-Me, commenting on a Huffpo piece.
Day 4 started out sunny. It was beautiful. So into town for breakfast and then we were off to see the Crazy Horse Memorial.
The Federal Government loves to take over tourist attractions and gouge people ridiculous prices for things that have already been paid for long ago by taxpayers. Of course government, tells the sheep that gouging the hell out of them is necessary to maintain these venues. It is complete bullshit. Tourist attractions are ridiculously profitable, require very little maintenance, and the Feds charge atrocious prices. There will always be those people who believe government is telling them the truth. Very often, I refer to those people as morons.
Truth is, I'd like to see individual states take back their parks and boot the crooked Feds out. Keep the money. Why haven't states done this already?
When we arrived at the unfinished Crazy Horse memorial, toll operators demanded five dollars a bike for parking. It's probably twice that for cars. When Troy started giving them shit- they let us know that Crazy Horse is funded strictly with private donations. They are using the money to complete the structure, add buildings and a university, without any federal aid. This makes sense to me. I almost gave them ten bucks.
If the Indians have learned anything over time- it's to not trust the Federal Government and cut them out of anything you are doing. Think "treaties." Everything will go much smoother and you can direct your money back to your project without kissing their collective asses and begging for your money back.
So we watched a video, snapped some pictures, and bugged out. Next stop Needles Highway.
The Feds have taken over Needles Highway. They charged us 10 bucks a motorcycle. We were thrilled with that. The highway was beautiful with lakes and tunnels carved out of rock. Next stop Mt. Rushmore. When the Feds tried to charge us 11 bucks a piece to park our motorcycles there, we said fuck it. Troy was the first to say it. I love it when one of the sheep breaks free and heads for the stronghold. We exited the parking area- went back to the highway and snapped photos. Another 33 bucks for 30 minutes worth of parking is insane. The Feds know the sheep will pay up- so gouging people becomes routine. Once you are there, they think they have a captive audience.
We had lunch in Keystone with the money we saved. Keystone is home to the Holy Terror gold mine- a property which I have personally lost some money on. So we took a few pictures of that and headed into the Rapid City Harley Davidson dealership.
We left there en-route to a Rapid City bowling alley and the second of three championships.
The new guy, Dave, can bowl. By the end of the first two games, I was behind like 40 pins. Things were looking grim for me. I was about to lose. Suddenly Dave, in some sort of spontaneous and sympathetic outburst which he clearly did not think through, suggested that maybe I should try a different ball. That was the turning point. I grabbed a new ball. I made three strikes in a row, a spare, and a couple more strikes while Dave started to leak oil all over the place. When the smoke had cleared, I had won the championship.
Troy told Dave to stfu and let me lose next time.
We then went into Deadwood and had another putt putt golf championship. Dave and I were tied on the last hole when the thinga ma jig sucked up our golf balls.
I complained to the kid working behind the desk and told him we had 1000 dollars bet and we needed our golf balls back for the playoff. When we returned from the playoff the kid looked at me and said, "Do you guys really play for a thousand dollars?" I said, "Yes, but nobody has ever paid."
The next morning, we packed up at 0600. We just beat the rain. We went through Lead, ate at Cheyenne Crossing, up through Spearfish Canyon (it is gorgeous) and north to Belle Fourche. As we prepared to go west on 212- a giant orange construction sign warned motorcyclists to seek alternative routes. I had seen a sign earlier that said Buffalo was only 75 miles away. Of course I assumed that meant Buffalo, Wy. That was the way that we had come.
I did not know there was such a place as Buffalo, S.D. They say for everything you know, there was a time when you didn't know it.
About 75 miles later, when the town of Buffalo came into view, I began to laugh uncontrollably. Not because this was clearly some place I didn't know even existed, and it sure as hell wasn't Buffalo, Wy., but because I was going to have to tell Dave and Troy what an idiot I was. I might even have to buy their gas.
I couldn't stop laughing. It was such an idiot thing to do. They took it pretty well. From there we went north into North Dakota before turning west.
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, around Baker, Mt, a bee got sucked up and into my leather jacket sleeve. The little bastard was biting me and I put the bike on cruise control while I tried to punch it through my coat and squash it. As I was doing that, the little bastard stung me. I stopped the bike, shook the dead bastard out of my coat, and pulled the stinger out of my arm.
From there we went to Billings. We continued home the next day. At one point, just south of Island Park, while we were stopped in a construction zone- Troy announced that he had to piss like a racehorse. This statement was made immediately prior to one of the finest reckless driving episodes I have ever had the privilege of witnessing. I refuse to give the details here. Let's just say Troy was exiting the gas station bathroom as we pulled into the parking lot. I am afraid that the NSA might have a drone directly over Troy's house and we know they monitor our calls and texting.
It was about 350 miles for Dave and Troy. I did another 260 to get back to Boise. I parked that bug covered mess in the garage on Monday. It was Thursday before I unpacked and took Elvis to the car wash. It took three tokens to get rid of all of those bugs.
It's been 4 days now. The sunburn has gone away. My ass and my legs still ache. My arm looks better but I can still see a bruise and a red patch.
Some 2250 miles later, I had forgotten how nice cars can be. Stereo, satellite radio, and air conditioning. Bugs killed effortlessly on the grill and windshield. No cold ass rain and no sunburn. No howling wind. It's too easy. I can't stand it. In a couple of days- I will have had enough.
In fact on second thought, I'm not going to wait a couple days. I'm gonna take Elvis for a spin right now.