I woke up after a decent night sleep (no being woken my a storm will do that), and packed up my stuff. The plan was to move more into the Black Hills, find a resort-like campground (I was looking at a couple different KOAs) and clean myself and my clothes up. But I wasn’t going to head straight there, instead heading straight west I was going to dip a little bit south at see Carhenge, which is one of those things you just have to see when you are in the area.
Carhenge is a little north of Alliance, Nebraska, south of the Badlands. But there was one other thing I decided I wanted to see before I left. The few times I’ve been to the Badlands, or ridden past it, I’ve seen a sign for a Minute Man Missile historical site, but I’ve never actually found the site itself. So I asked at the nearest entrance/exit of the Badlands and asked. As it turns out the site was just a trailer in the parking lot of a gas station, and there wasn’t even anything there to see. You could, though, book a tour of a decommissioned Minuteman site there, which I did. It was 4 miles west on I-90, so I got back on the bike and headed over.
This location had guided tours, there was another silo that was self guided.
Our tour guide had worked at the silo when it was still in commission, and had some cool stories to tell about the times. The buildings and underground bunker had been updated some since he had left Missile Command, but much of it was still the same. I am not sure if that is good or bad.
The eating and day area. Apparently, before satellite TV, you could get two fuzzy channels on the TV, and the crews read a lot of magazines. I didn’t ask what kind, and if they really were looking at them for the articles.
The door made me laugh, and it was huge-
There were giant shocks on each of the four corners of the underground command post, and the entire pod could move about 2 feet in any direction.
There isn’t a big red button, just a little key thing. A little disappointing, I think. I was hoping for the big red button.
After the tour I headed south (Passing breifly through Badlands NP again) for Carhenge. In Nebraska there was construction, with 16 miles of gravel and dirt that used to be paved. Somewhere in there was the turn I was supposed to make, but I didn’t even see a junction to turn onto. Since I had been planning a loop anyway, when it was clear I couldn’t find my turn I just headed west for the road I had planned to ride back north on and took that south instead.
Along the way I passed the Wounded Knee Memorial
and chatted for a while with other travelers. The heat was pretty bad and we were all looking for a reason to stop for while.
I managed to find Carhenge just in time for some rain, though I managed to miss the worst of it.
It was a strange sort of place. There was supposed to be a Tim Sticker (Tim Stickers are hard to explain…but it’s a sticker with a picture of my mechanic on it) there, but I didn’t see one. I didn’t see any stickers, but there was fresh paint in places and I wondered if they removed or covered them up. Seems a bit harsh, but then its not my giant car sculpture.
After looking around some I got back on the bike and headed north. I had hoped to be in the Black Hills that night, but the construction had slowed me down and I didn’t feel like pushing to make up the time, so I just rode north for a while and found a forest to camp in. I admit I was really starting to look forward to a shower, and clean clothes, but it would have to wait another day.