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post #1 of 36 Old Sep 26th, 2011, 5:51 pm Thread Starter
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Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Planning 2 up ride for next year to see Mt Rushmore. Round trip looks like 3600 miles on the LT. Most of the ride will most likey be on the super slab. Hotel / Motel for sleep Anyone have input on the trip? Give up 10 nights for the round trip. Thanks

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post #2 of 36 Old Sep 26th, 2011, 8:14 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

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Planning 2 up ride for next year to see Mt Rushmore. Round trip looks like 3600 miles on the LT. Most of the ride will most likey be on the super slab. Hotel / Motel for sleep Anyone have input on the trip? Give up 10 nights for the round trip. Thanks
I spent some time in South Dakota last month. The highlights for me were highway 44 through Nemo, due to lack of traffic, and the wildlife loop in Custer State Park, lots of Buffalo roadblocks. Needles highway was interesting, but really slow moving Harleys hampered the ride a bit. Sturgis BMW... was very helpful when I found I needed a new front tire sooner than I thought I would. If you find yourself forming your mashed potatoes into unusual shapes, Devil's tower is near and worth a look. I'm sure you will have a great trip. Oh yeah, don't miss the Corn Palace in Mitchell, or Wall Drug.

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post #3 of 36 Old Sep 27th, 2011, 6:22 am
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

or the Badlands! While there, see Crazy Horse, just make sure you see it during the day, the light show is a little on the "cheesy" side. Ride Vonicker (spelling) Canyon which is at the Sturgis exit, but you go left instead of right.

You may want to look at lodging in Rapid City

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post #4 of 36 Old Sep 27th, 2011, 11:46 am
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

I would add Spearfish Canyon to that list. My favorite town is Deadwood. Cheap places to stay and good food at the casinos. Mount Moriah cemetery is a nice stop if you are into the old west. Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok are buried there.


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post #5 of 36 Old Sep 27th, 2011, 1:02 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Take a look at the Curve Cowboy Reunion site for the 2009 Reunion. There were a number of local rides laid out and in .gdb form. Needles, Spearfish, Vannocker......all good.

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post #6 of 36 Old Sep 27th, 2011, 7:39 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Custer State Park, Needles Highway and Iron Mountain road are very close and all worth your time.

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post #7 of 36 Old Sep 27th, 2011, 8:04 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

+1 on all the sites mentioned above. We just wished we had gone back to Mt. Rushmore at night for the light show.

We went out via I-90 but came back through SD via US 14. Saw a lot more interesting and unique sites than the interstate allows.

On the way (out or back) stop at Blue Earth, MN to see the Jolly Green Giant, and at Brandon, IA to see the world's largest frying pan. Yes, seriously.

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post #8 of 36 Old Sep 28th, 2011, 7:12 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

I think its hwy 2 across Nebraska this is the Sand Hills road 65 mph 2 lane will bring you right near the lower part of the Black Hills. Light traffic.
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post #9 of 36 Old Sep 28th, 2011, 7:16 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Watch out for the view from the Canada side tho ...
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post #10 of 36 Old Sep 29th, 2011, 1:31 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

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Watch out for the view from the Canada side tho ...
Your sick....in a good way though.

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post #11 of 36 Old Sep 30th, 2011, 5:59 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Just got back. Flew out last week stayed in Rapid City. Rented a bike, saw most of the sites mentioned. Drove out to Wyoming and saw Devils Tower. Only about 4 hr round trip from Rapid City. Great trip better than I imagined. Beautiful scenery, leaves starting to change in Spearfish Canyon.

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post #12 of 36 Old Nov 11th, 2011, 4:05 am Thread Starter
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Mt Rushmore more advise...

Considering time of year travel, anyone have advise on a springtime trip vs a late summer early fall trip? We are avoiding a mid summer trip. Glad to hear advise. Thanks

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post #13 of 36 Old Nov 11th, 2011, 7:04 am
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

I'd go for late summer/early fall. If your heading through the Rockies in early spring, some passes may still be closed due to heavy winter snows. Head out after Labor Day. Motel rates go down and the numbers of touristas start to decline.

With the exception of Spearfish Canyon, I can verify all previous recommendations of places to see and where to ride: Needles, Iron Mountain, Badlands, Corn Palace, Custer State Park etc, If you find yourself encountering a really hot day, I recommend Jewel or Wind Cave as a side trip.

Have a great and safe trip.

Take care,
Chris

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post #14 of 36 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 4:07 am Thread Starter
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Thank you,

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post #15 of 36 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 7:32 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

I spend a couple of weeks out there almost every year. All the places mentioned out there will fill a couple of weeks riding. Make sure and ride Iron Mountain road and Needles highway both directions. Anytime before memorial day can be very cool yet. I have had the best weather right after labor day. The nights will be cool since you will be in the hills/low mountains. The days can be in the low 80's. That is a very beautiful area and the local small town people are really wonderful. Pick up a map that they have at most of the gas stations and see how many roads you can ride.

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post #16 of 36 Old Nov 13th, 2011, 8:06 am
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Why go superslab? Ride north on I 87 heading for the TransCanada Highway from Ottawa. GO west toward Sault Saint-Marie then up around the north side of lake Superior. From Thunder Bay head south to Duluth on Highway 61 (revisited). Then head west on Rt. 200 or 2 , or...

Or head back into the US at Sault Saint Marie and go across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Duluth.

Both a bit longer but really worth it vs. I-80/90 across.

+1 on Crazy Horse Monument

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post #17 of 36 Old Nov 13th, 2011, 10:59 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

+1 on Needles highway...a must see and drive!!

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post #18 of 36 Old Nov 15th, 2011, 11:11 am
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Re: Mt Rushmore more advise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumperjon
Considering time of year travel, anyone have advise on a springtime trip vs a late summer early fall trip? We are avoiding a mid summer trip. Glad to hear advise. Thanks
I would probably opt for a trip in late Aug. or early Sept. Daytime temps will range from the 70's to the 90's. We've had very nice (cooler) summers for the last 5 years (only 2-3 days last summer were above 100 deg. I would avoid a springtime trip due to the liklihood of some very nasty weather (late May into early June might be ok, weatherwise).

The Black Hills is a touristy area with July and August being very busy with Cushman, Corvette, and Mustang rallys, rodeos, regional Fairs, the Sturgis Bike Rally, etc. These activities tend to make for expensive accommodations anywhere in the Black Hills. During the Sturgis Rally, it is common for hotels to be $250-$300 per night. Unless you enjoy dense traffic and slow riding I would avoid the area during the Rally. Off-Rally hotels will be $130+ per night. After Labor Day, hotels in Keystone, SD (at the base of Mt. Rushmore) can be had for $50-$60 per night.

You stated you have 10 "nights" available for the round-trip; are you allowing for 12 travel days? You will likely take 3 days each way from Poughkeepsie to Rapid City if you can average 600 miles per day; this scenario would leave 6 days to see the area. It will take you 3 days of dawn-to-dusk riding to cover several of the Black Hills sights/rides other forum members have suggested. If you are so inclined, I would suggest you ride from Rapid City to Cody, WY (400 miles), ride the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (which begins 16 miles from Cody) to its intersection with the Beartooth Highway which will take you over Beartooth Pass into the town of Red Lodge, MT. The Beartooth and the Chief Joseph are two of the most spectacular rides in the US. The top of the Beartooth Highway is nearing 11,000' elevation and may not be open until late June or early July. If you make this trip, don't wait until mid or late Sept, snow comes early on the Beartooth.

Red Lodge to Billings, Mt is approx 50 miles, and Billings to Rapid City is 375 miles via I-90. A very scenic alternative route is I-90 from Billings to Crow Agency (55 miles), then Highway 212 from Crow Agency to Belle Fourche, SD (approx 200 miles). Belle Fourche to Rapid City is 60 miles).

Custer Battlefield is located at Crow Agency and is a worthwhile stop. Billings is a very nice small city (100,000) with excellent accomodations. Cody, WY is a very cool town; the Buffalo Bill Museum is a must-see, as is the Irma Hotel. Red Lodge has several motels but they will be pricey. If you make the MT/WY leg, the Cowboy Bar in Fromberg, MT is a quaint and interesting stop. The owner has a nice collection of western artifacts and memorabilia in a "museum" attached to the rear section of the bar.
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post #19 of 36 Old Nov 17th, 2011, 4:01 am Thread Starter
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Thank you for the good detailed information

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post #20 of 36 Old Nov 19th, 2011, 11:27 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

I've made the trip out and back the past two years. I'd recommend you take I-80 until you get across Iowa than turn north thru Sioux Falls to pick up I-90. You could go north at North Platte as well to pick up I-90. Expect wind when you get into South Dakota, it is always windy.
I'd find a hotel in Rapid City or near Wall Drugs, prices seem reasonable. I'd also suggest you make the trip around the second week of June to get the best of weather and avoid the BIG tourist crowds. We've been like I said the past 2 years at this time of year and found it pleasant temp & weather wise both times. Only had rain for around 3 hours for the trips combined and temps ranged from 65-80 degrees which makes it comfortable to ride and walk around.
If you like tourist traps Wall Drugs is a must see as is Deadwood. Custer NP didn't thrill me but I enjoyed the ride to and from Devils Tower and the Badlands. You can enter the Badlands at Wall Drug and exit on the other end (30+ miles) which is very scenic. Don't forget to visit Crazy Horse while near Rushmore. On the road up to Rushmore and just as the park comes into view there is a car pulloff on the right side, stop there and take some pictures of the monuments. Once you get to the entrance everything will be too close to really get a good shot.
You might look into renting a cabin for the time you plan to spend in the area. The wife and I rent a cabin each time and find it actually works out just as cheap, plus we can leave all our gear at the cabin while we ride out to enjoy the area.
Finally 10 days isn't really a lot of time to make this trip from where you are. Figure at LEAST 3 days out if you are riding without much stopping, and about the same coming back... not much room for error or to really enjoy the sights (jmo). If you can squeeze an extra 2 days of vacation time it will make a HUGE difference.
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post #21 of 36 Old Dec 17th, 2011, 6:33 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

no way in Hell you can pass up Wall Drug! you just can't do it - besides that you can get a free glass of ice water - tom

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post #22 of 36 Old Jan 6th, 2012, 9:37 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

http://spokanecreek.com/index.php?op...id=46&Itemid=1

This is a decent and affordable place to stay, and its close to all the great riding. Not to mention you can ride Iron Mountain road every day your there! My wife and I have made the trip from central PA the last two years. Superslap once and all back roads through the Michigan U.P. this last year.

The back roads is definitely the way to go if you have the time. If you want to see all the sites while your there, then you better extend your trip time. Or plan another trip. There so much to see and so many great roads to roads to ride. MADMAPS.com has a great Sturgis area riding map. Oh and stop in Belle Fourche, SD at the Belle Inn restaurant. Tell Mary Kay Greg and Amy White sent you! The food is good and cheap. Its where the locals eat.

US212 across Minnesota & South Dakota is a peaceful ride with speed limits of the slab and NO traffic. Although the occasional wild life.

Have fun and ride safe.

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post #23 of 36 Old Jan 6th, 2012, 10:59 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

And remember admission is free to Mt. Rushmore... but there is a $20 charge to park...

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post #24 of 36 Old Jan 7th, 2012, 7:37 am
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

That was my first trip when I took over my Dad's LT.

Day one: Chicago to Wall, S.D. Took in Corn Palace and Wall Drug.
Day two: Wall to Sturgis, Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon, Devils Tower and back to Deadwood.
Day three: Deadwood to Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore, Badlands, and on to Oacoma, S.D.
Day four: Oacoma, S.D. back to Chicago.

My friend and I rode the heck out of our LT's but had a blast and actually did see quite a bit of scenery and attractions in four days.

It was a bit of a recon trip for a longer ride back there someday.

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post #25 of 36 Old Jan 10th, 2012, 8:24 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

+1 on Vanocker Canyon -Nemo- Norris Peak roads. It runs from the south edge of Stugis thru Nemo and meets 44 at Johnson Crossing near Hisega. Be sure to watch for wildlife along the edges.

If you are up for a techincal road, take 44 from Rapid to 385 and turn north. After 1 mile turn left at Whispering Pines Campground. It's about 5 miles to Silver City. It is a dead end road with almost no traffic. There are only about 100 people in Silver City. It's like a short version of the Dragon without the big drop-offs. You can drag as much hardware as you like. If you don't mind a 8 miles of good gravel you can go around the back side of Pactola and join 385.

I would avoid 90 if time allows. 50/44/46 in the south or 212 in the north are much more fun. 90 is the fastest but carries a lot of traffic.

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post #26 of 36 Old Jan 11th, 2012, 8:56 am
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

I'll throw my hat into the ring for following "must see" Crazy Horse which while Mt. Rushmore is worth visiting and enjoyable, I found more impressive. Also Spearfish Canyon and Custer State Park.

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post #27 of 36 Old Apr 1st, 2012, 4:41 pm Thread Starter
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See Mt Rushmore avoid Chicago

Here is a planning question for my ride NY to Rapid City. I am giving this two up ride a maximum of 13 nights on the road. Most to and from will be super slab I80 or I90. Does anyone have advice on going around Chicago. I want to avoid the congestion of that area. Glad to hear advice

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post #28 of 36 Old Apr 1st, 2012, 5:48 pm
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Re: See Mt Rushmore avoid Chicago

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumperjon
Here is a planning question for my ride NY to Rapid City. I am giving this two up ride a maximum of 13 nights on the road. Most to and from will be super slab I80 or I90. Does anyone have advice on going around Chicago. I want to avoid the congestion of that area. Glad to hear advice
I hate Chicago so much from Cleveland I go South to Columbus and then to Indianapolis then to Galesburg one day then on to Mitchell the next. A little out of the way but...

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post #29 of 36 Old Apr 1st, 2012, 7:04 pm
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Re: See Mt Rushmore avoid Chicago

Quote:
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I hate Chicago so much from Cleveland I go South to Columbus and then to Indianapolis then to Galesburg one day then on to Mitchell the next. A little out of the way but...
I second that advice. I even avoid Chicago in the cars if at all possible.
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post #30 of 36 Old Apr 1st, 2012, 7:54 pm
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Re: See Mt Rushmore avoid Chicago

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumperjon
Here is a planning question for my ride NY to Rapid City. I am giving this two up ride a maximum of 13 nights on the road. Most to and from will be super slab I80 or I90. Does anyone have advice on going around Chicago. I want to avoid the congestion of that area. Glad to hear advice
Here's a map of my 2003 round trip ride on the LTC. We didn't use I-80 or I-90:

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post #31 of 36 Old Apr 1st, 2012, 8:07 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Another option is to ride north thru MI and take the Ludington-Manitowoc ferry to WI. We rode the ferry across for our 2001 trip:
http://www.ssbadger.com/content.aspx?Page=schedule

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post #32 of 36 Old Apr 1st, 2012, 9:58 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

+1 for going over the Beartooth and down into Red Lodge. I prefer going into Yellowstone and out the North entrance via Cooke City. The best diner steak I ever had was in Cooke City. When you are in Red Lodge you can head east towards Cody or north towards Billings and visit Custers last stand. Any way you cut it, it will be a good trip. I would expect to get a little rain during the trip.

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post #33 of 36 Old Apr 9th, 2012, 4:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

Another question; Can anyone tell me if the stretch of I90 between Sioux Falls to Rapid City is very barren? Lacking gas, food, stops etc. Glad to hear input

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post #34 of 36 Old Apr 9th, 2012, 11:40 pm
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

It's pretty barren. There are three main towns, Wall, Chamberlain, and Mitchell. I was pretty tired and tried to stop one night in Chamberlain and all hotels were full so I had to head 70 miles to Mitchell. But, the Corn Palace is in Mitchell. Wall is easy to miss because of the lack of signs.

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post #35 of 36 Old Apr 10th, 2012, 1:11 am
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Location: Chicago, IL, USA
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Re: See Mt Rushmore avoid Chicago

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Originally Posted by Thumperjon
Here is a planning question for my ride NY to Rapid City. I am giving this two up ride a maximum of 13 nights on the road. Most to and from will be super slab I80 or I90. Does anyone have advice on going around Chicago. I want to avoid the congestion of that area. Glad to hear advice
Hey what's this about avoid Chicago and I see agreement from OH and MT. Well I guess I have to speak up. I have been to NY by car OH car/bike and not yet to MT but will never suggest avoiding any of them.
So here is my rub when I plan a trip to Mt. Rushmore should I avoid Chicago also
I already heard the one about riding to the gulf take a ship through the Panama Canal dock in southern CA and continue up the west coast before taking a right to I90. Enjoy you trip.
ride safe
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post #36 of 36 Old Apr 10th, 2012, 7:45 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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Re: Gonna go see Mt Rushmore

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Originally Posted by Thumperjon
Another question; Can anyone tell me if the stretch of I90 between Sioux Falls to Rapid City is very barren? Lacking gas, food, stops etc. Glad to hear input
When you are in remote locations you always need to be mindful of your fuel and the time and distance to the next gas. If you use a GPS it will tell you where fuel and motels or campgrounds are. You might get fuel within 10 miles of most exits on an interstate but you won't find lodging that easily.

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
2015 Blue R1200GSA
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