Day Ten – Red Lodge MT to Custer SD
Miles: 479
Elapsed Time: 11:21

The owner from the Yodeler told us about Cafe Regis for breakfast and how the proprietor used all organic and home grown ingredients. It was a little busy but we didn’t wait all that long and the food was really good. Lots to choose from here for breakfast, we kept it pretty simple but the preserves and bread she served were really very good. I would recommend this place it was very unique and good quality. We set out for the Big Horn Mountains, but it is a fairly uneventful ride of 140 miles with the last maybe 20 having some good curves. We were buzzing along pretty good and passed a couple of bikes that probably thought they riding pretty fast, but the terrain there is wide open, you can see for miles, and we say turn it up. As soon as we cross over Big Horn Lake the fun begins. I love this style of riding; uphill big turns, no decreasing radii, and no blind curves - wonderful! When we reached the top we stopped for some pics. We are familiar with area having come through on street bikes in 2003, and we did Dual-Sporting in this area in 2008. It’s only 40 miles across the range but it is really good riding. Most of the route is above 8,000 feet and it peaks at 9,500 feet. We stopped on the eastern side and looked out towards Dayton, Ranchester and Sheridan off in the distance. We continued east, hit I-25 south and stopped at Buffalo for some lunch. The Occidental Hotel served up a nice lunch and a nice rest stop for us, they have been doing that in this location for more than 132 years and the place is full of historical tidbits. We gassed up in Buffalo and kicked butt over to Spearfish 185 miles to the east where we gassed up again, but now we had some time spend. We looked for Spearfish Canyon Falls and drove right by it twice but we never saw any roads leading to it or signs pointing toward it. We found a little place in the shade where we drank our Gatorades and decided to move on. We cruised over to Deadwood and ran through town as we proceeded south through on US14. Deadwood looked pretty cool and there was lots of activity as we were only a week away from Sturgis. We broke away from US85 and continued due south on Rochford Road with our destination the Moonshine Gulch Saloon. The road down to the saloon was pretty nice but when we arrived there we saw several people out on the front porch, and they were looking a little rough. Now I don’t mind that at all, but the looks we received made us less than comfortable so we quickly called an audible and continued on. That is the great thing about the bike to bike communications, they probably didn’t even realize we were talking about them. Just past the saloon we hit gravel, and now we had to decide if we wanted to continue or go back past the saloon. I thought from my routing some of this might be gravel but I couldn’t tell how much. We hit a fork in the road and unknowingly took Silver MIle Rd for about a mile and a half before we realized this was probably the wrong way. We thought again should we back track or not, and once again we decided to continue on. We ended riding about 14 miles before we hit pavement, but it wasn’t all that bad. Soon we were in Hill CIty and making our way towards the Needles section of Custer National Park. I can see why this area is so popular with motorcyclists, the roads are great and there are many things to see without having to ride very far. 40 miles after Hill City we were at the Needles Eye Tunnel where we stopped for pics. The area has numerous rock spires and unique looking rock formations and the namesake is one the looks like an eye of a needle and next to a tunnel that can be ridden through.

Back down the other side towards Custer there were many places to stop along the way for pics, and we stopped at a couple, but then we got behind some other bikes and they were on parade. The road is very narrow and it would be really difficult to pass without really upsetting someone. Again, what I can’t understand is why when you see someone in your mirror you don’t don’t move over to let them pass, it would take two seconds. So, we rode the parade down to the park entrance and blew by them within 500 feet once on US16. We went to our motel, The Rocket, to find another nice couple that were the proprietors. They were also bikers so they had a place to wash the bikes and plenty of wash rags. I was thinking that when our annual trips began back in 1992 it would have almost been unheard of to have old rags to clean bikes, and now it is normal, that’s progress. We parked and walked to the Bitter Esters Brewhouse. Nothing special here and the crowd seemed very young. We went to the Buglin’ Bull and had another Buffalo burger and one their brewed beers. I remember it being good but I cannot remember which one we had, my guess is the IPA. We were bummed that the Reds were off today, but we still had a good time. ON the way back to the motel Steve rode a buffalo similar to the green horse he rode in Hotchkiss in 2010, I think this is becoming a tradition.