Dam Ride 2017
June 15, 2017
A review of the first day of the South Dakota/North Dakota H.O.G. Chapters' 2017 Dam Ride.
Dam Ride Posts
Three-day HOG-sponsored Ride
Last year the local HOG sponsored a group ride that visited some of the hydro-electric dams in South Dakota, but I wasn't able to go. This year, I took time off from work to make sure I could participate in the three-day ride with three sister HOG chapters. I lucked out, because this year was a full-on event, complete with pin set, tail-gate party, sponsored meals, and support vehicles (which fortunately weren't needed).
Since the starting point is in Fargo, ND this year, those of us riding up from Sioux Falls and Glacier Lakes got an early start on our ride. More on that below. The official ride starts from Fargo, ND with open ended routes across the state to the Missouri and down into South Dakota for a night in Pierre.
The next day is a ride across Native reservations, ranch land, and country roads, the James River valley, Yankton, and up to Sioux Falls.
On my last multi-day ride (3500+ miles), I was brand-new to distance riding and had quite the adventure with bags and packing – not only was the trip on short notice, I didn't have any proper bags. All winter I'd been musing about bag arrangement and packing for my cruiser (Softail Slim S). That's a saga that will get a post of its own, but for now I will say that I put a LOT of thinking into the packing and preparation for this smaller ride ... it's going to be the first test of the next iteration of my packing system.
In my eagerness to see if everything fit (it did!), I got it all packed before taking any photos, but at the last minute my wife did remind me to get a shot of the gear that I will be wearing:
Bright and early, a buddy from the local HOG group and I headed out, everything fully secure and packed tight:
We decided to take a scenic route just across the Minnesota border that would put us into Ortonville in time for lunch. This was my second trip up through this area (the first time was to visit the grave of Medal of Honor war hero Woodrow Keeble). Last fall when I stopped in Ortonville they were having their annual corn harvest festival. This time was comparatively sedate, but even more delicious: we had burgers at the excellent Headwaters Grill & Bar. Yet another good reason to stop in Ortonville!
This last leg of the journey was a bit windy and we sometimes got smacked pretty hard, but the views were so great that the time passed without even feeling it; before we knew it, we were in Fargo. We may actually have been the first riders to arrive:
Next up was a return to Harley-Davidson of Fargo for the kick-off party+BBQ, then back to the campsite to set up the hammock, meet 2ringbike, and get some shut-eye: