This is going to be brief, because the trip was brief. Too brief.
Day one (Friday August 3rd, 2001) - 576 miles
Packed the night before, so I could leave at 7:30. I was riding my 1987 Harley Davidson FLTC with a tour pack from an even older bike that I adapted and painted over the winter. Weather was good. I headed down highway 93 which has some beautiful overlooks. Got gas, coffee and donut in Arcadia. Turned right (west) in Centerville to get to Winona. I asked a motorcycle commuter how to get to highway 14 and he said take Huff Street, which turned out to be good directions. Better than last time! The lesson that I learned last time was this: If you see a fat guy outside running in 90 degree heat, you should assume that there is something wrong with his brain.
Went into Minnesota on Hwy 14 and stopped in Owatanna for gas. Getting about 49 miles per gallon. Stopped again in Walnut Grove for juice and jerky. Temperature in the afternoon was like a blast furnace. I got some weird monkey-looking sunburn from wearing goggles. Ate dinner at 6:00 (actually I ordered a large breakfast) in Huron, South Dakota. The state fair was going on. A guy told me the town is losing population. On the road, there were butterflies everywhere. I also saw fields full of modern windmill generators. They turned slowly in the moderate wind.
I got into Pierre in the early evening with plenty of sun left. The gal at the convenience store was very friendly, in fact, the whole town seemed that way. She told me all about the camping in the area. I ended up at the city park called Griffen Park. It is a nice park with flush toilets and sinks and you can camp for free right along the river, so I did. It was still over 90 degrees at 9:00 pm, so I went and got a 40 of malt liquor and started walking around barefoot. The barefoot part turned out to be a mistake later (blisters) but I really enjoyed walking around that town. The capitol building is lit up nicely at night. Then I sat outside my tent and looked at the full moon over the Missouri river. It was awesome. I didn't get much sleep. You would get arrested for camping like this in my town.
Day two (Saturday) - 220 miles
Ate in Pierre then headed for Wall Drug, staying on highway 14 all the way. The weather couldn't have been better, but you could tell it was going to get hot again. I hung out at Wall Drug for a while, drinking soda and watching people. I left there at 11:00 and went to Sturgis. Went downtown to Gunner's bar to meet a friend's sister who works there and relay a greeting. It is an excellent bar, but eventually I had to leave to walk around in the zoo outside. The heat hit me like a hammer and I had to switch to lemonade because the beer kind of dehydrated me. I had a good time checking out the bikes and the people. Then I ended up camping at Bulldog campground at the Pleasant View exit east of Sturgis. The old vet that runs the place is a genuine character and his wife is a real charmer. They run a good camp - I'd go there again. It rained a few huge drops. I got a good nights sleep listening to the roar of the Harleys on the hiway.
Day three (Sunday) - 736 miles
I knew I couldn't make it all the way to Crandon where my family is camping, so I thought I'd super slab it back to Eau Claire for an overnite and some fresh laundry. I got an early start because the heat was going to be scorching. The wind was blowing really hard so I had to keep speed down a little. I'd stop for gas and spend as much on stuff to drink. I let the bike cool down for half an hour in Chamberlain and added some oil. I took I-35 north at Albert Lea. Cage drivers are overly aggressive on this stretch. There was a construction detour, but I eventually got to 494 then I-94 east. Got to Eau Claire 8:50 pm. I was really spooked about deer on the last stretch. Tomorrow, Crandon! This all went way too fast.