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Ride to Wind Cave – Ride Report #2(22 posts)

Ride to Wind Cave – Ride Report #2Scot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:27 AM
While still on my vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota I arranged with the family to meet me at Wind Cave National Park visitors center. They drove, I pedaled. This ride took place on July 8th. Here's the route.
The StartScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:29 AM
Here's a shot from our rented cabin. The high mountain is Harney Peak, the highest point between the Rockies and the Alps.
Fourth SwitchbackScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:31 AM
I'm on my way back up to the Needles rock formation that I approached from the other direction in the previous report. I've learned a little something about the time these climbs take, so I've given myself more time for this ascent.
Mule DeerScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:34 AM
This doe just stood and stared at me as I climbed past.
Eye of the NeedleScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:36 AM
This is the top of the Needles rock formation. This is called the Eye of the Needle
Needles TunnelScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:37 AM
View south from the NeedlesScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:39 AM
1988 BurnScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:42 AM
I descended down from the Needles and Cathedral Spires and climbed up Mount Coolidge. Much of this area was in a major forest fire in 1988. Here's a view from an overlook looking south.
PronghornsScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:44 AM
Just before the entrance to Wind Cave National Park I came across a group of Pronghorn Antelope grazing on the wildflowers.
Wind Cave National ParkScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:48 AM
Here's the entrance to Wind Cave National Park. WCNP is mostly open prairie versus tree covered hills like I've been riding through up to this point.
Prairie DogsScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:50 AM
My constant companions along this leg were the Prairie Dogs. They were constantly barking out a warning to there fellows regarding my approach. Either that or it was the Prairie Dog version of "Fred", "Poser", and "Wannabe" .
Despite the WarningsScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:52 AM
Hard to AvoidScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:54 AM
This big guy was scratching himself on a roadside barrier. Proving that SUV's can be useful to cyclist, I hid behind one. :)
Hard to AvoidTheJoker
Jul 13, 2003 2:03 PM
holy cr@p! you have these crazy beasts walking round the roads?
Hard to AvoidTheJoker
Jul 13, 2003 2:07 PM
btw - nice pics!

top tip - you might want to try adjusting the 'levels' and increasing the saturation a little, when you do this and look at the original pic it will seem as though the original was really foggy. any half-decent photo software will let you do this.
The FinishScot_Gore
Jul 13, 2003 10:56 AM
Wind Cave Visitors Center. Wind Cave may be the biggest cave in the world (they haven't found it all yet). Its largest natural entrance is about the size of a basketball hoop. The family and I took a tour, not to be missed if you go.
Great report, ScottMel Erickson
Jul 14, 2003 5:37 AM
Reminds me of the family trip we took about 10 years ago. We hit all the same spots but instead of road biking we tried mountain biking. On one of the dirt paths we encountered a bull Buffalo just like the one you saw, laying right in the path. We rounded a bend to find the big fella about 30 ft. away. We turned around pretty fast and skeedaddled. My kids still say the Black Hills trip was the best vacation we ever had. Did you make it to the Mammoth Digs?
Great report, ScottScot_Gore
Jul 14, 2003 6:44 AM
We didn't make it to the Mammoth digs, but we re-booked for next year. Things we didn't make it to, but I'd like to see are, the Mammoth Site, Jewel Cave, the long spelunking tour of Wind Cave, and my wife wants to go up on the arm of Crazy Horse.

Scot
Don't forgetMel Erickson
Jul 14, 2003 7:27 AM
Devils Tower, it's a little bit of a drive but it was fun. Also, we noticed when we were travelling to the Black Hills that there were alot of motorcycles on the road. It then dawned on us that we would be out there during Sturgis. At first we thought it would be a bad thing. It actually turned out to be pretty fun with some great stories and experiences. We decided to drive through Sturgis on our way to Devils Tower and it took us over an hour to get through, and Stugis is not very big. It was a real carnival, to say the least. Forget the Hot Springs (by Mammoth Digs). It's just a big, luke warm, indoor swimming pool with a gravel bottom.
Great report, ScottGiant_Tom
Jul 15, 2003 8:41 PM
"and my wife wants to go up on the arm of Crazy Horse."

As far as I know the only time this is possible is the first weekend in June for the Volksmarch event. It's a 10k walk, attracts thousands of people and it's a lot of fun.

Great ride report Scot and gave another reason to head out to the Black Hills.

Maybe we'll run into each other sometime in Bloomington.

Tom S.
Donate enough money and they'll take you up to the armScot_Gore
Jul 16, 2003 8:41 AM
She likes the cause and wants to do it, so we'll be giving them some money next year for the private tour.

If your a local guy, look for me at dawn in West Bloomington. I'm out almost everyday at that time. Say Hi.

Also, have you seen the RBR gathering invite on Rides & Clubs. Come join us.

Scot
Great ride report!dcdre
Jul 14, 2003 5:51 AM
I travelled through that area 4 years ago when I went cross country (in a car though!). Your pics brought back a lot of great memories.