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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been about 5 or 6 years ago now. I decided I wanted to ride up to South Dakota and see their badlands. I'd seen the sights in Southeast South Dakota but I was back home in Arkansas when I heard about the Badlands.
So as all you riders know, not having been there before is good enough reason to go now. Not having a touring bike at that time wasn't a reason not to go. My 2001 750 Honda Shadow ACE would just have to do.
So I loaded up the tent, sleeping bag, prescriptions, a few dollars cash and went. If you haven't seen it, and that kind of stuff interests you, it's worth seeing.
With the nice weather and still in possession of a couple dollars, I wasn't ready to come home.
Wyoming is right next door and I'd never seen that Devils Tower from Close Encounters. So I went there. Wow! Never seen anything like that before! For miles before you get there, you can see it. The closer you get, the bigger it gets. Wow! And everybody that rode a Harley was there.
I'm sure there were other brands there but that's not what I came to look at. Don't remember any sour pusses, everybody seemed to be real friendly but what would you expect? Everybody was riding on a nice day!
A day or so later I rode in to Denver, Colorado. It was pouring down rain! I felt like a drownded rat. Had my rainsuit on but it was raining outside and I was sweating inside.
I got off the interstate and out of the rain at a gas station. Now I wanted to head back home. I called my wife to let her know I was still alive and kicking and complained to her about the weather.
I told her I didn't know where I would be spending the night and it was at this time she reminded me we have a nephew that lives in Castle Rock, just South of Denver.
She called him, got his address and away I went.
He had his garage door open for me when I arrived. First time I had been to his house.
I was thinking how good it was going to feel sleeping in a house while at the same time he is apologizing to me because I would have to sleep on the couch. (His mother-in-law was visiting).
I was tired. I would have happily slept on the floor in my sleeping bag. Supper was all the pizza and soda pop I wanted. A hot shower and clean dry clothes feel so good.

I slept all night long and only woke up when I started smelling coffee, waffles, bacon and eggs. I didn't want to make a pig of myself, but I got full and I did have a second cup of coffee.
It was sprinkling rain and the temperature had dropped when I left. I decided to head south and east and just work my way back towards Arkansas. Occasionally a spot of blue sky could be seen, but it never lasted long.
That night I stayed in Montezuma, Kansas. Small, city RV park on the west side of town. I had been there before and knew there was a nice, grassy area for tents.
I was concerned about the weather but I pitched my little Wal-Mart tent and went to bed. I was reading my book when the storm hit.
Kansas has wind! I wasn't really worried about being blown away, but I was afraid of my tent being flattened! I used my hands and feet to hold the tent in place. I had put the cover over my bike and I was worried what was happening to it.
The wind seemed to keep changing direction, so I had to keep turning around to hold the tent up. Then the rain started. AAagh! My little cheapie Wal-Mart tent had a netting material on top for ventilation. The cute little rain fly wasn't much bigger than the netting on top.
So I'm sitting on my bottom, my feet holding the bottom corners of the tent in place and with my hands, I'm holding up the top.
The wind blows the cute little rain fly up, and the rain gets blown in right in my face! I don't know how many hours this went on. It was awful! For some reason, I had put more stuff in my tent than I usually do.
Everything was getting soaked. I reckon it was sometime after midnight when it started letting up. I couldn't sleep in my soggy sleeping bag, so I put on my rainsuit and slept on top of it.
Next morning it was fairly calm but still overcast and cool. I rode to Dodge City next morning and found a laundromat. Almost everything went into a big monster dryer.
When I got my sleeping bag out, it was so warm and dry, I wanted to spread it out on the floor and take a nap. But that may have irritated other customers.
I was so tired, I only rode to Greenfield (Greenland?). The place that was nearly wiped out by a tornado years ago.
I stayed at their city park that night. There was just a light rain which made for good sleeping. Next morning it was cold! I headed south.
Just west of town is a highway that goes straight south to Oklahoma, across Oklahoma and in to Texas. Just before getting in to Texas, it started warming up, finally.
Spent that night in a Texas rest area then home the next day.
I have not spent another night in that $30 Wal-Mart tent, but I did use it for about 3 years before that.
 

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Great story.
Nephew could have moved his MIL to the garage is all.
I have had my share of wet and blustery tenting nights.

UK
 

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It's been about 5 or 6 years ago now. I decided I wanted to ride up to South Dakota and see their badlands. I'd seen the sights in Southeast South Dakota but I was back home in Arkansas when I heard about the Badlands.

(snip)

I have not spent another night in that $30 Wal-Mart tent, but I did use it for about 3 years before that.
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So is that all? You could post some photos or something. I can wait. I'm retired. I have time. :smile_big:

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As the saying goes, been there done that. Well, all except the mother-in-law thing. Oh heck, had my share of problems with them too.:devil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wish I had the photos to post. I don't take enough photos when I'm out riding, but the ones I took, I took with my cell phone. Which is okay as long as I don't lose the phone.
Last year I finally bought a digital camera because I lost another cell phone and all the pictures that were in it. Now I have all these "photographs" in my memory but I can't show them to anyone. ?
Riding alone and traveling alone does have it's drawbacks. My wife rarely loses anything. She probably still has her first Cricket cell phone. ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I bought myself a new tent that fall. The next storm I got caught in, was in North Dakota, maybe 20-25 miles south of Canada, and not too far from Montana. Don't remember the name of the closest town.
When the storm hit, I was expecting to get wet. The wind blew but the thicker poles on this tent never threatened collapse. It was a hard rain and I suspected the rain would soak through the bottom, but it didnt.
Next morning there was clumps of tree leaves all over the place.
My motorcycle was leaned over to almost a 45 degree angle! I had forgot to put something under the side stand. But everything stayed dry inside the tent. The rain fly on this tent goes almost to the ground all around.
Got caught one other time in this tent in a hard rain. Not really a storm with all the wind and lightening, just a heavy downpour. Stayed dry that time too. That tent is worth the extra bucks! ?
 

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Too late to help you now but the cell phone picture issue has been solved, my iPhone syncs to the cloud constantly so as long as there is cell coverage the pictures are backed up right away. If I'm out of coverage for the day it syncs up when it can, if nothing else when I'm stopped for the night and connected to wifi at the hotel etc.
Losing everything should be a thing of the past.

Maybe this will help refresh your memory... I don't think it's changed much :)


I wish I had the photos to post. I don't take enough photos when I'm out riding, but the ones I took, I took with my cell phone. Which is okay as long as I don't lose the phone.
Last year I finally bought a digital camera because I lost another cell phone and all the pictures that were in it. Now I have all these "photographs" in my memory but I can't show them to anyone. ?
Riding alone and traveling alone does have it's drawbacks. My wife rarely loses anything. She probably still has her first Cricket cell phone. ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Minot was still east of where I was at. I have another nephew that lives in Minot and I was going to stop by and see him while I was in the area. Turned out he was back here in Arkansas visiting his folks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had to go get the road map to see where I had been. Was closer to Canada than I had thought. I was on Highway 5 and it was either Fortuna or Crosby.
Anyhow just east of town was a small cemetery on the South side of the highway and a good place to put up a tent near the cemetery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah Mike721, that's it! Except the parking lot was a lot fuller when I got there. Had to get a Coke and a Snickers bar in that store.
When I left there, I rode to Gillete and stayed at a little RV park cause I was in need of a shower and I try not to become too fragrant. I was probably a sight walking back to my tent from the showers. I had forgot my slippers. I came tromping back from the showers with my towel over my shoulder, wearing my swimming trunks and wearing my riding boots!
I don't want a picture to remind me of that! ?
 

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Nice story. Several years ago I meet up with some members of the XL forum on our Sportster's to camp.

I had bought a kids dome tent the week before at a yard sale for $3. It was just big enough for me, and plenty small enough to pack. I used that little tent a couple of times over the years.
I had the good luck of never knowing how it would do in the rain...

My wife tells me we can ride or we can camp, but not both.
So I normally take her and we hotel it.

Some day hope to see Rushmore and the tower on two wheels.
Nice pic Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Having been in that area of the country more than once, and a family history of Alzheimer's, I'm trying not to confuse my trips, but I can remember on Highway 5 in eastern Montana was a roadside attraction. Sleeping Buffalo Rock. There was also another large stone. Indians left things for their ancestors on the stone. It was covered with cigarettes and other trinkets. I left a buckeye I had carried for a while.
The Sleeping Buffalo Rock really did resemble a buffalo. I hope to go back to that area again some day.
 

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But what about Wall Drug? How can anyone go to the Dakotas without stopping at Wall Drug? :plain:

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As a guy who can barely even take a good dump by myself at this point of my life that sounds fantastic!!! I hope to be able to have some of those adventures one day as well.
 

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I had to go get the road map to see where I had been. Was closer to Canada than I had thought. I was on Highway 5 and it was either Fortuna or Crosby.
Anyhow just east of town was a small cemetery on the South side of the highway and a good place to put up a tent near the cemetery.
At least your neighbors should have be quiet.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I stopped in Wall, South Dakota for lunch. Town was drenched with motorcycles. I made a slow loop around to Wall Drug then back to the grocery store. Only parking lot in town not packed. Got a quart of milk, small block of cheese and some pepperoni. Then sat on the bench in front of the store, in the shade, and had lunch!
 

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Camping in a downpour. Been there done that.
Anyone that road trips on a bike and camps learns the value of a reasonably good tent.
I have a one person Eureka tent, made for backpacking, that will actually keep you dry. It is very lightweight and packs small, SMALL inside too.
With me, my jacket, sleeping bag, boots and tankbag inside... We're full.

Riding thru downpours, yep.
One time traveling between Amarillo and Lubbock, it absolutely could not rain any harder. Not blowing, just straight down heavy rain.
Road conditions were good, the bike was set up and loaded correctly, virtually no traffic so I'm running ~75 MPH.
When I saw the spray coming off an 18 wheeler approaching from behind anticipating a pass, and changing lanes, no way was I going to get into that spray.
Pulling off the road was out of the question. By the time I could see a good spot to pull in, I just passed it.
The only thing to do was turn it up to about 95 MPH for a while so I could put some distance between us.
I'd slow back down some then back up to 95 when he started getting close again. We did that for miles on miles.
A little scary but I had good tires, good handling too.... Kinda fun in my twisted way. :wink:
 
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