Monday, August 8, 2016
a big change in plans
I got up early and headed for the badlands. It was almost midday when I got there but the scenery was impressive as always. I rode my bike for thirty minutes on a gravel road and that was fun. After that I drove to the Spearfish canyon and decided to get a fishing license just in case. The canyon was lovely and I got several hits on my spinning gear. I knew that the Sturgis rally was going on so I decided to drive to Sundance and stay at the only choice privileges property, a Rodeway Inn, not my favorite. I checked in and then went to the Longhorn Steakhouse and had an okay dinner of steak tips and shrimp. I had problems in the morning with the motel losing my check-in info and Rebecca, the front desk woman, was very rude. I had to check that I wasn’t double billed and before I found out Rebecca had run my number again. Fortunately I was only charged once and I was glad to leave that dump. I drove toward the Bighorns and decided to get a room up at Burgess Junction and I reserved one at the Arrowhead Lodge. I drove up to Ranchester and headed toward Burgess Junction, stopping try to fish a branch of the Tongue but when I got there it was much too small. I was a little nervous but as I approached Burgess I came across a tempting stretch of Prune creek. I stopped and was able to fish several tempting pools by walking along the creek. My knee felt fine and I had a lot of fun. I checked in and then went fishing again on a more secluded spot of Prune and I switched to my 4 wt and that was even more fun fishing several nice pools. It was still light when I got back to Arrowhead so I rode my bike for 30 minutes then ate the salad I purchased earlier. I got up to my room and settled in but my thigh started bothering me so I only did the ankle weights. It is always hard for me to sleep up in the Bighorns and with an aching leg it was impossible. I ended up taking 2 OTC sleeping pills and finally slept for a few hours. During that awful night I decided that it would be best to start back home. I would be very uncomfortable camping for the first two nights in Yellowstone (I wasn’t even sure I could get in the back of the truck) and I just felt very worn down. It was the right decision and at 7 in the morning after just the ankle weights I drove back toward Sheridan, taking several short naps along the way. I was thinking of going back to the Spearfish canyon but with all the motorcycles around I passed and drove on to the Badlands where I dropped into the park at exit 131 for a wonderful final view and some pictures, one of which I sent to my kayaking friend. I kept driving and finally decided to stop in Chamberlain, where I reserved a room at the Best Western. It was Sunday and there were no restaurants open past nine so I stopped at Al’s Oasis for a buffalo burger and salad. The motel was full of bikers but my room was fine and I was able to do more exercises though my thigh still hurt even though I had only done a few short walks all day. In the morning my thigh felt better and I did even more of my exercises and then started driving around 7. I stopped for naps and for a number of walks and I was even tempted to try out my bike but I decided to wait for tomorrow. I drove almost 600 miles and that means I should be home Wednesday with two 410 mile days. I am staying at the Comfort Inn in Coralville, just outside of Iowa City. For dinner I went to a Chinese buffet which was very good and inexpensive.