We biked the 20 miles to Spearfish this morning, and found a bike shop first thing. The guys in there were incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, and they helped us make sure everything would continue to run smoothly. After taking a quick look at Aidan’s bike, they assured us we wouldn’t be going anywhere until we replaced his back tire, which had worn through to show some threads!
So Aidan swapped it out for his spare, bought a new spare, and our bikes were set to go. We took time to deal with a few details on the bikes too – taping over peeling handlebar wrap, pumping tires, cleaning and oiling our chains. Thank you to everyone at Two Wheeler Dealer for helping us and for letting us use your space and tools!
We spent the rest of the day in Spearfish – at a coffee shop, buying groceries, and eating dinner. And then it was time to hit the road – 6:30 pm, and we started on our way toward Devils Tower, which was 60 miles away.
We were able to make decent time with the evening temperatures, and soon found ourselves entering Wyoming! This is a state we have really been looking forward to!
And it didn’t disappoint. The landscape began to change right after we crossed the border – I guess that spot was chosen for a reason! We started seeing more and more trees, and the hills started to get bigger.
We took a moment to stop and appreciate Wyoming’s motorcycle handlebar law.
Soon we were climbing hills with forests on either side. The sun had gone down completely at this point, but it was a full moon, and we let that light our way. Every half hour or so, a car would pass us, at which point we would turn our front lights back on to be visible from all directions, but those moments were definitely few and far between.
Biking into the night like that was an incredible experience. The moon cast our shadows on the road beside us, and everything was quiet and peaceful. We kept staring at the horizon – were they clouds or mountains? We went back and forth, but eventually felt confident in calling them mountains, and realized that our path will take us right over them! We have some good climbs ahead!
Around 11:00, a pickup truck slowed down to say hi and to hear about our travels. And then with a somewhat offhand warning to keep an eye out for lions and bears (oh my!) which she has seen around there, she drove away. We kept pedaling, and although bushes started to look significantly more bear-like, the only wild animals we saw were deer.
The landscape opened up again at about midnight, as we reached the height of Mt. Mansfield then pedaled down out of the Black Hills.
Devils Tower became suddenly visible to us as we rounded a corner over a little hill, and it was just breathtaking. We had the full moon to our left, and an impressive view of this National Monument directly ahead.
We came very close to camping in a KOA, but realized that the scene there (too much lighting, a store, a pool, lots of RVs) was putting a damper on the beauty of the park. So we saved our $32, and biked into the park and to the campground there, where it was much more relaxed. We took the only site we could find, and fell asleep almost instantly – after stopping for some photos and to figure out camping, it was 2am by the time we actually stopped biking!