Day 31 - Hill City to Hot Springs - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

July 3, 2016

Day 31 - Hill City to Hot Springs

Yet another dawn rising - -
But this time I am on top of a hill overlooking Hill City.
Random camped on a section of USFS land.
Free, quiet, beautiful - hmmmmm.
So I lolled about as the sun warmed my tent.

My Fantabulous, Free Campsite above Hill City
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Of course, I had to squeal my brakes down the steep hill.
(I pushed the bike up the night before.)
Replaced my lost helmet at the bike shop in town.
(It must have bounced off on the trail - I wasn't wearing it.)
I figure a helmet is a necessity, no?

The Steam Train Depot in Hill City
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Didn't get on the road until about 9:00 a.m. Yikes!
Then it was down the trail again - kinda so-so at first.
The highway is concrete and you can hear a million cars.
I never realized before, but cement pavement is so much louder.

Stream, Woods, and Trail
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But when the trail veered away from the road - wow!
There were jagged rock walls, forest, and just the trail.

Even Better
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Had a long lunch at Custer - massive tourist magnet.
All-you-can-eat pizza until I hurt. So I had to nap for a while.
I was almost embarrassed that I had only done 16 miles before 2:30.

Custer for the 4th of July - Total Zoo
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Then took the highway rather than the trail.
The trail is in poorer condition and the highway traffic is much less.
Headwinds until a storm hit - then tailwinds - hooray!

Bicycle Sculpture in Pringle
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I loved Wind Cave N.P. - the cave tours were all booked -
But the landscape was untouched - where the plains meet the forest.
Wind Cave made a serene transition between ecosystems.

Wind Cave N.P. - Where Grasslands and Forest Meet
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Then had a wail of a downhill into Hot Springs.
With a headwind.

But I had to beg for a place to camp in the full campground.
(Even though there was plenty, plenty of room.)
I smiled sheepishly while I got a mini-lecture from the park ranger.

This Buffalo Is Not Made of Fiberglass
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Today's ride: 49 miles (79 km)
Total: 1,475 miles (2,374 km)

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