Day 7 - Iron Butt 4810

Iron Butt 4810 – Day 7

Today we finished South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wyoming. We took advice from other riders and started early, limiting our breaks to 15 to 20 minutes when we stopped for gas. And we managed to knock out 1015 miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah! RD already had a Saddle Sore award, but this was my first. An Iron Butt Saddle Sore is a 1000 mile ride completed within a 24 hour time period. RD rode from Oklahoma to Needles, California in a little over 17 hours. I’m pretty jacked.

Today started out with a huge billboard in South Dakota warning us to watch out for jackrabbits. Great. Another animal to add to the dangerous to people on motorcycles list. What’s with the jackrabbits in South Dakota? Why would they spend money on a large billboard on prime highway land just to advertise rabbits? I’m thinking of the killer rabbit in Monty Pythons “Holy Grail.”

While yesterday we seemed to be wearing all the wrong gear, today we had all the right stuff. The weather was sunny and cool. The road was long and straight. We flew.

We decided to get to Belle Fourche, Wyoming by taking 85 South and God smiled. It was the most awesome 120 miles of heaven I’ve seen yet. Picture this. Rolling green hills cut out here and there by ravines, gulleys and ponds. In the background are occasional juttings of mountains. Not too many. Just enough sprinkled here and there for effect.

Rarely did we see any sign of humanity. No houses, no barns. Even the power lines faded away. But there were animals. I was on deer and moose duty (I think RD is pulling my leg on the moose) and was supposed to alert RD when I saw any. I’m getting pretty good at reading his sign language. A curved “c” hand flicked in a tight circle means, “tell me only about the deer on the side of the road not the ones out in the pasture with their babies!”

Sheesh! The only time we were in danger, he was oblivious. A full-grown antelope with big horns was running full speed ahead to cross the road about 30 feet in front of us. I didn’t have time to do anything but wave one arm. The antelope saw us, or heard us, or both. Thankfully he spooked and pivoted, running in the direction he’d come from. RD was zipping his vents closed and missed the whole thing. Should I be worried?

Today I saw 2 herds of buffalo. One on the road to Belle Fourche. Like 25 or thirty of them. Just hanging out being buffalo. How cool! I also saw many herds of antelope. Never saw those in the wild before either! Then I saw a very small deer. I couldn’t believe his mother left him all alone. As we passed by he stood up on his haunches and flexed his ears. JACKRABBIT!!! I added killer rabbits to the list right after moose.

See you on the road,


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