Alaska 2023

Day 23

July 30

  I get BlueBelle all loaded up and ready to roll since there are no breakfast options in the area.  
  I'll be mostly running I90 except for a little 'shortcut' on Highway 212 across the corner of Wyoming into South Dakota.  
  I do like their speed limits as you can make some really good time.  
  And once again I have the highway all to myself as the sun peeks over the mountains.  
  As I said, I do like their speed limits but I sure don't like their practice of graveling sections of the interstate in construction zones - the latter kind of negates the former.  

I've got my breakfast figured out since I've been this way many times. I'll be going right by Drummond and the Wagon Wheel Cafe. It has a rich local history -

Wagon Wheel Cafe and Motel has been around for 50 years in a small agricultural community. Our family restaurant has the local cowboy flavor. Home made soups and pies are a daily special, along with tempting lunch and dinner selections. Stop by and see us for a fresh slice of pie, cinnamon roll or orange roll.


  But much to my dismay, it has closed permanently and that is so sad. I hate to see when good local businesses go shut never to be opened again.  
  So breakfastless I am as I roll along the Montana interstate.  
  It's time to feed BlueBelle so I pull off at a Flying J in hopes that I also come up with some sort of breakfast for me too.  
  I get a sandwich of sorts and chips but I'm still thinking about the lovely omelet and homemade gravy I was looking forward to having at the Wagon Wheel.  
  The sky doesn't look promising other than promising for rain ...  
  but it finally lightens up a bit which encourages me.  
  The darkness seems to be moving to the south so hope springs eternal that I can stay dry without having to put on a rain suit.  
  I use to work with a hay hauler when I was a teenager, but they didn't have these big round bales in that day. The ones we loaded on the truck were of the square variety but they could weigh close to 100 pounds if the hay was baled up green.  
  I come to the get off for the Highway 212 cut across. I have learned from previous crossings that gas is mighty slim along this road so so I fill up here at the beginning of it..  
  It's nice a road with some good sweepers and some nice scenery.  
  But before long I am back on I90 and the land of the Wall Drug signs. They a constant reminder along this portion of I90 to be sure and stop there. I have before and it is pretty interesting but it's not on my agenda today.  
  The sky still looks pretty bad but the liquid is not falling so I keep riding on in hopes of making to my motel in the dry.  
  I am really glad to see this sign when I get to Rapid City as I am really tired and still a bit sore in my ribs.  
  There's Chili's in short walking distance so that will do nicely for supper.  
  I decide I will celebrate making it this far so I go for a ribeye steak and mashed taters - and they are quite good.  
  I've seldom meet a piece of good meat that I didn't like and I make short work of the one laid out before me.  
  There's a thing I call accumulated fatigue that I have experienced on long rides. It just sort of hits you at some point and you get really, really tired. I make my way back to my room and hit the sack as quickly as I can because I've got a bad case of it coming on. Once again I find a position that I think I can sleep in and it don't take me long to fade like a prize fighter taking a dive.