Day 6
Sioux City to Keystone
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The Long Ride
As expected this day was a torture test. More than 400 miles of nothing until I reached the Badlands. On a motorcycle miles go by pretty slowly. No radio, no air-conditioning, no conversation, etc.
Since the ride was so boring let’s talk about Sacajawea, the only women on the Lewis and Clark expedition. This was one tough girl. She was 16 years old when she was brought on the expedition; the Indian slave wife of a trader-guide named Charboneau. She had just given birth and, in addition to everything else cared the child for the entire voyage. According to historical accounts she performed two acts that had a major effect on the outcome. One was the rescue of Lewis’ logbooks from a sinking keelboat during a storm. The other occurred when the expedition party ran into an Indian war party. Sacajawea recognized her brother among the Indians and the Lewis and Clark group was spared.

Sacajawea and her brother must have been pretty nice people. Personally if I was an Indian and ran into a group of white folks (that I out-numbered) who had enslaved a member of my family I think I might I have acted differently. I guess hindsight is always 20-20. Stay tuned for more about Native Americans in a couple of days...

People like dinosaurs around here. This was about the most interesting thing on the route and I had to stop at a Sinclair station because I remembered them from my travels as a kid. As I got closer to Rapid City I started seeing the masses of Harley riders that converge every year for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. What a variety of people!!

Badlands National Park
The Badlands National Park is like a moonscape. Once you enter it feels like a big hole in the Prairie and it is easy to understand why the Indians called it the Badlands. Nothing can grow in this place. It was about 100 degrees while I was there. It wasn't hard to deal with because the air was so dry, especially compared to the southeast a few days ago.