Day Eleven – Custer SD to Denison IA
Miles: 571
Elapsed Time: 11:11

What a great night in Custer which mostly spelled the end of our trip. We now had to beat it back home, but we still had a couple of nice tricks up our sleeve, and we felt we could still salvage a good porition of the day. We went to Our Place for breakfast and and it was very basic and nothing more than adequate. We didn’t start off very well. We were supposed to run up to the Norbeck Overlook and maybe stop at Mt. Rushmore, but we missed our turn and wound up in Hermosa having realized our mistake too late. Even with that, the ride over to Hermosa was nice among the rolling Black Hills. We stopped in Wall SD for gas and made another mistake by not continuing due south to the Badlands, but rather jumping on I-90 for a short time exiting on Big Foote Road. This is a gravel road of roughly eight miles in length leading down to the Badlands area. It wasn’t that bad but I think ou rpride was hurt more than anything; two misses in a short period of time, we didn’t know what was going on. Once in the Badlands we made two quick stops to snap some pictures and we were quickly on our way. The road through the park is actually pretty nice, but the park was fairly crowded with people looking for places to stop so it was not conducive to blasting through the curves. We got through the park found SD44 and were headed east at a high rate of speed. We went from the start of SD44 in Interior SD to Winner SD, our next gas stop, in exactly two ours covering 150 miles. It’s not that fast but we went through a couple of small towns and made a few turns, and this beats the heck out of the highway. It’s probably a little lass safe than the interstate, but overall I much prefer this to the interstate. After gassing up we went kept the pace until we reached Randall Dam where we stopped to stretch our legs. We grabbed lunch in Yankton which sits on the Missouri River and a stopping point for the Corps of Discovery back in 1803. I routed us to the south of Sioux City, so that worked out nicely and I put us on Old Highway 141 running southeast. I thought this road might be fairly good but we were pleasantly surprised by how nice it was, gently flowing curves and some changes in elevation made it a really nice ride. We stopped in Smithland IA to stretch at the city park there and at that point it was only a short 40 miles to Denison. There wasn’t much to do in Denison. We stayed at a motel that was on the National Historical Register and Cronk’s Restaurant and Lounge across the street was the only game in town. We went in and went to the lounge and it reminded me of the 1970s. They had a decent beer selection and we got some soup; really living it up. Unfortunately we had to listen to the Reds game rather than watch, but they extended their winning streak to eight behind 6 2/3 sharp innings from Bronson Arroyo, with Alfredo Simon and Aroldis Chapman preserving the shutout at Coors Field. Ryan Ludwick went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead Cincinnati's offense.