Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Touring Series: The Rapid City Scene!

A Guitar Ted Productions series
 Thanks for joining me again on another adventure in "The Touring Series". This tour was dubbed the "Race Against Death Tour". This tour occurred in August of 1995. The three participants, Ryan, Troy, and your's truly, left from Cedar Falls, Iowa to try and get to Winter Park, Colorado in two weeks. Here I am reproducing the tale, mostly as it was posted on the blog in 2009. There are some new edits and additions. I also will add new remarks and memories where appropriate at the end of each post. 

 Once again, there were no cell phones, internet, social media platforms, or digital cameras in use by we tourers in 1995. I will post images where I can, but this tour wasn't well documented in images, so there probably will be very few sprinkled throughout. A modern image will be used only where it depicts things I want to clarify, like where we were in that part of the tour via a map image, or the like.

The "Touring Series" will appear every Sunday until it ends, which should be within about a month. Look for past entries by scrolling back to a previous Sunday's post, or type in "Touring Series" in the search box to find more. 

After a really weird, tough, and draining day, "The Race Against Death Tour" takes its leisure in Rapid City, South Dakota...........

The end of the weirdest, toughest, most emotionally draining day I have ever had on a bike was a welcomed thing. I wasn't the only one feeling this way. All three of us were ready to forget all about the day and find a great meal, a hot shower, and a restful nights sleep- not necessarily in that order!

The Casa Del Rey with it's owners, circa 1974. A Walgreens stands on this site now. Image courtesy of the Rapid City Journal
Obviously, showers were the first order of business. As we got settled into our motel rooms, we perused any neighborhood restaurant opportunities and found a Mexican joint up the road called the Casa Del Rey. We hit the streets and walked over to this place that was oddly dark inside. It was still quite bright out and we had quit the day with plenty of daylight left to us, so the interior darkness seemed odd to me. Cool air conditioning, soft seating, and waiters were also odd things. I think we all felt like kings after foraging for peanut butter sandwiches and begging for water for several days!

Well, although we ate huge platters of wonderful Mexican grub, we were still not quite satisfied. Yes- we only rode 76 miles this day, but we worked harder for that 76- the last 40 plus in the crazy wind- than we had for anything else during the whole tour so far. Our bodies were blowing through calories at an alarming rate. So, it really isn't any wonder then that as we left Casa Del Rey we were looking for something else, and that something else was Dairy Queen!

Now the DQ in Rapid City was on a main stretch of highway going through town. There was lots of afternoon traffic here, most of which was peppered with Sturgis motorcycle goers. The DQ was hopping, and we were obliged to fall in a waiting line that was outside the front doors. As we stood there, Troy lit up all of a sudden, "Oh my God! Did you see THAT! Did you f#@king see THAT!" Well, we had to calm him down a bit, but he saw a Harley go by with two riders, a man and a woman. The woman was wearing a halter top and chaps. Period. Yes.......that was bare for the world to see. I told Troy that Sturgis was sort of a wild affair, but he still couldn't get over the woman's choice of dress.

Our motel receipt.

Then Ryan pipes up with one of his Ren and Stimpy bits. Troy asked me what I was getting, and when I turned behind me to ask Ryan what he was going to get, he says in Ren's voice: "Ice cream.........SANDWICH! I love your oh so creamy center!" As he finishes the statement, a girl right behind him jumps back and looks at me saying, "Is he all right?"

Laughter all around while the confused girl just gets disgusted with us clowns and turns around. At any rate, I got the best tasting Blizzard I ever had that evening. I was satisfied. Oh yeah, this was when Blizzards were served upside down to prove how thick they were, and these were really thick!

Back at the room, we watched kick boxing for an hour or so before turning out the lights. Troy and Ryan were really into it. I wasn't so much, so I just stood back, reflecting on how much fun I was having with these two guys. What an incredible day! One I won't forget for a lifetime, that's for sure!

So, I'd been through so many emotions on this day. Literally from high to lowest of low and back again. I'd gone through something life-changing, but at the time, I wasn't really aware of it yet. The things happening were so impactful and present that reflection on what had occurred wasn't going on. I had no idea what day it was, or what time it was. We were totally disconnected from our normal lives, time, and responsibilities. We were left without any distractions from "the now" of our surroundings. There would be plenty of time to reflect later.

Next week: A Big Announcement

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