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Discussion Starter #1
I usually just pick a direction and go, but I'm going to plan a trip for once. I live in Plymouth county Iowa (NW corner) and am looking for about 6-12 hours of riding one way to get somewhere, then two days riding around that area, then head back. Obviously I could do the Black Hills in western South Dakota, but what else is there within that 6-12 hour ride time from here? (6-12 hours at roughly the speed limit mind you. I'm not going for any records or a gumball run here.) I would prefer to stay away from the cities as I hate large crowds of people and those abominable eyesores people refer to as skyscrapers.
 

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I believe I'd head for the South Dakota Badlands and Black Hills, possibly with sidetrips to Bellvedere, SD, to visit the 1880s town (lots of "Dances With Wolves" scenery and props there) and Wall, SD, to visit the famous - or is that infamous - Wall Drug Store. Sounds stupid perhaps but it is pretty amazing and it's something of an American icon. You can still get 5 cent coffee there!

There's also a campground on the White River in the Badlands where you can see more stars at night than you ever thought existed - and the river is actually white.

Rapid City is a nice little town, and there aren't any skyscrapers. As I remember, the tallest building in four stories - that doesn't qualify. Not to mention it's close to Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon, and Sturgis. Spearfish Canyon was the site of the winter Indian camp at the end of Dances With Wolves, if that sort of thing interests you. Even if it doesn't, Spearfish Canyon is a great ride. In fact, most of the back roads in that area are great rides. And if you approach Mount Rushmore from the south, you'll pass through a handful of tunnels and be able to see Mount Rushmore through each of them - pretty cool.

IMHO, it's one of the best kept secrets in the country - except in the winter when the major activities are shovelling snow and trying to stand upright in the wind.

Good luck with whatever you decide on, and have a safe trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I believe I'd head for the South Dakota Badlands and Black Hills, possibly with sidetrips to Bellvedere, SD, to visit the 1880s town (lots of "Dances With Wolves" scenery and props there) and Wall, SD, to visit the famous - or is that infamous - Wall Drug Store. Sounds stupid perhaps but it is pretty amazing and it's something of an American icon. You can still get 5 cent coffee there!

There's also a campground on the White River in the Badlands where you can see more stars at night than you ever thought existed - and the river is actually white.

Rapid City is a nice little town, and there aren't any skyscrapers. As I remember, the tallest building in four stories - that doesn't qualify. Not to mention it's close to Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon, and Sturgis. Spearfish Canyon was the site of the winter Indian camp at the end of Dances With Wolves, if that sort of thing interests you. Even if it doesn't, Spearfish Canyon is a great ride. In fact, most of the back roads in that area are great rides. And if you approach Mount Rushmore from the south, you'll pass through a handful of tunnels and be able to see Mount Rushmore through each of them - pretty cool.

IMHO, it's one of the best kept secrets in the country - except in the winter when the major activities are shovelling snow and trying to stand upright in the wind.

Good luck with whatever you decide on, and have a safe trip.
I've been out there 4 times, but still haven't seen it all. The cave in Keystone and the Cosmos mystery area, the canyon roads and Deadwood and Hot Springs are on the yet to conquer list. Went to Sturgis the one time, probably won't ever go again. Too commercial. There is an awesome road between Keystone and Hill City, it follows the 1880 train route between the two towns.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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SW Wisconsin is great riding. If you end up heading that way drop me a line and I will send you a map of great roads. Mindoro Gap is a must, & get a great greasy burger at Hansen's Hold Up. Gator Pretzel road is fun too. Spring Green (5 mi from Lonerock, WI; but I get my name from Lonerock, IA) has a nice cheap hotel "The Round barn." Great riding all through there.

If you go to SD make sure you go to Spearfish canyon. Great ride.
 

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I agree that S.W. Wisconsin is hard to beat!


A little west of the Black Hills you will find the Big Horn Mtns. Google Bear tooth Pass and Chief Joseph Hwy. Depending on when you expect to go. Bear tooth I believe is usually closed until mod June and still then it can be hit or miss. If camping there is a very motorcycle friendly campgrounds about 6 or 7 miles west of Chief Joseph on Bear tooth. I don't remember the name right at this moment.

Just look for hwy's. 14, 14w and 16 and then Cody, Wy. and Red Lodge Mt. hwy 212

Be sure to give a shout out if you are headed to Wisconsin.

Ride Safe!
 
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