Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Black Hills - S-10 Gathering

 The Yamaha Super Tenere, the same as about any other bike ever made, has its dedicated fans that love the bike so much they attend 'Gatherings and Rallys' all over the country.

One of those Gatherings/Rally for the Tenere this year was held in  South Dakota. Custer, South Dakota to be specific. 

We met at the Custer Crazy horse campground. I only planned to be there two days, and I planned to bag two more of the US 15 best roads on the trip, then I have a wedding to attend when I get home. So...I'm on-a-bit-of-a schedule.

I also planned to see Mark, "MAK10" and his wife at the gathering.

....but on the way there I stopped for gas somewhere in Wyoming

There is another VW bus just out of the picture. I talked to one of the owners and they told me they were going to a "Large" gathering of VW buses in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. 

Talk about 'life in the slow lane'.....when they left the station it took them a good long while, a lot of smoke, and the ole familiar VW engine putt-putting to drive up the hill and out of sight. 

I don't have enough patience to drive one of those.

Then I arrived in Thermopolis. As I was checking in at my motel, the counter guy suggested this place to eat. It was outside dining in the shade, but both the service and food were excellent!

The next morning as I'm leaving the town, this guy flagged me down, he drives the truck you see up the road. His GPS had led him to Thermopolis when it should have taken him to Lovell....a mere 101 miles north... He had no idea where Lovell was since all he had to reference was his phone gps and it (the gps) didn't seem to be able to find Lovell. Weird.

Anyway, as usual I had two maps with me, so I took one out and marked the route that he would need to take to get from Thermopolis to Lovell and then gave him the map. He in return gave me several "God Bless You(s)!" And went on his way.

And I went on my way, my route taking me to Buffalo in order to start another one of the beautiful 15 Best roads in America.
As I fueled and got my receipt, I was able to meet this guy; Frank.

Frank, a retired attorney, and I had a super conversation for about an hour, until he had to go pick up is wife.

This is Franks hotrod he purchased specifically so he could soup it up, building on the already hot police platform.
And he has, I can't remember exactly the HP number he gave me but I think it was 450-ish.  And the car sounded awesome!
I could have stayed there and talked with Frank for a lot longer, but we both had the proverbial 'places to go and people to meet'...thing going on.

Along the way on this 15 best, I went through Greybull, and saw this good place to take the "I've been here" pic.

I also stopped in at the peaceful and quiet city park for lunch, and a refreshing nap.

And then arriving at Sheridan, Wy - 207 miles later - ....just like that...I had finished another of the 15 best roads.

A nights rest and in the morning I was off to the Tenere Gathering in Custer.
But first a stop at the Devil's Tower!

And then I make it to the Tenere Rally.
Here is most of the group (sans the camera shy types).

The second day there I ride from Custer to Keyhole in order to pick up another 15 best.
MAK10 and Mrs MAK10 meet me along the way and ride with me on the 16a and the Iron Mt Road.

This seemed like a good spot for a "I've been here" pic.
(Thanks Mark for being the photog)

After the Iron Mt road, I ride east a bit and finally got to mark the Badlands National Park off my 'list'.  The park has been on my bucket list for years and I've been thwarted from going there every time I've been in the area, until now.
And, (ahem) 'wow'..... I've checked it off now and its very likely I won't return. At least on a bike as it was HOT and traffic was so slow I couldn't cool off. Had the day been cooler I probably would have hiked a bit and had a different opinion of the park.

And then luckily for me on the way back to the campground I hit a short rainstorm with large, cool, refreshing drops that lasted juuuuusssst long enough get me back to optimum temperature.
Ahhhh perfection!

Annnnd after another nights rest it is time to go home, this stop was a rest area somewhere in Wyoming.

 They have some excellent exhibits!
Here is one;
This wagon reminded me that in 1900, at the behest of the LDS Church, my newly wedded Grandparents went from Mt Carmel, Utah to Lovell, Wyoming in a wagon much like this one. Then, not having enough time before the cold weather set in, they lived in the wagon the entire  first winter. My Grandparents were part of a large group (several hundred people) that the church used to colonize that part of Wyoming.

The church also contracted to dig the Sidon Canal. The canal was finished in less than two years and those that helped were given an 11 acre tract of land in that area.

Back on the road I make a fuel and drink stop at Alcova, Wyoming. This guy; Nick was also resting his bones at the gas station at a table under the shade. He shared his table and shade with me and we had an enjoyable chat for a good long while.
In a world full of carbon copies, Nick is an individual that follows his own path. And....he was fun to talk to and ride with. We parted ways after about 50 miles as he had to start going north-ish and I needed to go kind-of south toward home.
Nick is a custom knife maker.
Check out: Knivesmadebynick@yahoo.com

I shouldn't have, but I did...I couldn't eat the whole thing - about half went into the garbage can. But the half I DID eat was very tasty!!

After my indulgence I needed to find lodging. I looked on my phone and wasn't having any luck so I called and asked Bev to look for me and the closest place was in Rock Springs, which is only about 40 miles away.
Off I went and got to my room for a nights rest.
In the morning I amble across the street to this "Authentic" Mexican eatery. If you are ever hungry while in Rock Springs - don't bother - the service with a sneer didn't make up for the mediocre food
Oh well at least I wasn't hungry..

And, at least serving size was large.

More road, more gas, a little bit more rain, and 210 miles later I was home.
The trip total was 2027 miles.
I was able to bag two more of the US 15 Best, see old friends, meet new friends at the rally, and meet new friends while on the road!

It is my educated opinion that;
Life is Good, but Motorcycle Life is Gooder!!

Thanks for dropping in and reading this post - please leave a comment and let me know what part of the world you are riding in!


Motorcycle Paradise said...

Looks like an interesting place to ride, hope I can get over there in the future when travel is a thing again :)

Ken said...

MP - I don't know about getting into the US but once here traveling in country is nearly as easy as it was before the pandemic. Let me know if you want any suggestions of what to see and do here.

InvictaMoto said...

What a great ride report. Superb pictures as well.

Glad you can travel as in UK we are pretty much stuck in our island.

Ken said...

InvictaMoto - Thanks! I'm hoping we don't get shut down again...so many people are aching to get out and travel!