The Needles Highway.... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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The Needles Highway....

Got up to almost 80* today so I figured I'd ride either the Iron Mountain Rd or the Needles Highway (both here in the Black Hills). I got to the Needles Highway first so that's the one I took. A ton of bikes out running around and lots of large critters (buffalo). The highway hasn't been swept yet from the winter crap (it's not maintained during the winter) but not too bad. Some nasty gravel in the Eye of the Needle but everything else was pretty good. Came back down thru Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park. Got about 120 miles in all total.

Sorry, I didn't waste time taking pictures.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 07:06 PM
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I've been all through the black hills several times on my Harley. Can't wait to do it on my Versys. Further west in wyoming is h'way 14, 14A, cheif joseph h'way, and bear tooth pass. These are some of my favorite roads.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 08:26 PM
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Did all the roads mentioned during my 2012 tour on the Versys.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 08:40 PM
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Amazing. I wish I had stopped to take pictures on my ride there (2 years ago) but the road was so great and the riding was so much fun I couldn't bring myself to stop. And it's a long way from home for me, so I don't know if I'll ever make it back.

Enjoy. You live in a beautiful area!

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skypilot 69 View Post
I've been all through the black hills several times on my Harley. Can't wait to do it on my Versys. Further west in wyoming is h'way 14, 14A, cheif joseph h'way, and bear tooth pass. These are some of my favorite roads.


My brother lives outside Billings, MT so I've ridden those roads also. The Bighorns just got snow the other day so any riding in Northern Wyoming will have to wait a few more weeks. We are supposed to get a rain/snow mix several times this week.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 07:25 PM
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I had a good friend in Hot Springs and got up there a few times. The Needles was a nice drive but too much traffic! My friend was Alison who owned the guitar store (Canterbury String Shop) there across from the old RR building and was it an old jail next to the river? Sadly she passed away almost a year ago now.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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I had a good friend in Hot Springs and got up there a few times. The Needles was a nice drive but too much traffic! My friend was Alison who owned the guitar store (Canterbury String Shop) there across from the old RR building and was it an old jail next to the river? Sadly she passed away almost a year ago now.
I think there's still a music shop at that location. Good memory, a RR depot and the old Hot Springs jail sit side by side on the river.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 09:46 AM
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I'm glad I saw this! Ill be heading through that area in late June and will be stopping in Custer. I probably would have just ended up taking 385 the whole way and missed it.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 11:12 AM
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I think there's still a music shop at that location. Good memory, a RR depot and the old Hot Springs jail sit side by side on the river.
The last I heard was she turned the shop over to a young man who had been a student of hers. Jarrett is his first name iirc.

It was a great place to hang out or to find a great guitar. She had a number of other instruments, too, though mostly it was a guitar shop.

Alison worked at the Ovation guitar factory in Connecticut when she was younger, back in the 70's and 80's.. Her dad was a machinist at the factory who made many of the tools used to make the guitars. She was dedicated to bringing music to the Black Hills community, and she gave away a lot of time and instruments.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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I'm glad I saw this! Ill be heading through that area in late June and will be stopping in Custer. I probably would have just ended up taking 385 the whole way and missed it.

Custer's a hopping town during tourist season. Good food and lots of rock shops if you like sparklies. Going to be on a bike? In Custer long enough to meet up and have a cold one? I should be around the last 10 days or so of June.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 08:08 PM
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Custer's a hopping town during tourist season. Good food and lots of rock shops if you like sparklies. Going to be on a bike? In Custer long enough to meet up and have a cold one? I should be around the last 10 days or so of June.
Car unfortunately. The wife and I should be swinging through there on the 28th just grabbing supper. Was looking at eating at Black Hills Burger unless you know of somewhere better
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Car unfortunately. The wife and I should be swinging through there on the 28th just grabbing supper. Was looking at eating at Black Hills Burger unless you know of somewhere better

Black Hills Burger was good the last time I was in there........enjoy.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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The last I heard was she turned the shop over to a young man who had been a student of hers. Jarrett is his first name iirc.

It was a great place to hang out or to find a great guitar. She had a number of other instruments, too, though mostly it was a guitar shop.

Alison worked at the Ovation guitar factory in Connecticut when she was younger, back in the 70's and 80's.. Her dad was a machinist at the factory who made many of the tools used to make the guitars. She was dedicated to bringing music to the Black Hills community, and she gave away a lot of time and instruments.

I'm not a musician but I'll have to stick my head in there one day just to check it out.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 10:41 AM
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I'm not a musician but I'll have to stick my head in there one day just to check it out.
I hope folks will indulge a few off-topic photos.


This is Alison gifting a guitar to one of her students. That is a professional level guitar.




The rest were taken about 7 years ago when we were out there visiting Alison.

I don't remember this guy's name but he is a Hot Springs native who works for the city iirc. Funny guy.



This old guy could shred! And the kid next to him is Jarrett who I believe is who Alison gave the shop to when she passed.



This is her shop. I have no idea whose classic car that is.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 11:59 AM
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty sure that business is still there...........I'll have to go down town and see. I'll wait til the snow stops though. We got about 2" overnight (still snowing) and it is wet heavy crap.

No bike riding for a few days at least.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 10:45 AM
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I'm pretty sure that business is still there...........I'll have to go down town and see. I'll wait til the snow stops though. We got about 2" overnight (still snowing) and it is wet heavy crap.

No bike riding for a few days at least.
We got about 3" the other night but it is all gone already. Hopefully it gets up in the high 50s - low 60s like it is supposed to, 35 right now but the sun is out
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