Wednesday, June 3, 2009

day twenty-four: Cody, WY to Custer, SD

Entering Big Horn National Forest
More forest land
Shell, Wyoming at lunch!
Wide open view of Wyoming
Leaving Wyoming and entering South Dakota

Michael and I woke this morning to rain and today we never saw the sun.  Driving a car in the rain is no fun and it is even less so riding a motorcycle.  By now, you know my propensity toward whininess but, hear from my own lips, that I am not unhappy about the rain- anywhere!  I have prayed for rain for three years to fill our lakes and streams and water our crops so I say, “Bring it!”  Today, two songs kept coming to mind.  The first was "Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain."  My helmet sounded like something was frying from the continuous patter of the rain.  The second was Chuck Berry's "Maybelline."  Why, "Maybelline?"  There's a line that says:

                                "Rainwater blowin' up under my hood,

                                  I know that was doin' my motor good."

                                 (Or words to that effect!)

I was sincerely hoping that the rain was benefitting my engine because it was not helping me!  Our ride started on Hwy 14/16/20 east from Cody where we left off yesterday.  We caught the tail end of Bighorn Canyon National Forest and what started out beautiful turned foggy and cold.  By the time Mike and I were through these mountain pass roads, we were cold and wet and ready for a break.  That break came in two forms.  First was a short lunch break in the town of Shell.  Mike and I had a bowl of chili each and I had a great big, fresh cinnamon roll.  I asked the lady who set them on the counter, “Are those for anyone in particular or did you want to share them.”  She told me to have one and I was glad to comply.  The second part of our break came about 60 miles later in Sheridan.  We rode into town, found the nearest Laundromat and dried everything we could, in good decorum, take off!  This proved to be the best idea of the day.  I asked the manager to give me a plastic laundry bag (the kind you get from the cleaners and wrap up and pop) to put in my shoes to keep my socks dry.  When I finished forming them around my feet, lacing up my boots and cutting off the top of the plastic, I looked like the scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz.”  Hey, it worked!  From Sheridan, we jumped back onto Hwy 90 east for about 25 miles to Moorcroft before taking Hwy 16 again through the towns of Upton, Osage and Newcastle before entering our 19th state of South Dakota.

Our picture line-up today is a little sparse owing to the rain and the lack of will on my part to stop and pull out the camera on such a cold, wet day.  I know, I’m sounding whiny again!  See what you think.

Tomorrow, we plan to get up early and ascend the hills to see the presidents (can you name them?) on Mount Rushmore.  After this we will come down the hill and spill out onto the plains of South Dakota headed for Nebraska and Kansas.  We’ll see you tomorrow.


  1. Hands-down highlight of the day:

    Sitting on the floor of a warm (and cheap) motel room, eating sardines and saltine crackers...washed down with a big ole Foster's (Australian for GOOD!)

    Haha, I sent dad out for two cokes from the machine, and he came back with two big boys. He said he hit "Surprise Me" on the Coke machine and Fosters is what came out....hmmm...

    As a side note, I just want to say (and I speak for dad as well) that I'm so proud to be an American. We truly are blessed with an amazing country--and I mean both the sights and the people. I just feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to see it all with my papa.

    Yall keep holdin'-down the fort for us!


  2. Oh, and Dilly--after reading your comment from yesterday, I sang America the Beautiful (to myself) all day. And yes, it really does have a new meaning. I will say however, that of all I've seen I am still so proud to be from the south!!

  3. Well, it is raining here today as well, and our view is the same too-tall yard grass. Alan, I wanted to let you know that I have not been driving the wheels off your truck. Indeeed, it has maintained its place, far from Cathy's ability to hit it, the large majority of the time. It has come in handly hauling topsoil (in bags) and mulch (in bags as well).This brings to mind an occasion when I commented on Steve Bazil's new truck. Steve ran Top Shape. I asked if he had soiled it by hauling anything. Another trainer said he only used it for "hauling ass." We southerners knew that this expression related to speed, but Steve is from New Jersey, and he thought the trainer was insulting his wife. Oh well, you have to watch your words and, in your and Mike's case, the road ahead. Have the great day I wish I were having!

  4. OD- Mike and I are eating what could be called breakfast in that it corresponds with the proper hour. We're having dry, unsugared donuts with weak coffee and watered down orange juice. That's what happens when you stay in the dives Michael favors! As we speak it is not raining here and M and I give great thanks having almost literally frozen yesterday. Make all the use of that truck you can. Put the mulch and manure and other debris in it without bags- it washes well and after all, it is a truck! We'll be thinking of you today as we see the four presidents and try and give you a call today.
    Love, Yaboy!

  5. (Post by Dr. Billy Fairey) Hey! You guys are too literate to be "Wild Riders in the Night." You may believe the elements are tough in Montana, but you should try Greenville, SC. Heaven forbid! You may have heard that Clemson had to win two consecutive games to win this region, whereas Carolina only had to win one. Well, of course, Clemson won the two by about 25 to 5, and Carolina lost two in a row to fail to move on, again! I should be hiding my shame in the caves of Montana, while you are celebrating the Tigers in SC. What an adventure for you. Drive carefully! Of course, your timing was off. You missed the annual Biker's Week in Myrtle Beach, but the rest of us had a great time. Of course, all the biker boys and girls were asking about you two. Can you believe Harley riders would even confess to knowing you BMW dudes? Again, have a great time. We all are following your exploits.

  6. Hey Mike,

    I enjoyed your text yesterday. I'm in Oregon experiencing a bout of nasty jet lag, and thinking of you guys. My prayers for y'all continue to be that that God will keep you safe and bless your time together. I can't wait to get together back east.

    Oh, and do you have any good suggestions for reads on my flight home? I'm planning to visit a used books store for my souvenir.