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As the cold and nasty weather begin to take hold, it's time to think about 2019. Another Gold Winger and I will be riding from Ontario Canada through MI, WI, MN, IA, SD and MT into Western Canada in May 2019. Tentatively something like this --> https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/44.0420115,-77.7375245/SD-87,+South+Dakota+57730,+USA/Mt+Rushmore+National+Memorial,+South+Dakota+244,+Keystone,+SD,+USA/Silver+Gate,+Cooke+City-Silver+Gate,+MT,+USA/Sweetgrass,+MT,+USA/@44.9437559,-103.8390448,5z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m28!4m27!1m1!4e1!1m5!1m1!1s0x877d2d6c36973909:0x9d0b36324328c4fa!2m2!1d-103.487765!2d43.572974!1m5!1m1!1s0x877d35d8b53ed6df:0xdaf53dbe055cc641!2m2!1d-103.4590667!2d43.8791025!1m5!1m1!1s0x534e54586db448d7:0x87499f74bcfa5917!2m2!1d-109.9896287!2d45.006884!1m5!1m1!1s0x536be248f2ae9581:0x19f7265005f0cc02!2m2!1d-111.9675751!2d48.9961099!3e0


I rode this a few years ago (eastbound, not westbound), and loved it. Two highlights that particularly stood for me were Beartooth Pass (MT) and Needles Highway/Mt. Rushmore (Central Hills Loop) (SD). Other notable mentions were Going To The Sun Road (MT), and Kickapoo River Valley (WI).


There are two things we especially like when riding - (1) challenging (i.e., twisty) roads, and (2) great, out-of-the-way, funky, non-chain, once-in-a-lifetime, must experience, unusual, memorable, mom & pop eateries - restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, etc. And we are certainly open to any other must see attractions or vistas or museums or whatever.


So for the above-mentioned states (MI, WI, MN, IA, SD and MT), what are your recommendations? (At the risk of multiple postings, I've put this post in each state forum as well as the general message board).


As always, TIA!!
 

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Well, in South Dakota, if you hadn't ridden Iron Mountain Road and the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop, it would be worth your time to do that. If you end up going East from Rapid City, Highway 44 is more interesting than I-90. Spearfish Canyon is a nice ride also. Old Hill City Road between Hill City and Keystone is also fun, especially if you happen to time it when the 1880 Train is running, there are multiple crossings and you might get to see the train running at a couple different locations.
 

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How is the weather in mid May for Mount Rushmore and surrounding areas?
We might be floating around that area also sometime after May 11.
 

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Usually the passes still have snow in early June, but you never know if there might be a late snowfall. You can always alter your route.
 

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Chief Joseph Highway is real nice. It is at the end of the Beartooth and ends about 20 miles from Cody, WY.
 

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South Dakota after May 11th will be pretty nice. Mornings can be cool but we generally don't see any snow in May, but you might see snow in higher elevations further West.
 

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Ok, I would not make this recommendation to a lot of people, but you guys sound like my buddy and me. We like the out of the way places which may not be the kind of experience you would take your wife on. So, along with the normal stuff like the Devils Tower and Little Big Horn, here are a couple I would "recommend" as unusual. Most of my strongest memories are made from experiences that, at the time, I would not qualify as enjoyable. But at the same time, they were not horrible. Over time, we have learned to know when we are having those types of experiences.

The first is Ashland MT. It is caught between the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations, and some white dudes thrown in for good measure. It's a cultural experience. There are no real "touristy" type stuff, but for us the experience was surreal. Stayed in a cheap hotel just west of town and toured all the bars! At the first bar, we picked up some young Crow group who sat down with us at dinner. They talked about life as Indians living on a reservation. I found it interesting that the anger and bitterness were not towards the white man, but the Northern Cheyenne. Then we walked across the street to the second bar. It was run by a woman who moved to Ashland about a year previously. She couldn't wait to get out of there. As we got ready to go to the last bar, one of us said, let's wait and see the outcome of the TV program "Deal or No Deal!" running on the TV above the bar. She said, "don't worry, that's all that is on in every bar in town!" Sure enough, when we got to the third bar, that's what was on. At the third bar, we met the owner sitting at the bar. We bought our first beer and from then on the rest were on him. We eventually had to turn down another beer in order to get out of his bar. He sure bent our ear about living in Ashland, his bigotry shown through. I wrote all this to give you a perspective of this recommendation. It isn't your typical tourist type place or experience. The next day the highway was shut down because of a blizzard and this was late April.

Not sure how far you are going west in Canada, but if you will be beyond the Icefield Parkway, to a little town call Muncho Lake, BC, then stay overnight at Jacks! Jacks is called "Double G Service" on Google. We showed up late Sunday afternoon to a comment through a barely cracked door; "We're CLOSED!" Us; "We just want a room." Jack; "Go around to the side, there are a couple open, pick whichever one you want! Pay me tomorrow!" Door shut. Knock, knock, knock. Door Open. "Can we get something to eat?" "I'm closed!" We managed to talk him into letting us buy some filling station food for dinner. The next morning, we went to breakfast and eventually Jack started loosening up. We had great conversations about living off the grid and running a business. Some college age kids came in after filling up their cars. Must have been 8 or 9 of them. They just kept coming. Eventually, Jack asked them, "are you guys getting out of a clown car???" It was all we could do not to fall out on the floor. One of the kids asked, "do you know how much the cinnamon rolls are?" Jack just said, "yep!"

Both of these experiences are very individual, and likely never to be the same. But you can bet if we are through there again, that's where we will be. And obviously it goes without saying, your miles may vary.
 
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