Part 1 & 2 Rapid City SD to Helena MT

DAY 1 and 2 Rapid City SD. to Helena MT.
I stayed the night before Day 1 at Barry and Saundra's house in the black hills and they have the most spectacular deck and view from that deck toward the black hills is so great, I could sit out there all day, every day.

The morning of the departure. The bikes sit waiting to go.

We all met in Rapid City to gas up and we are off. After a brief 30 miles on Hwy 90 we turn off on Hwy 34 toward Belle Fourche, and our first stop for breakfast.


We then took 212 from Belle Fourche into Montana and a spectacular ride in sunshine through Custer National Forest, Northern Cheyenne and Crow Indian Reservations, past the Little Big Horn National Monument, then onto Hwy 90 again into the outskirts of Billings MT.

Lunch time in Laurel, MT at Little Big Men. The burger was excellent.
We cross the Yellowstone river and get into great mountain ranges. Absaroka, Bridger Ranges.

We pass Custer National Forest, Beartooth Wilderness. You can see Crazy Peak 11,214 in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. We go through Bozeman and turn onto Hwy 287 toward Helena. We ran into some brief weather with 50 mph winds that had me wondering if I was going to stay up and some brief rain and blowing dust.

We arrive in Helena. 560 miles in 11 hours and 30 minutes.

Dinner at the Moonlight Restaurant is not a success. After a long day on the bike it take almost 3 hours to have dinner and some of the dinners ended up on the floor. Barry and Saundra meal was dropped but oddly remained on the floor for about an hour. I can not recommend the Moonlight!

But the sunset was great.

Early in the morning I went with Barry and his brother and sister in law to watch the demolition of the smelter smoke stacks. This holds a lot of sentimental value for Barry and his brother Jim as they both had been employeed by the smelting plant

Thousands of people showed up starting at 5:30 am to watch the show, scheduled to start at 7:30 am

The stacks before

a few minutes before demolition they started to pour tons of water on the site

It only lasted a few seconds and now.. no more stacks

The weather was the big event on day 2. It seemed to change constantly. sunny for while and then stormy. the clouds lingered low on the hills all day

We spent the rest of the day out at Barry's families home on Canyon Ferry Lake, which is a damed portion of the Missouri River. The view from Van and Peg's house could not be beat. they are tremendously nice people and great fun was had by all. Lots of drinking and BBQ.

The weather was again very changing and cool ( around 60 for most of the day). It was fun to watch from the deck of their home. I am not sure the same will be said as we head out of Helena on day 3.

The entire gang at Van and Peg's- Photo by Kelli Shaw

Rain show at Canyon Ferry Lake

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