Today was by far the hottest day of the trip. Last night we all planned on leaving by 8am so we could try to beat some of the heat. Sherri and Lee wanted to go see Mount Rushmore, so they left around 7:30 and went on their own.
We were originally going to ride with Taren and all the folks that met up with her in Sturgis from Wisconsin.
However, their breakfast was running late, and I had to be to the store early so I could get squeezed in for an oil change. So, Paul, Barry and I headed out. Pretty much everyone in the group had planned on riding the bad lands, and most of them did. Since I had seen it last time I came through and I was in a hurry we opted to skip it this trip.
We hit the road and stopped for gas and a quick bite of food for Paul and Barry in Wall. For anyone who isn’t familiar with “Wall Drug” it is a giant tourist trap.
I am not really sure what the origination was, but it is a a few blocks of shops, and stores all connected in what looks like an old western town. Tourists flock here for collectibles and other random goodies, including a shirt from Badlands Harley-Davidson.
It was already getting hot, and we hit the highway at warp speed. As Barry’s itinerary said “Rogue Riders Fast and Furious on the Freeway!” Paul had to pull over to use the bathroom so he waved us on and said he would catch up. I had been told by the service department that I had to be to the shop no later than 3:30pm. It was really getting hot, and by the time we finally pulled over in Chamberlin I was seriously getting dehydrated. I bought two bottles of water and downed one while we cooled off. The second I kept in my lap during the rest of the ride so I could stay hydrated. It is really difficult to ride in heat like this. You want to ride in a tank top but it is easy to get dehydrated even more quickly when the wind is wicking all your sweat away. Barry said I needed a long sleeve white shirt and lots of water.
From what I heard from the other riders tonight during our reception and J&L Harley-Davidson they too had a hard time with all the heat. J&L H-D was able to get both my dad’s and my bike in for their services. They even loaned us their truck so we could drive to the hotel to cool off and settle in before the party!
We got back to the shop and others in our group were all gathering. We got quite the spread, steak sandwiches, brats, fresh sweet corn, potato salad and coleslaw! Plus free drinks, we were all very happy and fed. A really cool addition to the party was the surprise appearance by my dad’s old friend Roger. I met Roger and his wife when I was driving with my dad down to South Carolina in 2004 for College. He used to live in Alaska and had bought a bike or two from Barry. A cool old guy with some fun stories from back in the day. He still has some of his original patches on his denim vest from the 70’s and 80’s including a “Barry’s Custom Cycles” patch!
So cool to see him and get to catch up. The crazy part of the whole thing, while I was riding through this hot desert of fields today, Roger crossed my mind and I was wondering how he was. Then I walk out to get some food and there he is! It was a blessing to see him again. He is going to send me a patch he made of his wife when she passed a couple years ago with her back in the 80’s modeling some HD gear Barry gave her, she was his first model of HD gear he ever had at the dealership. Pretty cool to talk to a guy who was there in the beginning with my dad. We will be getting an early start tomorrow again so we can try to avoid the heat. It is a bit shorter of a ride tomorrow. We will also be joined by Lady Road Dog who is working on riding her tricked out Street Glide to every HD dealer in the country!