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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

2014 Black Hills Moto-Camping-Fishing Adventure - Part 4

If you've ever been to Sturgis you know the weather in South Dakota can turn on a dime.  As the sun started to set, the sky got weird.  I figured my tent was a very poor place to take shelter so I headed back to Mount Rushmore where they have covered parking.

I ate there and waited out the storm.  It was a fast moving system with heavy rain and lots of lightning.

I hung out a little while longer as the sky darkened over the wet faces of the presidents.

The next morning was sunny and clear.  Once again, that wouldn't last.

My biggest mistake of the trip was here.  I stopped to fish was was told by another fisherman that he was catching lots of trout at the base of these falls (below).  I had never caught trout before and didn't know what lures to use (I did not have fly fishing equipment) but I was excited as I've never caught a fish as big as a trout before.  I spent a lot of time watching trout jump out of the water and getting a few nibbles but I never caught any fish and lost a few lures.  The mistake I made was getting my boots too wet as I was walking around in the shallow water.  They got wet on the inside and were the only pair of footwear I had on my trip.

Defeated and mocked by the trout, I got back on my bike in wet boots and the sky was once again doing weird things.  It started to rain and I was heading towards the storm.  Then the rain seemed to get heavier and I though it felt like hail.  I made a quick U-turn to run away and seek shelter.  I found this place just in time.  Less than a minute after parking my bike under the overhang (with permission I might add), hail pummeled the ground.  It wasn't huge but it wasn't exactly small either.  Keep in mind, this was June 1st and ice chunks were falling from the sky.

Of course, the sun came out after the storm but all my gear was wet, my socks and boots were wet, and it was getting late.  I stopped to fish barefoot in the sun near my campsite and let my gear dry a little on the rocks.

Back at camp, I tried to dry my boots and I changed my socks.  I rode around and took a few photos that evening but my boots never fully dried and that was a problem.  I do not recommend getting river water inside your only pair of motorcycle boots while in the middle of your vacation.  It took a week or two of applying foot powder daily after I got home before my feet were back to normal.

The weather finally cooperates (for a little while) tomorrow.

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