eaten. I bought a small Bison head magnet for a souvenir and the old man behind the counter said that I had just saved $1996 since the real ones hanging on the wall sell for $2000 or more. What a bargain! We rolled out of the parking lot and continued our ride west, but now the sun was setting off in the distance. We were like the cowboys of the west riding off into the sunset.

Only a few hundred miles more till we roll into Rapid City and the Sturgis area. For today, we plan on taking a relaxing ride to the hotel in Custer, SD, which is about 60 miles south of the Sturgis area.

It should be another good day in the saddle.


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