Mickelson Trail: Hill City to Deadwood

The well water we find along the way – delicious

This may be a shorter post, as we have done just under 110 miles in the last two days and are leaving Deadwood early tomorrow to head back south on the Mickelson. We’re a little tired tonight.

We left Hill City well fed and mostly rested. The trail continued its climb to its highest point, about 10 miles outside of Deadwood. But the sky was blue and everyone felt good. Paul said “A good day on a bike is a really good day” and I agreed. We had 50 miles to go and knew the last 10 at least would be downhill.

It was tunnels day
There were cows who ignored us

We rode through four tunnels today (short ones) and had planned for lunch at Rochfort, where we knew there was a restaurant. We found our way to a place called Moonshine Gulch Saloon, and noticed about a half dozen other bikers on the porch. My first thought was “uh, oh…there’s a line.” It was not a line, though – the saloon was closed. So the bikers visited and ate more energy bars and gorp. One couple, riding a tandem bike was from Austin, Texas and another was from New Zealand. All were experienced touring bikers and we talked about favorite rides and favorite bikes and gear.

Not open

The weather started to look a little threatening around 2:00, but we rode fast down the hill to Deadwood with just sprinkles, and got pics at the north end trail head. It is, for us, just the halfway point. Tomorrow, we ride back south to Custer. Tonight, though, we’re staying at the “Historic Bullock Hotel” which is a lot like other historic hotels we’ve stayed in out west – charming and some ways beyond its best years. But comfortable and with a “life affirming” (as Lisa put it) shower. And we are heading out to find some grub in Deadwood.

And an old cabin, apparently abandoned
Do not take selfies while riding downhill on gravel.
The north terminus of the trail. Our halfway point.

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