RIDE C2C L2 DAY 13: Spearfish to Lead - up the Spearfish Canyon

Aug 13, 2019

RIDE C2C L2 DAY 13: Spearfish to Lead - up the Spearfish Canyon

Miles: 45

MEPS: 390

Highest incline to date: 9% grade AND on a gravel road (we get extra points for that)

You never know about a complimentary hotel breakfast, but the Black Hills Best Western in Spearfish, SD has a good one - waffles, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, variety of breads - but the best part was GOOD coffee and fresh baked cinnamon rolls AND a gluten free blueberry muffin for me!  Finding gluten free breads has been a bit of a challenge, so this was an especially appreciated treat.


Today is a very steady climb pretty much all day - but at about 1-2%, it doesn’t feel too bad.  We can ride at about 9-10 mph if there is no wind.  The sound of Harley Davidsons still disrupts the peace of the ride (Sturgis ends today - so we hope they are all going home!) The beauty of the Spearfish canyon distracts us all the way to Cheyenne Crossing, where we were told we HAD to stop to eat.


I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.


At Cheyenne Crossing, we turned of the main road on to the side road our friend at the bike shop told us about.  What peace! Pavement, then dirt/gravel road, then what... a 9% climb?  Eghads, that was hard.  


 We end the day at the Whitetail Resort where we camped along side the Whitetail creek.  The fairly new owner Chris (they bought it a year and a half ago) has added some cool amenities - the covered porch with tables and tabletop fire pits, TVs and a bar (!), fun swinging chairs, barrel saunas (which we didn’t use - way too hot for that).  Little did we know when we made the reservation here that it was on a 7% hill from town (Lead).  Also little did we know that Lead is nothing BUT steep hills.  

Our tired legs carried us on bikes to the grocery store where we bought a frozen bag of chicken-Asian-rice mix thinking we could one-pot cook it, then we went down a seriously steep road to the visitor center/chamber of commerce at the Homestake Gold Mine.  REALLY good info about this huge open pit mine where over 41 million ounces of gold were extracted.  The mine closed in 2002, then remade itself in 2007 as the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory where they conduct underground neutrino and xenon experiments, along with enhanced geothermal systems.  Fascinating!


Back at Whitetail Resort, we realized that the food we bought needed a microwave :-(  Chris, the resort owner, came to the rescue and offered to cook it for us (his wife and son helped with that) while we sipped a beer/spiked soda and chatted with him about life in the Black Hills.  He was a gracious host and we highly recommend the Whitetail Resort in Lead.  We went to bed with angry skies and warnings of tornadoes....(and were poured on in the night - but no tornado).



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