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South Dakota Travel Adventure: Motorcycle Road Trip - South West South Dakota

Updated on March 26, 2016

We Drove Around and Looked at The Scenery


September 14 to September 18, 2015

The trip was planned for months. We nominated our friend Lee to plan our cycle routes. He had been in the Rapid City area before and had a favorite motel and had picturesque roads he had toured in previous years.

He did a great job, armed with a small map and a GPS on his trike, he led us over hill and dale and avoided dusty trails. We saw deer, antelope, bear and we actually drove through an area where there were was a buffalo herd milling about.

We Drove All Day

We got on our bikes and our first stop was Bear Country. We drove our bikes there, but got a van to drive around the park. The draw? The animals are loose and mill about your vehicle. There were four legged creatures of many kinds there.

We saw several colors and sizes of bears. Multitudes of different types of wild cats. Lynx, bobcat, mountain lions. We had several types of wolves around our car. There were deer and mountain goats. All were loose and running around. They weren't scared of us and our vehicle but we were certainly cautious about driving around them.

Remember the Song - Oh Give Me a Home ??

Yes. The song Oh Give me a Home, Where the Buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play...

Yep. That pretty much describes our South Dakota experience. We did find a road where the buffalo were running around. Those creatures are huge. It is true, as the other song says: You can't roller skate in Buffalo Herd...

There was one buffalo that was munching on a piece of straw or grass and as we approached and passed him, he dropped the piece of grass and tried to look invisible. It reminded me of that bull that is on that kids cartoon as it looked to the left and to the right. What a personality!

Buffalo on the Road

How About You

Have you road tripped in the Rapid City area?

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My Trip Photos

badlands | Source
mountain goat
mountain goat | Source
prairie dogs
prairie dogs | Source

Wall Drug / Bear Country / Mt Rushmore

Wall Drug
Wall Drug | Source
Wall Drug
Wall Drug | Source
Bear Country
Bear Country | Source
Mt. Rushmore
Mt. Rushmore | Source

Gorges / Tunnels / Buffalo

View | Source
buffalo roam free
buffalo roam free | Source
Tunnel across from Mt. Rushmore
Tunnel across from Mt. Rushmore | Source

Scenic Spots / Chain Saw Carver

beautiful carvings by Dahl
beautiful carvings by Dahl | Source
Waterfall - There was a white mountain goat perched up on the ridge but by the time I got my camera out... he was gone
Waterfall - There was a white mountain goat perched up on the ridge but by the time I got my camera out... he was gone | Source
Sturgis | Source

Rapid City, South Dakota

A markerRapid City, South Dakota -
Rapid City, SD, USA
get directions

Devils Tower, Wyoming

A markerDevils Tower, Wyoming -
Devils Tower, WY 82714, USA
get directions


It was windy every day we went out. One day, we were heading up to Deadwood to see where Sturgis is held. You know, just to say we'd been there, and there was a sign on the road that informed us that it was especially windy through some spot.

I was nervous, since it was already windy. I was anticipating that I'd be sitting on my rear on the road soon, looking up at the sky from it being more windy.

It turned out okay. It wasn't really any more windy than it was. It compared to seeing a bump sign. You know the yellow ones that warn you that your car is about to experience the worst jarring of its life. You prepare. You grip the steering wheel in anticipation. You pass the sign and think, that wasn't bad, then you find the bump and you bite your tongue. Jeepers!

The Ride Was Beautiful

I'll admit, it was a little scary driving up and down the mountains, around the hairpin turns, tight curves. It was cool to see buffalo up close. Those buffalo were milling on the road. They are huge. There was one that was on the road kicking its heels. One was running ahead of my bike and one was startled by my husband's beard. It kept looking at him. At least, that is his story and he's sticking to it.

There were prairie dogs that were popping their heads up. We saw white mountain goats scampering about on the sides of the face of the cliff. There was a ram eating some grasses. We were warned of rattlesnakes in one area, but thankfully did not see any.

We went 600 miles over four days. We started in the morning and ended after dark at night. We needed to wear our leather chaps at times because the temperatures were in the 50's.

Wall Drug - Mt. Rushmore - Hill City

Wall Drug was interesting. I lost my group because I was putting pennies in a penny squisher machine. You put the penny in the slot, you put a couple quarters in and turn the wheel or push the button. It then squishes the penny and puts a design on it. You end up with an oval shaped penny with images on it. I got a few at Wall Drug and some at Mt. Rushmore. Just because. By the time I got to the machines at Mt. Rushmore, I was doing it just to see the gears and wheels turning inside. There was a window on the machine so you could watch.

Hill City was interesting. We ate pizza there. The pizza was amazingly good. There was a tall cowboy walking around. He was a good 7 foot tall. Ornery looking, had some speech that he kept saying over and over. Something like, yeah I'm a cowboy, blah, blah, blah...

He came up to our group while we were eating pizza and looked at my husband's beard and asked me if he should shoot him or not. I nodded and said, sure. [smile] Then, he sauntered away and started his I'm a cowboy, blah, blah, blah speech again.

Mt. Rushmore Vs Crazy Horse

Mt. Rushmore was a massive work of sculpting. Then you go to the Crazy Horse and look at the face of the Indian being carved. There are vehicles parked next to his nose. They need more funds to keep carving.

Donate, donate, donate.

What was interesting about Crazy Horse is that Mt. Rushmore would almost fit on Crazy Horse's nose. I mean, this carving is huge. You don't picture it as being so big, but, it is a major, major undertaking. Correct me if I'm wrong, if you must, but it's a lot bigger.

I'd Drive There Again

I think I would do this trip again. Although, we do plan a trip to Alaska first.


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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I vacationed there this past summer, and it's beautiful! Your photos take me back. While my daughter attended a STEM camp at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, I did day trips, exploring the area. Awesome place.