We left Denver yesterday, heading just a bit out of town, to Brush, along I-76 as it heads for Nebraska. Everyone had different departure needs and requirements so Brush was the actual gathering place. Starting off there are seven riders, with more to meet up with us later.
I had my first adventure of the trip early on, when I pulled off to check on the chain on my V-Strom because it was making a funny noise. I stopped, got off the bike, and when I let go it started to fall. Seems I had forgotten to put the kick-stand down. Oops. Fortunately the bike is light and I had just had crash bars installed the day before. No harm, no foul.
So the chain did need adjusting and I took care of that and then was back on the road. Got to Brush as the last one arriving and just in time to head out for dinner.
Saturday morning we broke new ground, heading straight up CO 71 toward Kimball, Nebraska. None of us had ever been on that road before, and while it's pretty flat farmland it was a nice ride just the same. From Kimball we stayed on what was now NB 71 to Scottsbluff, and oh what a sight! Who knew they had hills and cliffs like that in Nebraska?! They call the place Scottsbluff for a reason. It has to be some of the prettiest country in Nebraska.
We turned east on US 26 and then NB62A to meet up with US 385 a little south of Alliance. Alliance, of course, is home to Carhenge, but we've all been there several times so no one was interested in going out of our way to see it again. We continued north.
Which eventually brought us to Chadron, which is where we are spending this night. It's hotter than blazes but our motel, the Westerner, is very nice and exceptionally clean. We give it a big thumbs-up.
Tomorrow it's on to Hill City, South Dakota, where we have reservations for three days to take it easy and just do day rides. The originally planned long route via the Badlands has been ruled out due to the heat.
Yahoo! We're on the bike trip.
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