Motorcycle Road Trip from Beltsville MD to Sturgis SD

Three States for Three Bikers

We rode our bikes out of Custer, SD in the morning, heading West. Since this was our last day in the Black Hills, we wanted to make the most of it. The road twisted and meandered around and over the hills until it finaly started to level out. The road took us first into a new state, Wyoming, and we then turned north with the Devils Tower as our destination. It was a cool morning and we kept our leather jackets on for most of the ride.

We crossed under the main interstate for the area, I90, but we kept to the side roads for our little excursion. We made a final turn for the Devils Tower and after rolling across some open valleys and crossing over a hill, Devils Tower appeared in the distance. We were still several miles away, but being over 1200 feet tall (over 5000 feet above sea level), it was easiest the tallest object in the area.

We approached the park entrance and parked to get some photographs of the Tower, and some much desired food for lunch. Devils Tower is a famous site since it was used as an Alien Encounter site by Steven Spielberg, but long before that, it was a spiritual site for the local indian tribes.

Since Steve was running on fumes and needed fuel, we turned north out of the Devils Tower area. We fueled up in a small town called Hulett, but decided to continue traveling North. In only another 30 miles, we crossed into our 3rd US State of the day, Montana. It is certainly the Big Sky state as there is a lot of sky in your view for miles in all directions. We arrived into the small town of Azada, MT, but a quick right turn took us back into Wyoming, and a little further on, back into South Dakota.

One thing I noticed as we were rolling along the backroads of MT was the many different names of Ranches above the gates off of the main road, Sky Ranch, Circle K Ranch, etc. But what got me was that you saw the mail box and the road/driveway from the main road, but the driveway seemed to disappear in the distance. All I noticed was the occassional herd of Cows or a number of horses on someones ranch, but rarely did we see the actual homes or other buildings of these ranches.

We rolled along and headed for Belle Fourche, SD, which also happens to be the Geographic Center of the US. The actual offical point of that designation is about 20 miles north of the city, but to be more tourist friendly, they setup a tourist destination at the local visitors center. The actual Geographic Center is located in a field, where it is marked by a marker in the ground and a flying US flag.

Our ride was coming to and end, for the day, and for our Sturgis experience. We were heading back to our hotel in Custer, SD for our last night. The road was getting dark and since the sun was setting on the far side of the Black Hills, it was getting rather cold out.

Tomorrow, we will begin our long trek back across several states and for our homes. Unfortunately, it looks like we will need our rain gear for much of the ride home.


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