How I spent my summer vacation ...

Status
Not open for further replies.

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Y’all remember havin’ to write that when you was a young’un and startin’ a new school year?

Without a doubt, it’d been a good summer up here on the high plains. Went campin’ ev’ry time I was home. Sometimes just for a night. Sometimes more. But ev’ry time nonetheless. Here’s some random shots from the local outin’s …


20160610_B_camp at night.jpg




20160611_J_winching.jpg




20160625_1.jpg




20160714_1.jpg




20160803_1.jpg
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
But I was needin’ to send summer off with a bang. Somethin’ special. Friggin’ healthy livin’ been damned near killin’ me. Diet. Exercise. Tryin’ to be mindful of the health of my innards. Fawk it … I needed me a week-long drunk. And a roadtrip. That there’s a combination that just can’t be beat. Nosir.

So seemed like easin’ on up to the Black Hills one bar at a time was just what the doctor ordered. Lil’ sight-seein’ … lil’ wheelin’ … lil’ explorin’ … and a whole messa drinkin’.

So off I went.

Stocked up the camper with beer, whiskey, tequila, grub, water, and propane. Made it ‘bout 60 miles up the road to Hawk Springs, WY. Hawk Springs, WY is an absolutely phenomenal town cuz there’s only ‘bout a hun’erd or so folks livin’ there but they got TWO outstandin’ bars. Most excellent. First stop on the south end of town is The Emporium Steakhouse.


20160914_2_#1_Emporium Steak House_Hawk Springs, WY.jpg




Then on the North end of town (which ain’t far at all) is the Longhorn Steakhouse & Saloon. Nice, warm, fuzzy feelin’ to head on up the road with a 6-pack in the ol’ belly.


20160914_3_#2_Longbranch Steakhouse Saloon_Hawk Springs, WY.jpg



And on up the road is the boomin’ city of Torrington, WY. Right on the North Platte River. And smack in the middle of the historic downtown district is the Broncho Bar. All kind of animal heads on the wall and a real good crowd of the local drunks. Barmaid was slow, homely, and unfriendly … but had an unbelievable camel-toe with them stretch pants she had on. Left a big tip. And eased on.


20160914_4_#3_Broncho Bar, Torrington,WY.jpg




To the big town of Lingle. Which is fairly world-famous for The Bitch’s Corner Bar. The Bitch actu’ly has the place up for sale but it’s still a mighty fine place to grab a beer.



20160914_5_#4_Bitch's Corner Bar_Lingle,WY.jpg



And it’s nice just to grab a beer in these parts in gen’ral. On the East Coast at work, askin’ for a Coors at a bar will land ya a Coors Light. Diet beer. Them folks don’t even know they make a normal Coors. But in these parts when ya ask for a Coors ya get asked back … bottle, can, or draft? That’s good livin’ … and a bottle will be just fine thank you. Which is exactly what I ordered when I got to Ben’s Bar & Grill in Guernsey, WY. ‘Nother nice, small-town bar with the evenin’ local crowd. Bartender was a dude though so it was one and done.


20160914_6_#5_Ben's Bar & Grill_Guernsey, WY.jpg
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Time to start thinkin’ ‘bout where I’m gonna bed down for the night. Just a bit down the road is Guernsey State Park. So just a bit down the road I go. And I get to camp free there cuz I done got me an annual WY resident campin’ permit for all WY State Parks. Great deal for 40 bucks. And a great time to go since all the normal folks think summer’s over. Weather perfect and no crowds. Had the place to myself in a sweet spot overlookin’ the lake. Few more beers and a coupla shots of Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila and I went to bed good and drunk.


20160914_7_camp_Guernsey State Paek.jpg




20160914_8_camp_Guernsey State Park.jpg



Guernsey State Park is really cool cuz it was constructed by my heroes in the CCC back in the 30’s. For those reg’lar readers of my gibberish, ya might recall that the Civilian Conservation Corps was one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Program to put young, single, unemployed men to work durin’ the Great Depression. This organization built some phenomenal campgrounds out West and it’s really cool to see the craftsmanship still thrivin’ to this day. A beautiful park. Glad I got to see it.
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Next mornin’ after a big ol’ breakfast, I took the backroads up to Lusk and then Highway 85 on up to Newcastle. That was one stretch of highway that I’d match up anywhere in the U.S. as the most stretch of nothin’ there is. But then the country got right pretty. Turned off at Four Corners, WY and took scenic highway 585 up through Crook County. Beef country. And I mean big-time beef country. One huge cattle ranch after another. Only traffic on the road was 18-wheelers haulin’ cattle.

One time I met a fella in a bar ouside of Cheyenne that was a trucker. Claimed he was makin’ a killin’ cheatin’ the books and haulin’ frackin’ water. Said them boys drivin’ them cattle trucks were just nasty. He claimed they dip their toothpicks in bottles of horse steroids and then chewed on ‘em goin’ down the road. Nice fella and a funny story.

Anyways … road put me into Sundance, WY. Claim to fame there is that’s where the Sundance Kid got his name. Maybe … maybe not. Damned nice town though. 1100 or so folks and all a fella needs right there in town. I drove up and down ev’ry street and was very impressed. Last census data said town was 98.7% white folks. Imagine that. Might just add one more someday. I can definitely see me livin’ there. It’s the county seat so it’s gotta hospital, grocery store, big ol’ bank, etc. … and 3 bars.

Without a doubt, the cream of the crop is the Dime Horseshoe Bar. They do a burn-out competition ev’ry year for the biker rally. Big doin’s right there.

Picture's so sorry I dang-near missed the sign ... :beer:


20160915_1_#6_Dime Horseshoe Bar_Sundance,WY.jpg



The Turf ain’t a bad place a’tall tho neither. Reckon I could spend a few dollars there as well in my future.


20160915_2_#7_The Turf Bar & Lounge_Sundance,WY.jpg



The Longhorn’s more of a restaurant. When I was there, a crowd from one of the local ranches got outta that truck and come in for a steak dinner. They still had cows*** hangin’ off their spurs. And I got no problem with that.


20160915_3_#8_Longhorn Saloon & Grill_Sundance,WY.jpg
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
One ol’ boy at the Dime Horseshoe was really, really drunk but told me I should head over to the town of Pine Haven and hit a coupla bars and then go campin’ at Keyhole State Park. He was very specific on where I needed to camp … right down to the spot number. So I eased on that way and stopped off at “R Place” for a cold one. Right friendly crowd of local drunks. Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that. Nuthin at all.


20160915_4_#9_R Place Bar & Grill_Pine Haven,WY.jpg



Then went right next door to Skippy’s Anchor Bar. Didn’t even need to move my truck. Coupla more beers and then eased on into the Keyhole State Park.


20160915_5_#10_Skippy's Anchor Bar_Pine Haven, WY.jpg



Followed my directions from that drunkard and went to my spot. Drunks at bars can be excellent sources of information.


C.jpg



Went to sleep good and drunk.
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Watched out the camper door as the sunrise came over the lake as I was cookin’ breakfast. Livin’ large.


20160916_1_camp sunrise_Keyhole State Park.jpg



Figured mize well ease on up the road to see the Devil’s Tower. A very unique hunk of rock to be sure. Teddy Roosevelt made it the nation’s very first National Monument. And that in itself’s pretty darn cool. But the best stories are of the Indian lore. This here sign wraps it up pretty good …


20160916_2_Devils Tower sign.jpg



I really like the story of the bear clawin’ at the rock. Reckon some folks find the Indian’s beliefs to be silly. I don’t. And I’m just proud to live in a country where we can all believe in what we want.

Stopped on the side of the road to read that nice lil’ sign. Then stopped again on the side of the road to get a great pic.


20160916_3_Devils Tower.jpg



Then took the turn-off to the National Monument and got to the fee station. And that’s where I stopped. Dead stopped.

Gener’ly speakin’ I just don’t like folks. And I ‘specially don’t like for’iners. And for’iners in tour busses and rental RV’s by far agitate me the worst. Now I know for a damned fact that the great state of Wyomin’ needs them for’iners. Specific’ly we need their money. Now that coal has become just another 4-letter word that ain’t accepted in proper political circles, our state income has gone straight down the toilet. So tourism is a very necessary evil. But that don’t mean I gotta rub elbows with a bus load of camera-totin’ Japanese. And it was gettin’ close to noonday and I was needin’ to find me a bar. So down the road I went.

And promptly got behind a Ty-ota Prius from Utah. Which was behind a Honda Civic from Missouri. Which both were behind a ¾ ton Chevy strugglin’ along with a huge Lance cab-over on it’s back. Looked like a monkey fawkin’ a football.

A button, a knob, and a pedal. That’s all it takes to make my junk smoke.

Ahead, I seen me a clear stretch of blacktop on the two-lane highway. Hit the button on the end of the shifter to kick off the overdrive on the tranny. Turned the knob on the dash two clicks to the right for the engine tuner. And mashed the skinny pedal to the floor. Hot Damn Son! … here we go … and I mean right-the-fawk-now. Black-smoked right past the enviro’ment’ly friendly lil’ Ty-ota. Hit 3500 rpm as I caught the Honda so kicked in the overdrive again. Hit 90 mph when I caught the Chevy with the camper. Speedo pegged solid on a hun’erd when I eased back over into the proper lane of travel. Steady as a rock. I gotta admit I’m excited ‘bout gettin’ my lil’ jeep project on the road. But this truck is way bad-ass and will always be my true love.

And the road took me to Hulett, Wy which had a fantastic lookin’ bar … that weren’t friggin’ open yet. Fawk ‘em. So I kept easin’ on thru even more beautiful country and turned off to head to Alva. Alva’s a great town I’m sure. But the 50 residents evidently couldn’t muster together to open a bar so I had to truck on. Really can’t complain ‘bout the lack of bars at this point tho since the drive was so nice. Really pretty and nice and cool easin’ along with the windows open.

Had me plenty of time to stop and read the historical signs. That's how ya get some good learnin'. I liked this one ...

20160916_4_Custer Expedition sign.jpg


Then come across a sign proclaimin’ I was enterin’ The Black Hills National Forest on the Wyomin’ side of the South Dakota line so turned the rig north on a dirt forest service road just to get some time in the woods. Nice gravel road that weren’t washboardy none a’tall. Pretty country and I eased on at 15 or 20 mph for a right-good bit. Never saw a single soul and enjoyed the fresh air. Then came to a locked gate. Fawk. Just ‘nother road in my life that goes nowheres. So I made an 18-point turn and headed back out. Faster and faster. Real fast. Really good, smooth, twisty road. Doin’ the Tokyo Drift thang ‘round the bends and hammerin’ the straights. One point actu’ly hit 60 mph on that lil’ road. Woulda really, REALLY sucked had there been someone comin’ the other way. Most assuredly one of the stupidest thangs I’ve done sober in quite a while. Damned it was fun. Made my lil’ pecker hard.

Back on the main road and was thinkin’ maybe the next town of Aladdin would cure my alcoholism but weren’t nothin’ there neither. So just kept goin’. That’s all a fella can do. Heard stories of a good bar in the tiny border town of Beulah, WY. But it weren’t open yet for the day neither so the stories cannot be verified as of the writin’ of this here tale. On across the border into South Dakota I go.
 
Last edited:

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
The B & B Lounge in Spearfish, SD turned out to be a fine drinkin’ establishment. Early crowd of drunks on the Friday afternoon and a right-friendly bartender lady. Thangs picked up exponentially tho when a coupla young hotties came in to celebrate the younger ones 21st birthday. Game on. I conversated. I flirted. I entertained. I bought round after round. I was all over it. Then they got up and left. Just like that. And left me there sittin’ alone at a bar in historic downtown Spearfish. My dreams of movin’ to Utah and marryin’ ‘em both … shattered. My heart … broken.


20160916_5_#11_B & B Lounge_Spearfish, SD.jpg




So now what? Ease on ‘cross the street to the next bar of course.


20160916_6_#12_False Bottom_Spearfish,SD.jpg



But it sucked bad.

So head down the road in search of the next bar. Was told to go down the road to Cheyenne Crossing.

But Cheyenne Crossing turned out to be a tourist trap with a café. No bar at all.

Sometimes drunks at a bar ain’t the best source of information.
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Can’t afford to pay for both beer and campin’ … so gotta camp for free. So studied up on my Black Hills map I picked up at one of the bars and hit a dirt forest service road headin’ into the woods. Then turned off on a lil’ trail off that road. Which was basic’ly an ATV trail. I ain’t afraid of an ATV trail. My junk just sorta straddles the whole trail. Long as the tree trunks are far apart enough, I’m good.


20160916_7_Trail 8155.jpg




Now when them tree trunks have done fallen across the ATV trail, it stops them lil’ machines cold in their tracks. Like these trees here for example ...


20160916_8_Trail 8155 trees blocking road.jpg




I always got my chainsaw with me … but I’m lazy. And was a good ¾ drunk too boot. So operatin’ a chainsaw prob’ly weren’t the best idea at the time. But turnin’ back weren’t neither. So geared ‘er down and locked ‘er up. And up and over we go. Ain’t nothin’ but a thang.


20160916_9_Trail 8155 up and over trees.jpg




20160916_10_Trail 8155 past trees.jpg



Trail really petered out after them downed trees. Pretty much just vague tracks in the grass.



D.jpg
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
But they led to a nice meadow where I was assured a nice peaceful sleep.


20160916_13_camp on mesa.jpg




Neighbors did come over in a bit to say Howdy. Didn’t see nary a single Japanese tourist tho.


20160916_14_camp on mesa neighbors.jpg




But not knowin’ when to quit is my specialty … so I hit the whiskey bottle. Templeton Rye … The Good Stuff. Says so right on the label. First swaller is always a toast to my good friend Butch Baker who introduced me to this particular libation sittin’ ’round a campfire somewheres.

And I went to sleep good and drunk.
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Real nice sunrise over my mesa meadow.


20160917_1_sunrise camp.jpg




After breakfast, I eased ‘er on outta there. I vaguely remember this here tight spot on the way in but weren’t near the eye-opener in the evenin’ as it was the next mornin’ when I was sober. Reckon that downed tree is what bent in the propane access door on the camper on my way in. But a man’s gotta expect some losses on an adventure of this magnitude. Now I understand that any ol’ idiot can drive a full-size truck down an ATV trail. But it takes a special kinda idiot to drive down one in a full-size truck with a 30 thousand dollar camper on the back … and drunk. Most excellent.


20160917_2_Trail 2B tree squeeze.jpg




Deadwood, SD is prob’ly one of the most famous towns in them Black Hills. Well documented that’s where Wild Bill Hickock got hisself shot holdin’ his famous “deadman’s” poker hand of aces and eights. I was excited ‘bout gettin’ there and figured it would add a substantial tally to my bar count. When I got to town I somehow managed to miss the turn for historic Main Street. But the road I was on was a scary indicator of the situation … a parkin’ lot slap-full of tour busses. Fawk. I circled ‘round and got on Main. And it’d make Mickey Mouse proud By Gawd! Nuthin’ but a tourist trap. And full of tourists. Yes … they had bars there. But they was infested with tourists like cockroaches at the dumpster behind the Waffle House. Couldn’t even park nowheres. There was a parkin’ garage but it had a 7’ height restriction … so real trucks not allowed. So you’d have to go to the edge of town and park in an RV lot and ride a bus back to the bars. Bulls***. A man should be able to park his truck in front of a bar and go inside and have a beer. Is that askin’ too friggin’ much? Casinos … cheesy souvenir shops … tourist s***. Fawk Deadwood and ev’ry tourist in it. Drove on down to Sturgis.


Which was like a ghost town since the million bikers are done gone for the season. Had a beer at the mega biker bars and listened to the echoes off the walls.

The Knuckle Saloon ...


20160917_4_#13_The Knuckle Saloon_Sturgis,SD.jpg



The Sidehack Saloon ...


20160917_5_#14_Sidehack Saloon & Grill_Sturgis,SD.jpg



And the Iron Horse Saloon ...



20160917_6_#15_Iron Horse Saloon_Sturgis,SD.jpg
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Found one local bar called the Oasis that was quite pleasant with a local crowd of ladies celebratin’ somethin’ or other. They was good and drunk and all cussin’ their husbands. It was a man-bashin’ extravaganza. Ain’t marriage great? I had a few good laughs and a coupla beers and eased on out ‘fore I was an object of their abuse as well. Good stuff.


20160917_7_#16_Oasis Bar_Sturgis,SD.jpg




Headed back up the road and cruised Main Street of Deadwood one more time so the tourists could take pictures of a real man drivin’ a real truck. Like this one … :grinpimp:


20160914_1_Selfie.jpg



Which then took me into Lead. Pronounced as in “lead a horse to water” not as in a hunk of metal with the same spellin’. First bar downtown was such a pathetic excuse for a bar that I hesitated to even take a picture of it. Fat guy servin’ beers to a coupla local losers. Sad. Real sad.



20160917_8_#17_The Silver Star Lounge_Lead,SD.jpg




Other downtown bar was a stunnin’ piece of architecture but more of a fancy restaurant than a bar. Sat there alone at the bar in my finest western attire and had a beer while the dinin’ guests stared at me like I was beneath ‘em. Maybe I was.


20160917_9_#18_Historic Stampmill Restaurant & Saloon_Lead,SD.jpg




6 bars down for the day and not really satisfied so eased on outta town. Didn’t go far at all … maybe even still in the town limits … and thangs took a real turn for the better. The Sled Haus was some kinda German joint with specialty foods and craft beers. But the owner lady was intrigued by both my aforementioned western attire and my lowly, bar-hoppin’ ways. She was an exception’ly nice lady and bein’ a local, gave me some rock-solid advice on other bars in the area. A few moments in time spent laughin’ and chattin’ with a friendly, lovely lady … are a few moments in time to be cherished. And I did. I left with a coupla more beers in my belly and a smile on my face.


20160917_10_#19_The Sled Haus_Lead,SD.jpg
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
And just a short piece down the road brought me to Lewie’s. Jammed up with the scooter crowd on the beautiful Saturday afternoon. Busy place but the service was excellent nonetheless and the entire staff was friendly as they buzzed around me at the bar.


20160917_11_#20_Lewie's Saloom & Eatery_Lead,SD.jpg




Then a short drive down the road to the Boar’s Nest. Really cool bar with an open-beam wood construction and garage doors all the way around so it made it like an outside bar.


20160917_12_#21_Boarsnest_Lead,SD.jpg




Pretty lil’ creek goin’ down the backside with some great seatin’ arrangements to enjoy it. The “s***house” on the back deck was actu’ly the men’s room.


E.jpg



Then on up the road to the tiny “town” of Rochford to the Moonshine Gulch Saloon.



20160917_14_#22_Moonshine Gulch Saloon_Rochford,SD.jpg



One of the two bars that ev’ry person told me to go to. Huge crowd of bikers … as in the pedal kind. Some sorta big event goin’ on. Some folks look really good in them tight lil’ spandex bicycle shorts … and some don’t. At all. But before I could even finish my first beer, a coupla school buses showed up and all them bicycle folks got on and left. Strange. Never did see any of their bikes. Ain’t gotta clue how that deal worked. And don’t care. Owner/barmaid lady’s dog took a shine to me and me and that dog set out on the front porch and got stupid drunk together. Well … dog didn’t drink none but sure ‘nuf was damned-fine comp’ny. Owner/barmaid lady says that dog don’t take to most folks. Reckon that’s exactly why we got along so well. One of the few thangs I truly miss in life is havin’ a damned good dog.

I knew I could get 100% fully snorkel-wackered cuz I could see the end of the pavement and the beginnin’ of a forest service road. Don’t really remember too much ‘bout gettin’ to this here spot. Was past bein’ good and drunk. Sure glad it don’t take much to get the camper ready to sleep in.


20160917_15_camp_Trail 1C off Trail 181 off Road 17 past Castle Peak CG.jpg
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Next mornin’ I was off and down the road to Deerfield Lake. Right pretty place.


20160918_1_Deerfield Lake.jpg




For all you readers that are a vet’rens of the TLCA’s Black Hills Cruiser Classic … done drove by Whispering Pines Campground on Highway 385. Locked up solid and sign said closed for the season but sure brought back a flood of memories. Damned good memories. When it’s all said and done … that’s all life is … a collection of memories and stories. The key is to treasure ‘em … and share ‘em … ‘fore ya die off.

Scenic tour took me on up 385 until I turned off on Nemo Road. Reasons for doin’ that were real simple … 1) sure as fawk weren’t no reason for continuin’ on into Deadwood again … and 2) lots of folks done reported a great bar in Nemo. Sure was a pretty drive. Can’t get over how green ev’rythang was this late in the year. Seriously gonna be lookin’ at movin’ into this country. Fly right in and outta Rapid City to head back and forth to work. Miles of roads that need explorin’ and property’s lot cheaper than down ‘round Cheyenne. But I digress …

The bar at Nemo was indeed friggin’ cool. I been to a buttload of bars in my life. For better or worse … without a doubt, far more than the average fella. And I seen a lotta cool thangs in bars. But, By Gawd, I ain’t never seen an inside bar with a tree growin’ right up thru the roof … next to an antique piano. I sure ‘preciated such a sightin’.


20160918_2_#23_Nemo Restaurant_Nemo,SD.jpg




20160918_3_Outside of bar in back.jpg




20160918_4_Inside of bar in back.jpg




And down the road … but still in Nemo … was Big Mama’s. Obviously set up for the biker crowd durin’ the Rally but was still hangin’ on to catch a few more bucks ‘fore the snow flies. Bartender was way too sexy to big Big Mama and quite pleasant to talk to ‘bout my latest bar-hoppin’ adventure. Some folks just don’t get out enough. And that’s sad. Folks get caught up with the struggles of daily life and ‘fore ya know it, you’re layin’ there on your death bed with nothin’ but regrets. That ain’t livin’. That’s just waitin’ to die.


20160918_5_#24_Big Mama's_Nemo,SD.jpg




I eased on outta Big Mama’s with a smile on my face and roar from the straight-piped 7.3.
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
And got to Johnson’s Crossin’. There was a bar there and I had a beer. But ain’t got much more than that to say of that sorry place.


20160918_6_#25_Rimrock Happy Tavern_Rimrock,SD.jpg




Then the road took me into Hill City. I’d done heard some nasty rumors that this here town was a tourist trap as well. But it was sort of a mini tourist trap. Least a fella could park on the street. I don’t even pretend to try that parallel parkin’ s*** they tought me damned-near 40 years ago in school. I just pull in and bounce up on the sidewalk and straighten ‘er out. Very effective and a crowd pleaser to boot. So once that was a done deal, I eased on into the the Bumpin’ Buffalo. Cool name, cool souvenirs. But more of a restaurant and the first bar yet that only had Coors Light.



20160918_7_#26_Bumpin Buffalo Bar & Grill_Hill City,SD.jpg




So I drank me one diet beer and eased ‘cross the street to the Mangy Moose Saloon. Which possibly coulda been a great bar had they had any hired help on duty. Owner fella swore 3 outta 5 folks called in sick. Do believe that was the longest I ever waited for a beer in my life. But I weren’t really in a hurry to get nowheres and the one bartender that did bother to show up had an outstandin’ ass. Sure couldn’t stand the thought of tryin’ to order another though so down the road to Custer, SD I go.



20160918_8_#27_Mangy Moose Saloon_Hill City,SD.jpg




Past the turn-off for Mt. Rushmore. Figured prob’ly hadn’t changed much since last time I seen it. Past Crazy Horse Monument too. Gotta admit I was a bit curious if’n them folks made any progress. Got a glance back from the highway and sure as hell didn’t look like they done much in the last decade or so. Town of Custer was sure a disappointment. Not much there … and what was there was closed for the season. One exception was the Frontier Grill. ‘Bout the only good thang I got to say ‘bout that place is ‘least they was open and the owner lady was right friendly.



20160918_9_#28_Frontier Bar & Grill_Custer,SD.jpg
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
So off into the woods I went. Road I stumbled on was obviously rarely traveled.



F.jpg



And that’s good. Then the road ended. Which is fine.



G.jpg




Chunked a rock under the tire to level ‘er up just a bit and called ‘er a day. And hit the whiskey bottle. Hard.

Went to sleep good and drunk.


H.jpg
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Do love me some breakfast.



20160919_1_breakfast.jpg




After that, life found me easin’ on into the Custer State Park. Known far and wide for both its wildlife viewin’ opportunities and its scenic drives. Cost me 20 bucks to get in the gate since I weren’t in WY no more. 20 bucks for a 1-7 day pass. That’s what they called it … a “1 – 7 day pass”. Now just think a minute on how stupid that is. Why wouldn’t ya just call it a 7-day pass? Don’t that include all the other fawkin’ options as well?

Come in from Custer and it’s gorgeous right from the get-go. Real nice campground I drove ‘round in for a look-see. Folks were packed in and payin’ ‘nother 20 bucks a night to boot. For a concrete picnic table and a pit toilet. Funny how them folks just don’t camp 15 minutes away in the National Forest for free. ‘Specially the ones with high-clearance vehicles and tents. Makes me wonder how many folks even realize they can go do that. Reckon it just cuts down on the crowds for us smart folks.

First stop was at the top of a twisty steep dirt road to the Mt. Coolidge Firetower. Man could see forever from there. Sure gratifyin’ to know we still got open country left. Sometimes hard to remember that when workin’ in the midst of the madness of the East Coast.

Then headed out on the Wild Life Loop in the southern part of the park. There’s sure ‘nuf a herd of buffalo in that park somewhere but I only seen one standin’ by hisself on the side of the road. They got stretched-out lil’ jeeps that a fella can pay to ride in on the forbidden dirt roads and the guides will take ya to see the heard. Reckon they just got electronic trackers on some of ‘em so they can find ‘em. Seen me some deer and antelope once the road got outta the woods and into the grasslands. But deer are thick in the Black Hills and antelope are thick ‘round Cheyenne so weren’t really that bigga deal. ‘Cept for the tourists. They gotta stop and take pics of anything that moves. If one of ‘em stops for any reason a’tall, they all stop assumin’ there’s a critter of some sorts to take a picture of. Pretty funny. I pulled over a coupla times to test my theory … and it’s true. And it made me laugh. Funniest one by far though was the large herd of Japanese takin’ pictures of a small herd of burros. Had traffic all snarled up. I managed to ease on thru.


At the end of that loop, I got on highway 16A … the Iron Mountain Road. And thangs got interestin’ for sure. Signs ev’rywhere sayin’ no RV’s or trailers … twisty mountain road. And it was. Extremely. Road contains possibly one of the most photographed attractions in the area. When ya ease outta one of the tunnels you’re lookin’ right at Mt. Rushmore. Cool stuff. Bet there’s a kerbillion pictures like this one. Looks far away in the picture and ya gotta zoom on in to make it out but in real life you could see it just fine.



20160919_2_Iron Mtn Road tunnel_Mt Rushmore.jpg




The end of the road puts ya just down the mountain from Mt. Rushmore and ya end up drivin’ right by it. Really is worth goin’ on in thru the gate there if’n ya ain’t never been. American as it gets By Gawd. And the Japanese tourists flock there.

Goin’ on by gives ya a really cool look at ol’ George.



20160919_3_George profile.jpg




And then ya wanna turn off on highway 87 … the Needles Highway to complete the loop back into the State Park. This road is crazy as well. And the tunnels are TIGHT. The Needles Eye tunnel is only 8’ 4” wide.



20160919_4_Needles Eye Tunnel_Needles Highway_Custer State Park_8,4 wide and 11,3 high.jpg




As I was stopped to fold in my mirrors, the Japanese tourists were very concerned and pointin’ and wavin’. Reckon they didn’t think I’d fit. They actu’ly cheered when I got to the other side and was foldin’ my mirrors back out. I bet most of ‘em were hopin’ to see me get wedge in there though.

Here’s a shot comin’ outta the Iron Creek Tunnel at a massive 9’ wide.



20160919_5_Iron Creek Tunnel_Needles Hwy_9 wide 12 tall.jpg




The loop consistin’ of both the Iron Mountain Road and the Needles Highway is an exhilaratin’ experience and one of the finest drives I’ve ever been on. The road is very narrow, twisty, steep, and beautiful. Tunnels, bridges, and a coupla places where it divides into two one-way roads. It actu’ly twists around on itself in a few places. I swear it was like drivin’ on a friggin’ Hot Wheels track. Had the big truck in second gear most of the time and kept a real close watch for traffic and obstacles. Would be really fun in a smaller rig like the Turd. Gonna have to go back for sure. ‘Cept not in August. These roads become rollin’ roadblocks with all the bikers in the area for the Rally.
 

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
Eased on outta the State Park headin’ south. Still a pretty drive at this point. And seen buffalo all over. Made me laugh to think of them folks that paid to ride ‘round in them State Park jeeps. But the scenery peters out pretty quick and I decided to just head on back into Wyoming. Fuel stop in Hot Springs, SD and across the state line and into the barrens I went. No hurry to get home though so I cut over to Glendo State Park. It’s a real pretty place with some nice campgrounds. I’m fond of the Two Moons Campground with sites right on a big bluff overlookin’ Glendo Lake. Peaceful endin’ to a day of lots of drivin’. No bars. Come to think of it … didn’t drink nothin’ all that day. Imagine that.



20160919_6_camp_Two Moons CG_Glendo State Park,WY.jpg





20160919_7_camp_sunset Glendo Lake.jpg




Next day I headed down the road just a short distance to the Curt Gowdy State Park that I so often frequent to bike and hike. It’s real quite this time of year and even though I was only 30 miles from the house I pulled into a nice spot under some cottonwoods on the shore of Crystal Lake. Had to use all my RV lego blocks to level it up.



20160920_1_camp_Crystal Lake_Curt Gowdy State Park,WY.jpg





20160920_2_camp.jpg




No use haulin’ beer home so I drank up the last 12-pack and finished off the whiskey bottle. Made for a nice evenin’ and went to bed good and drunk.
 
Last edited:

KOWBOY

President
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
5,749
Location
Diggin' mud
So reckon summer’s over now … but that just means it’s Fall. Got home and cleaned up the camper, did laundry, and repacked it so I could head to the airport. When I fly in after my next hitch, I’m headin’ right from the airport to Hurricane, Utah for the big Trail Hero event. And might even get to drive the Turd. We’ll see.

:flamingo:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom