North to Alaska
This is a test – repeat this is a test – had this been an actual emergency you would have been instructed to tune your radio to ……..
It’s a glorious morning. A grand day for a test of man and machine.
Pain pills have become a staple over the last several days. There really is no treatment for broken ribs – the best you can do is manage the pain.
I take my medicine and I’m off on a local trip today – I want to see how the Valkyrie and I take to the road after our get off in the Badlands.
As I head across town to pick up 79 south to the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop, I’m appreciating Bill Whittington and his wife. Ran into Bill at the Honda dealer yesterday afternoon – and he invited me out to his house last night – to talk Valkyries. Thanks Bill for coming to visit me in the hospital – and the invite last night – your Interstate sure looks better than mine.
When I came home last night, I planned several trips for today. The long one is 350 miles and the short one is 100 miles – with a decision point that depends on how we are doing.
Notwithstanding the uncertainty of the remainder of this trip – I have planned visits to Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument – to pick up a couple more passport stamps.
As I drive through Custer, I am reminded of the refrain, “Where deer and antelope play.”
I don’t stop to photograph the Bison – had some great shots of them just before the accident – but I find antelope and wild burros willing subjects. The prairie dogs are chattering as well – and both Wind Cave and Jewel Cave are just covered up with tourists. I never have been much of a cave dweller – so I get my passport stamped and move on.
The decision point comes at the intersection of 85 and 585 in Four Corners, WY – stay on 85 and head back to Rapid City – and reconsider the remainder of the trip – or turn north on 585 and head to Devil’s Tower – extending the ride to 350 miles.
Turns out it’s a no-brainer – I’m feeling fantastic – the Valkyrie is running flawlessly – the cool morning air is inviting – it’s past time for my pain medication – and I don’t need it. Healing is happening on the road – perhaps it’s mind over matter, but this is where I want to be – and this is what I want to be doing – it’s north on 585 to Devil’s Tower.
Wyoming whispers to me, “I told her you were coming.”
“Who did you tell, I was coming?” I responded.
“Well, Montana, of course.” Was the reply!
I marvel at the rolling hills and rugged buttes of Wyoming – Devil’s Tower is here and gone before I know it – I’m rolling effortlessly back toward South Dakota – and daring to hope that Alaska may still wait for me on this trip.
The healing would be complete – if only I could sleep in the arms of Montana – tomorrow night. And Wyoming has whispered my arrival.
So to you and Iowa Sioux and Wuss, Malinois, E. Carbondale, IL – I say goodnight, perhaps for the last time, from Rapid City, SD.