Troubles with the bike, no matter how small, must always be addressed.
Our rear tire was wearing precariously thin and a new one would have to be sourced. Somewhere.
But first, the niggling business of “seeing America” would have to be taken care of.
Camp was broken in the Badlands and the mad rush to see America’s gems was on. Mt. Rushmore was had. Crazy Horse was begotten. A trip down Iron Mountain Road and a trip up Needles Highway were taken with verve and aplomb astride the legendary CB500T.
Blasting up through Hill City and on our way to Sturgis to source a tire, a chance encounter with one more American original was had. One of “only two independent shops left in the Black Hills,” Sic Vic’s House of Horsepower is a real oasis in this American desert of the mind. Look, Sic Vic is a real character. He hates Hondas but has a soft spot for those with an adventurous spirit. Stop in and talk to the man the next time you’re in the Black Hills. He might just hook you up with a brand new Dunlop and a can of sticky chainlube, all for wholesale through his connections in Rapid City. If you’re lucky, he might even just let you spoon on that new tire in the back of his shop and then balance the thing for free. And if he’s lucky, you might even just restore a little bit of his faith in that rare breed of fierce individual, the one that roams the wastelands in search of America, that rugged lonesome traveller who is so close now to the brink of extinction.
That dangling apple.
El Dorado man.
It’s out there. Somewhere.
Sic Vic, a quality gent.
But don’t you dawdle at the House of Horsepower too long, for the sun grows short in the sky! A ride into the Black Hills will find you a place in the forest for the night. Remember that a PBR tall boy will ease you to sleep in these magical hills, and help to drown out the horny bleats of most Elk.
On the morrow we struck West again, finishing the day in Ten Sleep, WY. And on the morrow after that we kept going, setting up shop in Shoshonee National Forest, having crossed the Rockies over a 9,000 foot pass. The mountains maintain an icy grip and are reluctant to give up their last snowfall. The snow piles high on the banks and air is crisp, clean, and cold in this American outpost. Breath it into your lungs, if you dare, and feel the spirit of the West, for you’ve made it.