Day 28 (Mt Rushmore)

Miles traveled: 134                                                                                                                       Location: Custer, South Dakota                                                                                                Today is the halfway point in miles traveled. Over 5,500 miles under the boots.

Least we forget:  For who knows what reason the kid of the 15 year old mother has been with me a lot today. No kid has a choice as to where they will be born much less who they will be born to. The only thing a kid knows is that he/she comes into the world ready to learn. It whole universe is contained in the house or apartment from which it is raised and the most influential years are 0-3. Most 15 year old mothers usually end up being some sort of furniture in whatever house they can find. It is usually an abusive situation because no one else in their right mind would share a house with this sort of person. What the baby learns is this is life and if it is abused to then it goes from a learning mode to defensive mode where learning is retarded. An the beat goes on to the next generation.

The Town of Custer: To give you a sense of the scope of the rally, last year there were over 700,000 bikers that came into the area from around the country. That is a lot of attitude and bodacious characters. The town of Custer has a main street with four lanes. They close off the center two lanes and make a bi-directional parking space out of them. As you can see from this early morning photo, about a quarter of the available spaces were taken.

Custer Park Road: this is one of the most beautiful roads I have ever ridden on. The lower portion has gentle turns and lush vegetation that comes right up to the road bed. However, once it starts to climb to say it is a two lane road is stretching it. This road does everything that a road is not supposed to do. It dog legs going up hill, it corkscrews in descending curves,  it U-turns on sloops, and at times in a turn I swear I could stand my bike on end. The worst part is that as you head into a turn, there is no real sense of what is waiting for you into a turn. On one dog leg, I found an SUV taking his share of the road plus really challenges the imagination. However, on the bright side is that I did notice some of those bodacious blonds on the back seat had white knuckles.

1st View of Mt Rushmore: On my first view of Mt. Rushmore, I had the feeling General George Washington was sneering through the decades admonishing us for foreign entanglements. This was something he warned us against at the end of his presidency. For some reason, my mind went back to a lunch conversation I was having back in 87 with a Sergeant from the El Salvadoran army. I asked him why the military did not squash the rebel movement back in the mid 60s when it was in its nascent stages. He said they could have and done it very neatly but then there would be no money coming in from the Alliance for Progress. Well, once the pipeline was shut down from the Alliance for Progress and its follow on programs, peace was declared and the rebels joined the government. Well, General George Washington, you called it and no one listened.

2nd View of Mt. Rushmore: This is really awe inspiring. To think that a person can see the potential for greatness and start carving in 1927 and finish with a work of art in 1941. Sort of like working a recovery program. As people peel away their wreckage from the past a new person emerges. Like the trash from the carvings, the wreckage is never far way but only heightens the beauty of the transformation. Sort of like the Phoenix.

2nd Run on Custer Park Roads:  We had some time this afternoon so we decided to travel another of Custer Part’s roads. It was challenging but not near as much the morning run. We stopped at one point to take a photo of the canyon by one road and this you can see on the right. Gives new meaning to the price of failure to navigate a turn. Went to start up the Gray Ghost and it would not start. Had to turn the bike around and jump start it on the way down. Bike week parties start hard tonight and tomorrow should be one of the biggest hangovers of the year. Hope to get in early and find a Yamaha vendor to fix or replace the starter. If not will go to the dealer in Rapid City and hope for the best.

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One Response to Day 28 (Mt Rushmore)

  1. David says:

    Well, we’ve been away from the blog for a few days. I realize now we have missed quite a bit. Scanning through we see the accident in Seattle, the windmills and some parallels with a friend recently released’s ongoing plight with a bone on bone hip. Thank you for the hard work and spreading the word. Stay safe and accept our prayers for you, Joe and those you may meet on the road.

    David and Marcia

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