RIDE C2C L2 DAY 14: Lead to Hill City via the Mickelson Trail through the Black Hills

Aug 15, 2019

RIDE C2C L2 DAY 14: Lead to Hill City via the Mickelson Trail through the Black Hills

Miles: 44  - all but 2 on the Mickelson TraiL


Our tent rainfly was soaked, everything felt damp, and so we did a quick pack up and moved over to the covered patio to make our breakfast where it was dry.  Chatted with a group of Harley guys who were out from Pennsylvania for the Sturgis rally and rides around the area.  They thought we were nuts for carrying all our gear and pedaling.  We think they are nuts for riding such LOUD machines.


Today promised to be 100% off road on the Mickelson Trail - we are riding about 45 miles of this 100+ mile long trail through the Black Hills.  Being a former railroad route, there are gentle climbs and descents - 1-2% grade which is very rideable.  Good historical markers along the way, beautiful trestle bridges, 4 tunnels, and plenty of beauty.  Heavy forest gave way to sparser trees as we climbed.


We stop and read all of the info signs along the way...pretty fun and interesting history!


When on the road...(or trail) peanut butter and jam sandwich always does the trick!

One of the many trestle bridges!

 What are the odds - “Robin, is that you?” I hear from a mt. Biker coming our way...  Turns out Cathy Crouch, an old acquaintance from Bellingham, recognized me and Doug!  She knew were were in the area riding and she is touring around on her own.  Imagine that!

We had miles of slope up and slope down - we decided that our top speed on gravel roads, with some sandy spots that want to grab your tire (Doug got stopped twice in the soft stuff) is 17 mph (helps with having time to miss cow pies too).


Getting freshly pumped well water

The trail abruptly plopped us onto the main road in Hill City- it took us a few minutes to get our bearings and the car noise suddenly seemed overwhelming.  1/2 mile from the main town strip, we roll into the Trailside RV/camping Resort and find our tent site to be on an open field, in the bright sun, too close to the main road, with a rambunctious jumping dog running around us from the bike rental place just across the field  and I was grumpy.   After a good shower and conversations with the camp host, we negotiated a move to a vacant RV area that had shade, a creek, a table and chairs and power for us to charge our phones, etc.  AHHHH much better.


We walk into town for dinner at the Desperado (the oldest hewn log building in town 1870’s) and had to try their specialty appetizer of “fried dill pickles” - then a delicious dinner of brisket and trout.


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