So, here's the plan. The Black Hills BackBone crosses 200 miles of exposed, remote prairie and 100 miles of hilly, remote forest, with few commercial establishments along the way for any kind of resupply. I plan to presume that nothing but water will be available anyplace, and then hope to find a few treats. I'll carry enough water for 6-8 hours and food for the entire ride. How to resupply water?
|Spinning out of NoWhere, North Dakota, the possibilities seem limitless, but water is not.|
From Harding to St. Onge, the ranches are more frequent, with some close to the road, and the route passes through the "town" of Fruitdale. Those are possibilities for water that I hope to bypass. The first open business on the BackBone is the St. Onge Bar at Mile 121 (74 miles after Harding). This looks like a fun place to stop, just to stop, which I may. But Spearfish is the place, at Mile 135 (86 miles after Harding), to really reload and refresh. The Black Hills are on deck.
|Cruising along an open valley in the heart of the Hills.|
Out of Deerfield Lake, the BackBone dives into the remote reaches of the Black Hills on roads not recognized by MapMyRide or Garwin. But it's a relatively short 31 miles to the tourist town of Custer at Mile 226, which features a variety of restaurants and convenience stores. I'll probably stop for water, and maybe some coffee and simple carbs. OK, donuts.
|The buffalo are always watching in Wind Cave National Park. Sometime they even leave the road.|
|Looking for water, in all the wrong places.|
Also, there are natural sources of water all along, especially in the Hills, if you pay attention. Shaun Arritola likely will bring some sort of Jedi sterilizing wand to treat wild water, in case he needs some.
Shaun, incredulous: "That's the plan?"
Craig, emphatic: "That's the plan!"
Shaun, skeptical: "How are you going to do it?"
Craig, less emphatic: "I have no idea."
A recurring conversation, with apologies to the writers of "A Few Good Men."