Sturgis now over and being the last of our ‘deadline’ until New York then Montreal, we are heading for the great Lakes before stopping in Amish country next. I want to ride through Badlands National Park before leaving the area, and we are not disappointed.
We pick a zig zag route north – we need to get through the vast flat, tiringly boring area of North Dakota safely and give ourselves a break from the winds. We are not great distance riders anyway and the monotony of the deadly straight stretches means we need even more stops. We overnight in Pierre before stopping in Fargo for 2 nights. It is the first time we are spending more than one night in one spot since Casper, as the lack of posts for the past 2 weeks testify!!
We still see many Harley Davidsons, a few Honda Goldwings and the odd BMW or other brands obviously making it to Sturgis for the last few days of the rally or riding home, wherever that might be. About half of them take their bikes on trailers and only ride in Sturgis or maybe the surrounding area. We are glad we didn’t chicken out completely based on everyone’s “warnings”. One day and night there was perfect for us. We see a bike pulled over and of course stop in case he needs help. He has a puncture, is waiting for the tow truck but would like to pump some air into his flat so that he can ride up the tow truck ramp without damaging his tyre. He is from Winnipeg, went to Sturgis but didn’t take any repair tools with him. Glad we can help.
As we are riding, we discuss all the things we need to do while in Fargo and we quickly decide we will stay an additional day so that we can relax a bit too. It is always great to go to bed knowing there is no rush in getting up in the morning.
As we ride east then north of Aberdeen, there are so many lakes. We have seen fields and fields of wheat, soya beans, sunflowers and I ask Anthony whether rice is grown here as it would be a great use of the natural water available here. My question is answered when we cross Wild Rice river and confirmed with a Google search later.
Had to stop in Miller and take a photo for my mum:
Having watched the Republican, or commonly referred to GOP (Grand Old Party) candidates debate last night in Pierre, it is interesting to listen to various commentaries on different channels the next day. Over the last 2 months in the US, we have met many people who have willingly shared their political views with us. Never before have we felt such a gulf between the Republicans and Democrats. It seems that over the last few years, under Obama, views and parties have become polarised. And they are not class related as I originally thought. Very simply and maybe simplistically, there are those on the left, the Democrats, who believe there should be safety nets and programs to help everyone under every circumstance, while those on the right, the Republicans, who do not want or expect the government to be everything to all people, are tired of being ‘institutionalised’ with too many laws about every aspect of their lives, and believe it is up to individuals, who are able to, to make it for themselves.
While in Fargo, we upload photos and videos, make space on our desperately full iPads, do all our washing, make some plans and bookings for our time back in Europe, send emails, skype family, message friends, go to the movies, get our hair cut, write new posts for the past 2 weeks, do some basic bike maintenance, write emails and … spend time with our feet up watching tv and simply relaxing.
It is funny how after just over 24 hours in our lovely hotel, I am itching to get out onto the road again, missing the wild open spaces of Kyrgyzstan… And it feels very strange to think that one month from now, our trip will nearly be over, with our bikes with Air Canada ready for shipping back to the UK, a day ahead of us… The excitement of seeing family mixed with so many other feelings…