Wednesday, August 4, 2021

2021 Scooter Cannonball Run - The Real Deal - Part Two - July 16 through July 18

 Friday, July 16 - Marshfield, WI to Huron, SD

Yet another early morning today as we had just shy of 500 miles to ride.  We had a great ride in the sunshine, enjoying the fabulous views and quiet country lanes.  I enjoyed all of the scenery during the past several days but I found Wisconsin to be particularly lovely.  Peaceful, rural roads, hills and valleys and nothing but blue sky!  Fabulous πŸ™Œ  Somewhere along our route we ended up riding part of the Wisconsin section of the Great River Road.  What a treat!  I had ridden a good chunk of the Great River Road in 2018 when I rode across the country and loved it.  It certainly didn't disappoint  today.  Eric had been a bit cranky this morning and I simply said, "Look at where we are!  Riding the Great River Road in glorious sunshine with very little traffic!  And, we're doing it on 150cc scooters, Dude!  Ya can't be cranky with all this!"  His mood improved noticeably, lol.

We took our start photo and headed off to the first BP.

BP - My Second Home Bar & Grill

The first CP was the Lyster Lutheran Church.  Notice the red sports car on the right?  Some Scooter Paparazzi enjoying watching the Cannonballers come to the bonus.  However, didn't they realize that their car kind of polluted the photo?  Guess not.  Maybe they just wanted to be in everyone's photo, hahaha!

Next BP was Buck Wild Bar & Grill.  Are you noticing a theme here?  Seems to be lots of Bars and Grills and Gentlemen's Clubs and ... well you get the gist.

Sabre Lake Cemetery Kilkenny was CP 2.

This was another popular spot for the SCBR Paparazzi to hang out!  These fine folks wanted to chat and check out all the scooters.  We didn't stay long - we had miles to pound!

Off to BP 3 which was the St. George Church.

Then on to CP 3, Wabasso White Rabbit.  However, no White Rabbit to be found!  Apparently it had just recently been removed to be tidied up.  This was an acceptable photo. 

Everything was flowing smoothly.  No wrong turns, great weather, no accident scenes and fantastic roads.  We were making excellent time!

BP - Lyon County Farm Service.

At the Farm Service BP we encountered a number of other SCBR riders.  We were right on track!

Before we knew it we were at the end Hotel in Huron, SD!  Approximately 470 miles and lots of smiles!  Short day, we ended around 3:30 pm.  Yippee!  Plenty of time to relax and socialize.  Nope.  That didn't really happen.  Our room wasn't ready.  Okay, we'll make the best of it and have a cocktail in the bar.  While in the bar we enjoyed chatting with other SCBR participants and support crews.  We waited an hour or so and still no room so we ordered some appetizers.  Remember, we're still in our stinky riding gear, ugh πŸ˜­πŸ™Ž

Finally 2 1/2 hours later we were told our room was ready.  Hooray!  Of course it was up several floors and all the way to the end of the hall.  Schlepping our gear, helmets and overnight bags was a bit much after a long scooter ride.  And then, we were greeted with this lovely view from our window, hahahahaha.  Oh well, some you win and some you don't.

Back outside we wandered around the parking lot to see what was going on.  As usual, a number of riders were working on their steeds.

SCBR rider Quasimotard with Eric.

Quasimotard and his buddy, both from Texas were riding Honda Super Cub 125's pulling a one wheel trailer that was loaded with their camping gear!  I know they camped a few nights but I suspect the weather and ride took its toll and they got hotel rooms most nights, lol.  They were super fun and having a ball on their little bikes.

Eric getting a hug from GoPam.  What a spirit she has.  First she had cancelled flights and many issues just getting to Bar Harbor for the start.  Her scooter had been shipped ahead.  I think she made it to Bar Harbor in the wee hours giving her very little time to prepare for the start!  Then, poor GoPam had a series of crashes and some kind of electrical gremlin.  She has an epic tale to tell!  She never gave up!🏁

Riders chilling in the parking lot.  Standard procedure at the end of each day 😏.

Ah, today was easy compared to the previous days.  Too bad we had such a long wait for our room but that's just all part of the adventure.  Following parking lot shenanigans we tucked into bed for another early morning.

Saturday, July 17 - Huron, SD to Hot Springs, SD

Yes, yet another early morning start!  A quick snap of the start hotel and we were on our way!  Pretty much every evening we would top of our gas tanks so we could start the day on a full tank.

Early morning fuel stop.  Very rural South Dakota!

Our first BP was the Dakota Lakes Research Farm.

Next BP was the Stroppel Inn.

Then is was on to CP 1, Nowlin Cemetery.

Followed by another BP - Notch Trailhead Overlook.

Burns Basin Overlook was the next BP.

At this point we are now riding through Badlands National Park.  So super, duper fantastic!  We've been before but not on little scooters.  Our scooties just made the adventure so much bigger and in your face, hahahaha.  This was also where we discovered that the Senior NP Lifetime Pass was only good for one motorcycle, (or a bus full of nuns), not two motorcycles, like the standard NP Annual Pass is.  What stinkers!!  We had to pay for a single motorcycle to cover the other scooter. Fuckers!

This CP - Sage Creek Campground forced us to go onto gravel and dirt roads.  Sneaky bastards! πŸ‘Ή The organizers intentionally put a CP on gravel.  And, it wasn't just a little, easy in and out.  Nope!  You had to go in quite a few miles and once you were at this point it only made sense to continue on unpaved roads to make the next BP.  The initial gravel road in the Badlands was deep and slippery gravel which eventually gave way to some firmer gravel that we could actually whip up the speed a bit to 50 mph!

Prior to this CP, we had only been on the occasional unpaved road for short distances.  This section was many miles and certainly tested all the riders.

Gravel and unpaved roads conquered we made it to the next BP which was the Old Folsom Rd. Train Trestle.

We stopped along the way to grab some lunch.  We dine at the finest places, lol.

Another bluebird day with relatively decent temperatures.  Rockerville Fire Station was CP 3.

At this CP we had our own personal paparazzi waiting to cheer us on!  Thanks Mike and Tess!  No only did you make our day, everyone who saw you was immediately uplifted and giggling.  Well done😍.

I just had to include a few more photos of Mike and Tess in their different cheering poses because they are so damned cute and fun!!!!

Next up was BP of Doane Robinson Tunnel.  Now we're riding in the Black Hills, hooray!  Yippy Skippy!  We giggled to each other as we smoked the dudes on Harleys, hahahahaha.  Our scooters could handle those corkscrew turns with ease and grace.  The Harleys, no so much.  How humiliating to be left in the dust by a scooter, gurgle 😹

What a grand, awesome day of riding so far.  Badlands and the Black Hills!  Sweet!  We got glimpses of Mt. Rushmore and had the pleasure of riding some of the most incredible roads in the country.  Unfortunately, we learned later, that our friend Lisa Fierro got too wide on one of those corkscrew turns and biffed pretty seriously.  Enough to take her and her partner, Laura Fierro, out of the SCBR.  They were also riding Honda ADV150 scooters that they pimped out in the most glorious way!  (Photo taken by Laura at the Bar Harbor, ME Pier)

They are already making plans for a comeback!  We wish speedy and complete healing to Lisa.

But wait, the fun isn't over just yet.  Our next BP was Custer State Park!

Followed by the Custer Wildlife Visitor Center BP.  While all the roads leading to this PB were paved, the main route went to gravel in about 2 miles and had a long section before pavement.  Worse, this was the last photo bonus before the hotel!  However, rather than ride another 20 miles on gravel/dirt, Eric had routed us to avoid that mess.  Unfortunately, this section of gravel that we avoided bit a number of riders.  Many crashes!

After a short stretch of gravel on appropriately named Lame Johnny Road and we were on a nice paved highway doing 61 mph.  We didn't see any wildlife 😞 but maybe that was just as well.  Can you imagine facing a buffalo on a 150cc scooter?

Now we just had to ride to Hot Springs, SD to the host hotel and get our end photo!  We almost forgot to take the end photo and a fellow rider helpfully posed for a dramatic finish photo.  πŸ˜€

At the host hotel we had yet more paparazzi waiting for us!  Our dear friends Ken and Linda Schleman were there to cheer us on.  Seeing friends at the end of a long day who are there to encourage and support was totally fantasticπŸ’•πŸ˜

A final photo of the day shows more SCBR riders at the host hotel chatting about the day's events and crazy roads.

Whew!  What a day!  Just over 400 miles but lots and lots of small, technical roads made for a rather long day.  Time for cocktails and dinner πŸ™Œ

Sunday, July 18 - Hot Springs, SD to Rock Springs, WY

Today is listed at 526.2 miles and a good portion of that was going to be on unpaved roads.  YIKES!  Another early start, we were out the door and on the scooters as dawn broke the night sky.  A quick shot of the host hotel and then we were on our way!

Our first CP was a crossroads in the middle of "Nowhere" South Dakota.

Then it was a stop at the Red Roof Bar Pioneer Road for BP 1.  This was the start of a 14 mile unpaved section.

True Hu Ranch was the location for CP 2.  More gravel roads gratis of the bastard organizers, lol 😝  I remember a particularly dicey section that was a downhill with sideways erosion washes covered in very loose, silty, grey powder.  Butt pucker factor 9.5!!!!  Okay, it was really only about a 7.0 😏. I was about a third way down the hill and had to stop or was going to lose it.  I stopped just fine but then my scootie listed to the right.  OH NO!  OH NO!  I was going to biff at a standstill!!!  Gack!!!  No, don't go over, little scootie!!!  Fortunately, my scootie doesn't weigh very much and I was able to simply pull it back to center without any strain or issues.  YAY!!  There was a support vehicle behind me but I never did find out who it was.  I'm sure they thought that they would be helping me up from a fall.  Whew!  Good thing that didn't happen, lol.  Guaranteed, had I been on my big bike I most certainly have tipped over!  Gotta love little scooties πŸ’–

Y Cross Ranch was the next BP.  Yet more gravel.  I really do love how our Honda ADV150's handle the gravel and dirt.  Eric picked the perfect tire solution and the Scoots just ate it up.

On to Libby Flats Observation Point for a BP.  This may have been our highest elevation at over 10,000 feet.  Scootering up to the summit was quite the adventure.  Although we were WFO the entire time we both saw our speeds drop significantly as we ascended the pass.  I actually flew by Eric because he had slowed down to about 28 mph, hahahaha.  It was a long haul up that road πŸ˜†

A few more photos from Libby Flats because it was just that beautiful!

Downhill from Libby Flats was FUN and FAST with lots of sweeping curves.  A rider's dream road!  Our next stop was Route 13 & 4 Mileage Sign for CP 3.   

And then it was about 36 miles of unpaved, difficult road to the final BP of the day, Powder Wash Oil Camp.  We debated skipping this BP and just heading to Rock Springs.  Guess what?  It was a long, long way to Rock Springs unless you took this cruddy gravel road and would have taken us at least 2 1/2 hours or more on the little scooters.  Piss!  Guess we're going on the road of crud, hahahaha!

Surprisingly, this section was pretty darn fast for unpaved road.  We could get speeds up to 45 mph and it just flew by.  Of course, we had to watch for potholes and hazards and I was cursing the organizers for giving us this rough section at the end of a very long, hot day πŸ˜—

After that last brutal section of gravel and crud it was a big relief to get to the finish hotel at Rock Springs, WY for the night!

Another 530 plus mile day of which about 70 was off pavement!  Whew!!  What a ride.  We were exhausted yet again.  Time for a cocktail, dinner and then bed πŸ˜‰.

Thanks again for following along on our adventure.  We still have another three full days of riding before we get to the finish.  Can we do it?  Of course we can!  We're Iron Butt Tough and Determined.  And, heck, we're in familiar territory now, hahaha.

Cheers to all and stay tuned for the next installmentπŸ’œ

Cletha & Eric


  1. Excellent read. Sounds like a great time.

    1. Thanks Steve. It was quite the experience!

  2. I know from your earlier posts about buying and prepping the scooters that you two had ridden many, many miles throughout Mississippi and Alabama, but what was the longest distance you all had traveled in a single day before entering the SCBR?

    1. Bob, I think the longest distance for me was around 325 miles. Eric did a Saddle Sore 1K on the Natchez Trace but other than that he was also around 325 miles. 500 miles is a whole lot more than 325, hahahaha!

  3. Fantastic riding,well done,almost feel like being a pillion on board....I hate gravel especially on my scooter(unprepared for anything but low speed on good asphalt!

  4. Thanks, I'm so happy you are enjoying the blog. I hate gravel, too. But our little Honda ADV150's just ate it up! Amazing! Now, I'm not nearly as intimidated by gravel.

  5. Great to read these. We need the Finish!

  6. The Y Cross Ranch was the only BP I was not given credit for. I was there, and Greg got it, but I had a camera foul up that I thought was OK, but was not. Dangit!

    The Rock Springs WY hotel was a great stop and I remember working on the scooters until well into the dark. You and Eric came by and we talked for a bit. That's also when Dave B came by and talked to me for his daily video. Both of our Shad racks took a beating, but the day before I had found an Ace hardware and bought all new bolts for them and that proved to be a great improvement as the stock stuff was inferior quality.

    We should get our scooters this week from the shippers, can't wait to review the carnage!

  7. Thx for the great writeup! Enjoying your trip.