Just a quick hop up the road: Custer to Hill City
Saturday May 18, 2013, 19 miles (31 km) – Total so far: 1,383 miles (2,226 km)
After a week or so of good weather, the forecast is pretty awful. After this morning, it looks like there is going to be at least 2.5 days of very poor weather. My plan is to just do a quick ride up to Hill City, positioning myself to make a run up the Mickelson trail from there once the weather clears.
I ride up 385, hoping I can make better progress on the road than on the trail between Custer and Hill City. There is a long climb out of Custer. It is pretty continuous, but the only steep part is right on the edge of Custer itself. Then, a little under halfway to Hill City, I reach the high point, and it is a fast and effortless downhill all the way to the outskirts of Hill City.
The RV parks on the edge of town don’t look overly inviting – just open grass and pavement with no trees for shelter or a wind break. So I set about finding a motel. The clouds already look threatening, so I’m definitely not going to try to make it further today. There is also a threat of hail, and I don’t particularly want to camp in that.
It’s a good call. It storms for much of the afternoon, covering the ground in pea and marble-sized hail two different times. Further north the hail is much worse and actually causes damage in several places. I’m happy to have a roof over my head, for sure.
Today I also discover Linda’s Deli. If you are in Hill City, eat there. The sandwiches are huge, the soup’s are home-made. It was very tasty at a very good price. Everything is a bit expensive in the Black Hills, so this was an excellent find. Linda, herself, came out to chat to me and make sure my food was good. It’s a great little place if you are in town.