Riding in Dairy Country - Heading South For a Promise of A Warmer Winter - CycleBlaze

July 14, 2019

Riding in Dairy Country

Manitowoc to Fond Du Lac

We got up and got out by 7:30 this morning as it is supposed to be up around 88 later today!
Heart 1 Comment 0
We had a great ride in Wisconsin. Lots of dairy farms, corn, wheat and beautiful land.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The farms are huge
Heart 1 Comment 0
No traffic today
Heart 1 Comment 0
Checking out this war weapon
Heart 1 Comment 0
The corn is growing before our very eyes!
Heart 1 Comment 0
Great day today. We rode east to Lake Winnebago and then turned South for Fond Du Lac and our warmshowers host.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Mary's kitchen
Heart 1 Comment 0
Living room.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Home for tonight!
Heart 1 Comment 0
Mary and Mary! Mary in black is our host.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Steve is from Vancouver, Wa, Vickie is from San Luis Obispo, Ca. They are heading for Iowa to do Ragbrai!
Heart 1 Comment 0
After dinner we picked into cars and headed for Kelly's Dairy
Heart 1 Comment 0
Our first Wisconsin ice cream
Heart 1 Comment 0

Today's ride: 59 miles (95 km)
Total: 9,724 miles (15,649 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 3
Comment on this entry Comment 5
Nancy WrightHi, I'm back with information about riding across South Dakota!
Leaving Minnesota, we took US-14 to Brookings, nice town that even has a bike shop. (Note: in MN, on Route 14, there can be traffic between New Ulm and Sleepy Eye)

Leaving Brookings, you could take US-14 all the way to Wall. But there isn't much on that route, and you would miss the entrance to the Badlands. We only ever went that route once, which tells you something about the route.

The route we took last time was better. Leave Brookings on Route 14. Then, go Left on US-81 to Madison, then continue on 81 when it turns west (right). A few miles later, when US-81 goes left, continue straight onto 34 to Howard. That was a nice small town, and there was a fabulous hotel on main street. They were trying to turn it into a conference center, but I don't know if it took off or if it's still open.

Leaving Howard, we took back roads to Mitchell, where you can see the Corn Palace. Then, take 16/14, a frontage road to the interstate, west to Plankinton. There was a nice campground there, and they also had cabins. 16/14 will take you almost to Chamberlain, the largest town you'll see until Rapid City. Take Business 90 through Chamberlain, cross the Missouri River, and then you have to take I-90 west as far as Reliance. There is no other way to get there, and there is a long uphill out of the river valley.

Take the exit for Route 47, then continue onto Route 248. This is another frontage road along the interstate, although in many places, it isn't right next to the highway. Not much along this road, which will take you all the way to Kadoka. Towns in between with services are Presho (has a small motel), Murdo (several motels and restaurants) and then Kadoka. Most of the towns on this route are small with no services. (After Murdo, the frontage road on the south side of the interstate might be 16 or 14)

From Kadoka, take the frontage road on the south side of the interstate. When it ends, take a left onto Route 240, and this will take you through the Badlands. There are lots of ups and downs. Go early to beat the heat. And don't go near the prairie dogs. They have some type of transmittable disease.

Wall is hokey and interesting. A stop at Wall Drug is required! There is a great little motel across the street from Wall Drug at the end of Main Street. Ann's Motel. She always let us check in early when it was around 100 degrees at noon.

Leaving Wall, you'll be on a frontage road for a mile or two, but then, you have no choice except taking I-90 again. (I checked back roads-they're all dirt and not the kind that's pleasant to ride on) There will be a climb out of the river valley after the rest area.

Take Exit 90/173rd Avenue. It will not look like an avenue, but it's how they number the roads across counties. Go left on 173rd, then right onto 14/16. It will seem that you are riding in the middle of nowhere for awhile. You would be correct to think that! In New Underwood, there is a decent convenience store on the corner. Continue on 14/16 to Box Elder, then take a right on West Gate Road (there is an air force base there). After crossing over I-90, go left on the I-90 Service Road. If you go left at the corner where Flying J is (decent services), then take the first right after crossing over the interstate, you can take smaller roads into Rapid City. I'd advise against taking Business 16. It has horrible hills, and it is desolate. Not know where you might stay in Rapid City, I will let you find your way into town. If you need directions to get through town, let me know.

Leaving Rapid City, take US-16 south out of downtown. After passing Perkins Restaurant and Colonial House Restaurant (great breakfast), take a left onto Cathedral Drive, then right onto Tower Road. This will go uphill (to the tower) and will become the US-16 service road. When it seems to dead end just before an intersection, go right, then left, and you will be at the intersection of Route 16/Mount Rushmore Road. After the long downhill (it's a screaming downhill), go left on City Rd T235 (across from the Reptile tourist trap)

Continue straight onto South Rockerville Road/T235. When it "T's", go left on Haney/Rockerville Road (still T235). This will eventually go downhill.

Take a right onto Route 40, which will bring you into the town of Keystone. Mount Rushmore is outside of town, but I'd advise against biking to it, as there is a miserable 3 mile hill to get there.

At the corner when 40 ends, go straight onto Old Hill City Road/Keystone Road. (It will cross over railroad tracks many times-it's a tourist train) It takes a right along the way at Watson Parker Road/323. At a fork in the road ("Y") stay right to stay on 323. In Hill City, go left onto Route 385, then left onto the Mikkleson Trail. It's unpaved but very good (and there won't be any motorcycles on it!) It will pass right by Crazy Horse Monument before reaching the town of Custer. There are many places to stay in Custer, but with the motorcycles in the Black Hills, it might be hard to find a place to stay.

Leaving Custer, take Route 16/Rushmore Road, which will take you into Wyoming and the town of Newcastle.

Whew, that's a lot of directions! Let me know if you have any questions!

Nancy
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Janet Anspach-RickeyTo Nancy WrightFantastic! From Newcastle to Spearhead? Then I-90 to Billings? You did some high mileage but I'm see places to break up the long days in the heat of August.
I'm going to check my maps and see if I can reserve up to Gillette by tomorrow before it's too late. I have us up to Rapid City right now. This is great help for the routing.
Once we get to 12 I know what to do (I hope) but can you fill me in on Wyoming and Montana up to that poknt?
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Nancy WrightWe went from Newcastle to Gillette. That's a long way, so maybe a stop in Moorcroft would work. From Gillette, the next stop is Buffalo. Unfortunately, the only way to get there is on the interstate, which does have great shoulders! There is only one real exit between Gillette and Buffalo, and the only thing there is a nice rest area.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Janet Anspach-RickeyTo Nancy WrightHi Nancy,
I have us booked all the way to Gillette! Your route saved us! What a good idea! I'm so glad we get to do the Mickelson Trail. We will get to Buffalo on the 11th which is the last day of the rally! It cost a little more in some of the places but not much. I'm really excited about being able to stay in Custer, see the monument for Crazy Horse, it's all great! Thank you so much! You are my trail angel.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Janet Anspach-RickeyTo Nancy WrightNancy, what an amazing ride across South Dakota! Thank you so much for all your help. We loved it!
Reply to this comment
1 week ago