I had been riding with a group of dudes for the past 10 days, from L.A. to Sturgis. Shit happened on the way, lives were changed, and adventure was had. Once in Sturgis, I partied like a 16-year-old chick trying to show off in front of Nikki Sixx back in the late '80s. Yeah, things were cool and messed up, If you want to know more, read the last issue of Baggers.
Riding is freedom. Yes, it sounds cliché, but as I left the group of five bikers I'd been traveling with for the past 10 days to travel solo, the three words I'd said so often had true meaning again. I felt as though my bike and I were one-one entity to decide where to go, when to stop, what to eat, and when to touch myself.
After bidding adieu to the crew I'd traveled with from L.A. to the Sturgis rally, I charged north on Highway 85 ready for whatever the high plains threw at me. It was either that or I was actually just high. I'm not really sure. I was heading to the rarely talked about-unless one is referring to temperature extremes or goofy accents-state of North Dakota. Nothing but wide-open prairie lay ahead.
If I'm not already going to hell, this sentence will do it: North Dakota is often described the same as a nun: flat, boring, and frigid. It does, however, house North America's G-spot-it's geographical center that is-in a town called Rugby. And if you know anything about history-not that I do, but I can Google-the ghosts of General Custer, Theodore Roosevelt, and even Lawrence Welk are said to walk the vast prairie. Damn, for such an unpopular state, it sure has a lot of famous saucy dead dudes. If they liked it, there must be something cool happening. It's true, North Dakota is a pretty big deal; in this super-size-me world, NoDak has its place. Growing out of its fruited plains are giants.
Now, my guess is this stuff wasn't there when good ol' Roughrider was around, but some backwoods hick dude with way too much time on his hands welded together old tractor parts to make a bunch of huge sculptures along a desolate road not too far from the SD-ND border. The 32-mile drive, called the Enchanted Highway (enchantedhighway.net), runs north and south from the town of Regent and hooks up with the wonderful super slab that is I-94. A retired schoolteacher built the giant metal sculptures. If you take the time to check it out, you'll see ironworks of Teddy Roosevelt on a horsy, some pheasants, a grasshopper, and my mom. Ok, not the last one, just checking to make sure you were still paying attention.
Day 10: Salem Sue
Driving I-94 through the state can get pretty boring. That's why there are creatures like Salem Sue along the way (realnd.com/salemsueindex.htm). Salem Sue is a giant bovine-the world's largest in fact-at the town of New Salem. Along my path of desolate 75-mph road signs, I saw her from miles away. Anything with even a slight abrupt elevation change gets noticed, and a 38-foot Holstein atop a hill is like a freshly squeezed putrid pimple on the prom queen's nose during class photo day.