Motorcycle Trip 1987
Trip Dates: August 9, 1987 - August 16, 1987
Travelers: Ernest Lenertz and Richard Becker
Transportation: 1985 Honda Aspencade 12 (Ernie's)
1986 Yamaha Venture Royale 1300 (Richard's)
This was my first long trip and with Ernie. Boy did we have some great trips after this one.
We left Minot Sunday, August 9, 1987, at 6 A.M. headed for Bismarck, ND. It rained ahead of us all the way to Bismarck, ND, but we never got rained on. When we stopped in Bismarck, ND, for breakfast we put our bikes under a shelter and it rained while we ate. About an hour later the rain let up and we're off.
We made it to Elgin, ND, for gas. Our next stop was at Newell, SD, and then we were on our way to Sturgis, SD, for the yearly motorcycle rally. We got there at about 4:30 P.M. on Sunday and it was about 95 degrees. The local paper reported that some 75,000 bikers were registered for the rally. The streets were lined with bikes and there were little shops all around the outside where things were being sold. We took some pictures and got a foot long hot dog, then headed for Deadwood, SD, to find our first camp site. We found one outside of Deadwood, SD, called Fish 'n Fry and stayed there Sunday night.
Monday morning we woke up early, went for walk and planned our Monday. We decided to tour the hills around Spearfish, SD. After a morning in the hills and lunch in Spearfish, SD, we headed to Rapid City, SD. We gassed up and headed toward Mt. Rushmore. It really is a very pretty drive up to the faces even though it was 97 degrees when we arrived at the top. We met a couple from Winnipeg on a new Honda. They had been to Nashville, Tenn., and were now heading home. After looking at the faces we headed for Hot Springs, SD. We both had our shorts and tennis shoes on by now so we were somewhat prepared for the heat. Pretty drive to Hot Springs, SD. We arrived around 6 P.M. and headed to the Hot Springs Plunge, a natural stream running through a building. It runs year around at about 87 degrees. It cost $4 to go swimming in here. There were two slides and a lot of people. We found a small camp site. Pitched our tents and walked to a Pizza Hut for supper.
On Tuesday we were up by 7 A.M. We headed for the Veteran Cemetery in Hot Springs, SD. It is located on the side of a hill and is very nice. We stopped for rolls and coffee then headed to the Mammoth Site on the West edge of Hot Springs, SD. This tour cost about $4 and was very interesting. The building is built around this bone preservation of old animals. It now contains the remains of 39 uncovered mammoth. We headed for Lusk, Wyo., and gas. We didn't find a lot to see in Wyoming. It was hot, so we stopped at a city park in Torrington, Wyo., for refreshments and a nap on a picnic table. It was on the road again until just outside of Cheyenne, Wyo., where we ran into a terrible rain and wind storm. There was a portable toilet along the road, so we stopped there for protection. There were three Harleys, a pickup and about 8 people already there. The Harley riders were from Arizona and looked really tough. They said we could share the site with them. Ernie lost his cap here in the wind. He quickly jumped the fence and got it while Richard guarded the bikes from wind, rain and the group from Arizona. After the storm we headed to Ft. Collins, Colo., gassed up, grabbed some shrimp and headed for Estes Park. We pitched our tents at a camp
site along a creek, so we listened to the stream run all night.
Up early Wednesday and off for our walk. Richard called Millie Read (Nan's aunt) in Pueblo, Colo., to let her know we'd be there for supper. We were off for more sightseeing in Estes Park. We paid our fee and headed into Rocky Mountain National Park. It's a very pretty place. During this ride we came across State Highway 40 where a boulder had rolled down a hill on Monday and hit a bus killing eight people. This area is under construction, so traffic moved very slow. We arrived in West Denver at 4:30 P.M., filled with gas and a meeting of what to do next. It was decided to head out for Pueblo, Colo. We found ourselves in the rush traffic hour in Denver, Colo., and were going down the center lane at 70 MPH, bumper to bumper. The traffic didn't let up until we got past Colorado Springs, Colo., some 60 miles South. It began to rain again and we stopped for a breather about 10 miles North of Pueblo, Colo. Then on to we went. We phoned Ronald Read from a Super 8 and he came and lead us to their home. He let us park our bikes in his garage out of the rain for the night. Millie had a chicken dinner waiting for us. A couple beers after that Denver traffic really hit the spot. We spent the night with Ron and Millie.
Up by 7A.M. and breakfast, which Ron had been working on. We took some pictures, cleaned our windshields and were off for the Air Force Academy. After the Academy tour it was up to Pikes Peak. About 26 miles of gravel, we reached the top 14,100 feet up. We had a bowl of chili and when we came outside it was snowing, raining and cold. (You could see your breath). We decided we better get going because of the gravel and the rain. Our bikes were really a mess from the dust and now rain. We were glad to see the pavement. We headed into Colorado Springs, Colo., for gas and hit another shower. We parked the bikes under a shelter and sat around at Sears until the rain let up. We were off to the Royal Gorge region.
We camped at Salida, Colo., filled with gas and ate at Buena Vista, Colo, where we heard reports that it was 42 degrees in Salida, as we left. We decided our bikes needed a wash and we did that. We made it to Vail, Colo., where we bought some shirts and toured this tourist town. We went by former President Ford's condo (which is for sale) then on to Laramie, Wyo. Now we have driven 267.5 miles since filling with gas. Richard's bike holds 5.3 gallons and he put in 5.3 gallons of gas for 50.4 MPG. Ernie got 52 MPG and was really excited about that. That night we camped at a city park in Wheatland, Wyo., and the wind blew so hard it nearly blew our tents over.
Up by 7 A.M. and on the road headed for Newcastle, Wyo., where we filled with gas, got some lunch and off for the Spearfish Canyon drive. This is again a very pretty ride for bikers. Richard lost his Arizona cap here. We had lunch again at Spearfish, SD, and on to Amidon, ND, where we got more gas. We headed toward Medora and camped in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park Saturday night.
Sunday morning found us up early and touring the park. We saw a buffalo in our camp site and another one along the road in the park. We ate breakfast in Medora and headed for New Town, ND, for gas. Richard ran out of gas a few miles West of New Town near the bridge and had to push his bike to the station along the road for 5.2 gallons of gas. Lucky for him that the station was there and down hill along the bridge. It would have been a terrible place on the bridge to run out of gas. The two bikers arrived in Minot at 2 P.M., Sunday, August 16, 1987. Another very safe and enjoyable trip.