Northern States Tour – Day 35

day-35-map

Day’s distance: 399 miles
Total trip distance so far: 8,021 miles

Temperatures were up and down all day, given the varied elevations, but ranged from mid 50s to the low 80s. There was sunshine and blue skies until the late afternoon when I rode through some showers. Winds were light.

Before leaving Hot Springs, I programmed a cafe’s location. It was the only cafe that showed up in the Around Me app on my phone. The directions took me along a walking path along the Fall River. Following the GPS, it took me along one side and then the other.

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To my surprise, there were a few coffee shops right where I was! So I parked in front of Morning Sunshine Coffee and quickly had my latte fix addressed.  🙂

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Taking Hwy 385 north I passed through Wind Caves National Park. Some buffalo were at the entrance to greet visitors.

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Hwy 385 was scenic, and if I hadn’t planned such a long day, I probably would have enjoyed visiting the Wind Caves.

After reaching Custer, SD, I turned west on Hwy 16, which took we out of South Dakota and into Wyoming.

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A combination of roads, including Hwy 16, Hwy 14 and I-90 delivered me to the Bighorn Mountains.

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I posted a 360 photo from one of the eastern vista points here.

This year I chose to try Hwy 14A, the alternate route down the western side of the pass. The mountains and pastures near the top were beautiful.

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The vistas on the western side were stunning.

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The roadway was steep, exceeding 10% grade at points.

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This is Hwy 14A as it approaches Bighorn Lake. I stopped because the temperature had climbed back up into the low 80’s and I needed to take off a layer I added at the pass where Hwy 14 and Alt 14 diverge.

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I do have to say that I remember enjoying Hwy 14 more than 14A. There were several really rough spots on 14A. Some were under repair, but a blanket 35mph speed limit was posted for several miles of the good stuff. Combined with the repairs, it really wasn’t that much fun.

Clouds and showers met me about 30 miles outside of Cody. I didn’t get too wet.

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It wasn’t long before I reached Cody and got ready for dinner.

When I visited Cody in 2014, I ate at the Wyoming Rib & Chop House, having a Buffalo Rib Eye Steak. I sat at the bar and met a local couple. They own Moose Alley Lodging and have lived in the Cody area since 1980.

I called them earlier in the day to invite them to dinner. They had plans and invited me to the Octoberfest they were attending. However, I didn’t want to get back on the bike after dark, and traveling on the bike would have preventing me from enjoying some wine.

So, I declined their invitation and walked to the Wyoming Chop House from the motel I was staying at just down the street. I met another local, Paul, who also rode motorcycles and currently owned a number of them. We had a great time telling tales of Sturgis and, as we both had managed large teams, of challenges in that area.

It seems I’m destined to have a great time at Wyoming Rib & Chop House. Woo hoo!

 

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