Kelly McGarry

Sad Mountain Biker's Tale

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What’s a bike park bound road trip without hang-ups mixed in with stuff you might not see otherwise? Trey and I are known to have incredibly good luck, and we are also known to have a gray cloud that follows us around everywhere we go. This leg of our trip is the later part of that statement (If you don’t believe me ask Trey about being covered in poo four separate times during our first year on the road).

We left Billings, MT with great enthusiasm! Our good friends Jessica and Brian who travel full time, like us, were headed west on highway 90 as we were headed east. We met them halfway at a Flying-J’s truck stop to say “hi” and eat some lunch, curbside. Jess and Brian are our canyoneering friends. So, whenever we get together, (five to six times a year) it’s canyons and mountain bikes until we are all too tired to go on. We like to take them on trails like Caption Ahab in Moab and they like to make us rappel stupid long descents into cold and wet canyons. We are a perfect storm of extreme adventure.

After leaving the Flying-J, we were Rapid City, SD bound. Our plan was to stop at Devils Tower, Mt Rushmore, and then hit up the dirt jumps near Founders Parks in Rapid City. First stop along the route was Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. After our explorations of the tower we were in desperate need of food and sleep.

We found a quaint dry-camping spot along the river. We hunkered down and I began to make dinner. Halfway through making dinner, the propane tanks went empty, sending our tired eyes out on a hunt for propane at 9 o’clock at night. Unfortunately, our refrigerator runs off of propane, so running out is a big deal breaker! At least the tanks didn’t go out at 2am like they have so many times in the past.

The next day we cruised over to Mt Rushmore (can’t be missed when in Rapid City).

After that, we had BIG plans at the jump park in Rapid City! We arrived to dark skies, rain, extreme wind, and lightening.  We wanted to scope out the jumps first, thinking we would get to meet people, but it was completely dead! I’m sure the weather had nothing to do with the lack of airtime being had at the jumps (insert sarcasm here). Every time we thought it was going to clear, another front would move in, leaving us with no choice but to call it a day and find a place to camp for the night.

We drove about 50 miles, and pulled over in Wall, SD. The lightening was so bad that our dog “Dude” wanted to seek safety out in one of the  cornfields. He was in such distress there was no amount of comfort petting to calm him down. So, he spent a good part of the night jumping in and out of the bed and pawing at the blinds trying to escape.

The next morning was not much better. We drove almost 300 miles to a town just outside Sioux Falls, SD called Brandon, where we now sit writing up this blog post.

Current time: Here we sit in a pub writing up this sad number. We are hopeful the skies will clear. Our next riding spot will not be for a couple more days. Sad to report that we are in the middle of corn and soy, and Trey was just handed a Budweiser- beer with ice. His response “What is this”?

(Video by: Devon Balet /  Trey and I last year)

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