My Cousin Vinny

One of my all time favorite movies is My Cousin Vinny.  There’s a great scene in the movie when Joe Pesci (Vinny) asks about the train next to the hotel.  Well last night every two hours on the hour the train would go by our room and blow its horn.  Now why the train has to blow its horn at midnight, 2a, 4a and 6a is beyond me.  Fortunately I fell back asleep so it wasn’t really a problem except I kept thinking about My Cousin Vinny all night.  FYI, Matt sleeps like a log and missed the whole “My Cousin Vinny Train Experience”. 

This morning Matt and I had breakfast at the local diner.  While we enjoyed the Starbucks in Gillette the other day, it was fun to be where the locals go although we should have bought camouflage hats to wear.  What a great start to the day for our short 37 mile ride to Custer, SD.  Marilyn and Linda met us at the state line as Matt and I crossed into our 5th state of the trip.

We had to do a little climbing today as we entered the Black Hill of South Dakota.  It was nice to be back in the beauty of the trees and mountains.  With such a short ride we were in Custer, SD by 11:15 and I have to give a special thanks to Leah and Thuria Maris (what a great name or what) at the Super 8 for letting Matt and I check in early!  After putting all our gear ion the room we jumped in the swimming pool and enjoyed that instant refreshment from jumping in a cool pool when you’re hot.  Our scouts Marilyn and Linda texted us that we needed to go to the Purple Pie Place for lunch.  Boy, did they know what they were talking about.  The lunch was good, but the pie was incredible!  Matt and I both had the Bumbleberry Pie which has blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apple, strawberries and rhubarb in it.  It was one of the top three pies I’ve had (the other top two pies I’ve had our the pie Ken Mozek and I had at the farmhouse during RAGBRAI 18 years ago and the Pecan Pie my Mom makes at Thanksgiving).

Purple Pie Place – Bumbleberry Pie!

Matt and I then drove up to the Jewel Caves http://www.nps.gov/jeca/index.htm which we had passed on our ride into Custer.  The Jewel Caves are the 2nd longest in the world with over 170 miles of explored caves.  The caves were a little disappointing as they went on forever but were not particularly beautiful (nothing like what Brenda and I saw in Southern Spain last year).  We’re still glad we went and saw them, but it’s checked off the list and we don’t need to go back.  We then cam e back to Custer and picked up Marilyn as Linda headed home and had a nice dinner in Custer. 

Tomorrow we’re looking forward to having an off day and moving slow.  We’re going to see Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument and go to Rapid City to pickup my good friend Ed Brown who’s going to ride with us for the next 2 weeks.  Matt and I have had no injuries so far and we still look forward to riding our bikes each day but we’re happy to give our bodies a day of rest.  So here’s the pictures from today:

Leaving the Sundowner Inn – Newcastle, WY

Marilyn was the SAG vehicle.  What a great Mother-in-Law!!!

Mining outside of Newcastle.  Amazing how they can just tear away the mountain.

Rural Country Road. The 3rd mailbox from the left is for Kim and Zach Peterson!

Entering the Black Hills of South Dakota

The is the original entrance to the Jewel Cave.  The current entrance where we went for the tour is a mile down the road.

Matt happy to be in Custer, SD.

Leah and Thuria Maria letting us checking in early at the Super 8 in Custer, SD!

The Jewel Cave tour

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Categories: Uncategorized | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “My Cousin Vinny

  1. I love reading about your travels! The train cracks me up…one year on Ragbrai, we were in a tent in the pouring rain, right next to the train tracks…and of course, a train went by every hour. Though it didn’t blow it’s horn, the nylon tent walls failed to provide sound insulation and you’d wake up every hour panicked that a freight train was running you over. Oh, by the way…I have a roof over our heads and air conditioning lined up for all but 1 night of Ragbrai for us! There are even 3 beds in Cedar Rapids!! Safe travels – you are in my prayers.

  2. Sherry Langley

    So good to hear about the adventures but am more curious about what you will think of my stomping grounds now.. As I have found everything that you have said about the adventure both amusing but also very true.. I hope that you all do take that detour through town instead of going on through the VA and the housing area (5th street.. As the downtown area is where most of the historic buildings are.. But the Va is also very beautiful and reminds me of the one in Livermore,CA.. and it is also where I work .. If you decide to go to the mammoth site I recommend going to wooly’s for lunch as it’s food is really good..It is also close to each other.. I hope you all enjoy your day off and the sight seeing. I also look forward to finding you all somewhere here in town on Sunday.. Happy Riding..

  3. Melissa

    Go Steelers!!

  4. Just wondering….am I expected to wash the car when I SAG? hmmmmmm

  5. Amy Dittmore

    Pick me up a rock from Crazy Horse!!

  6. Louise Cowell

    I love reading about all your adventures also. I am a friend of Juli’s. I live near Bowling Green, Ohio and wanted to let you know that on your route to Huron there is construction on Route 20. I know you are only on it for 2 miles, but it is one lane each direction, no sides, and semi trucks drive it all the time. You must go to Grounds for Thought for coffee while in Bowling Green, and you might want to think about going 105 to Port Clinton then along the Lake to Huron, much prettier ride and people are used to bikes being on the rode. Let me know if you need any info for the area. Cedar Point is a great stop if you like Roller Coasters on a free day!! Have fun and stay safe!

  7. Louise,

    Thanks for following our trip and for your insights. We will definitely look into the route modification you suggested and will also look for the coffee place. Good coffee is key to a good day on the bike! In fact, it might be fun to connect with you at the coffee place while we are in town. Looking forward to this part of our trip.

  8. Linda Maxson

    Thanks Chris and Matt for a fun time. I enjoyed being part of the ride, especially since I was riding in a car and not on a bike. The best of luck on the rest of your trip. Linda

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