We ride out to Sturgis on another lovely morning.
We have been so blessed with the weather.
Sturgis is getting ready for the huge motorcycle rally.
There are around 6000 permanent residents in Sturgis and next week there will be an additional 500,000 or more motorcyclists.
All accommodation in a 250mile radius is booked out for the week.
The concert lineup at the Buffalo Chip Campground includes Alice cooper, the Doobie brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more big names.
The Victory and Indian motorcyle companies are launching new bikes.
The temporary stores and display tents have been set up.
The Tee shirt stalls are stocked.
Traders are using all sorts of show rooms. Here it is a truck.
We stop for breakfast.
The cafe has this sign at the door.
They only serve coffee so we pop across the road to McDonalds.
Meet Kari, Janice and Sharon who live at Sturgis. Sharon worked in office admin and Janice in Child day care; they are retired. Kari is a cosmetologist. What a super group of women.
They told me that Sturgis has to be experienced once... Thereafter it has to be endured - if you live in Sturgis.
They live in Sturgis.
This McDonalds store holds the world record for sales during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the manager expects to exceed the record each day next week.
I am glad we are here before the crowds!
We see plenty of motorcyclists on the roads in South Dakota who are getting ready to converge.
We ride toward Buffalo on the I 90.
At the gas station there is a line up of election posters.
Candidates for Sherriff, Treasurer, Assessor, Commissioner...
This is democracy.
I don't know what, if any, qualifications candidates need for these roles.
In some places we have seen candidates for county auditor, magistrate and judge.
And here is a clear statement on this candidate's position on the right to bear arms - under the second amendment.
We decide to detour and visit the Devil's Tower a National Monument.
The tower stands alone in the landscape.
We are glad to have our National Parks annual pass. It was a very well spent $80 at the start of our journey back at Kings Canyon in California.
There is a prairie dog city just inside the entry to the park. They are burrowing rodents and they live in social groups in burrows. They are very appealing to watch.
Farming of grasslands has destroyed around 98% of their habitat
Getting closer to the Devil's Tower. A sentinel that has survived millennia of weathering.
The I90 is sealed with locally sourced red gravel. It looks very smart.
We leave the I90 after lunch at Buffalo and take HWY 16, the Cloud Peak Skyway over the hills to Ten Sleep and Cody.
We stop at Ten Sleep for petrol.
I notice Dick dancing about when he went to put his helmet on. He is definitely not asleep.
He had been surprised by a field mouse (mistaken as a snake) that was nestled inside his helmet. Not sure whether the mouse had travelled with us from Deadwood or had climbed up the bike to the pillion seat where Dick has put his helmet.
The lady at the gas station recommended we take the road via Hyattville to Cody
Good recommendation, No one else was on the road which took us through irrigated farmland and some very small towns.
The long straight into Cody.
The black top adds to the warmth of the 104.9degF air temperature.
This was the hottest we have ridden in.
Just as well that the bike is air conditioned!
Very effectively, too, so long as it is moving!
We arrive at the Chamberlin Hotel to a wonderful welcome from Ev...
...and his daughter Kelly.
Ev has sailed in New Zealand. He will be sailing back again later this year. His steel hulled yacht 'Running Free' is waiting for him in Tahiti. He sailed it solo from San Diego last Spring.
They know Nelson and Marlborough well. Kelly has has fish at chips at the Slip Inn in Havelock. My childhood hometown.
These coincidences are a delight.
We had a wonderful evening at the Chamberlin. You will, too.
Meanwhile if you meet Ev or Susan in Nelson or Marlborough give them a great kiwi welcome.
Another wonderful day on the bike.
We reached another milestone today. We have circumnavigated the USA from Cody to Cody.
We were in Cody with Ken in August 2012 on our Ice to Ice motorcycle journey.