Thursday was Day6, the final day of our ride out to Deadwood, and was mostly uneventful. We got a lot of sleep the night before, something like 7 hours.. And then took our time getting moving. Weather Underground was showing rain as very likely, to start late morning, and that didn’t get us moving any faster. Instead it seemed to just make is slower.
We got rolling at about 9:30 and immediately rode the wrong direction and on the wrong road. Our attempt at reconnecting with our route tracks took us into the middle of some sort of oil field lands and onto cow trails… Yeah..trails made by cows..not the kind of trails we like to ride on 500-lb motorcycles packed with another 75-lbs of gear. The detours/ further attempts at re-routing were unsuccessful and at about 10:30, with rain looming, we jumped on a highway to re-connect with the dirt roads farther North.
Rain started falling just as we got back to dirt. Not worried about our balding tires we were all pretty excited to ride in it. No Dust!
The roads were fast and loose like usual, which was a little extra fun because of the uncertainty related to wet/ mud traction. I think none of us had ridden our bikes in mud before. At about 30 miles into the dirt the route took us into a grassy/muddy road.. After some discussion about whether or not it was wise to ride out onto it we decided it was worth a try.. We made it all of about 8-ft before Peter’s bike was on the ground. The mud was super slick clay stuff. We were lucky that we weren’t out in it when the rain started otherwise we’d probably still be out there. It rained for the rest of the day and didn’t stop until Friday late afternoon. Picking up the 1190 in the mud was a bit of a challenge.
The rest of the ride into Deadwood was on a mix of 50/50 improved dirt/gravel road and Tarmac. I was the only guy wearing a dirt helmet with goggles and was pretty jealous of the two wearing true dualsport helmets. Apparently the 950 windshield buffets one’s face in just the right way to cause muddy bubbles to percolate up through the goggle’s foam. This makes it really difficult to see. I did my best to think of it as just another piece of Exciting.
Pulling into the lodge’s parking lot we were pretty much ready to be done. We were all cold, mostly soaked from the rain, and pretty tired from the stresses of riding. We found our 4th rider, Ron, poking around the parking lot checking out what the vendors were offering. Ron had taken an alternate route out here after suffering both physically and mechanically (bike) through Day 1. At the event he was totally energetic which was awesome.. Helped us get set up and registered.
Our tires are toast. We all rode on different tires and they all look the same now. They won’t make it through the weekend. New ones are in route to be delivered tomorrow. Thank you Rocky Mountain ATV!
The rally events start tomorrow, Friday. We’re at the Rally and will participate, but I’m having the feeling that our events ended Thursday..