State 22 – Iowa

8/5/2019

Our last state of this trip is Iowa.

We rode earlier in the day and we got to Iowa quickly. It took a bit of searching to find parking. We were riding on trails on the University of Iowa campus. If you’ve ever been to a college campus, every parking spot is paid with warnings of being towed and ticketed any time. I didn’t want to take any chances and finally found a metered spot. With lots of quarters inserted, we were off to ride!

With us being very ready to call it quits, there were not many photos during this ride. I do remember a woman having some semi-harsh words to us. These were the first (beyond some angry car horns) of all the states we’ve completed thus far. We enjoyed the paths and wish I wasn’t hurting so bad as it was good riding.

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava entry.

Our map of completed states.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles:  120.81
Total Moving Time: 23h 52m
Total Elevation Gained: 3797‬ feet
Total Hogan UPD: 11
Total Corvin UPD: 9

Hogan Haake

State 21 – Minnesota

84/2019

We got over the Minnesota border and the state sign was at a rest area. We used the facilities and enjoyed a roadside sunset!

And the sunset.

We got up from our motel early in the morning and struck out for the Morning Star trail.  At this point in our trip, we just wanted to get home. The uni-cycling was great, but we were spent. Every time I got on the unicycle, I fought the urge to dismount as the seat caused tremendous pain.

The trail was mostly long and boring.

It feels like we short changed Minnesota, but this is where we needed to ride to meet our goal. Maybe we’ll be back to ride again some day.

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava entry.

Our map of completed states.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles:  116.83
Total Moving Time: 23h 1m
Total Elevation Gained: 3797‬ feet
Total Hogan UPD: 11
Total Corvin UPD: 9

Hogan Haake

State 20 – South Dakota

8/4/2019

We started started the day in a motel in North Dakota in a bit of a rain storm. When we got to the South Dakota border, it was raining and we tried to stay dry, but needed our state sign photo!

We hopped back in the rental and took off. First order of business was backtracking into Wyoming to get a state sign photo that eluded us when we went to Yellowstone to ride Wyoming. Then we headed straight to Sturgis, South Dakota. Sturgis is home of the annual motorcycle rally and today was the first official day. What better way to have fun in our trip than to unicycle among the sea of motorcycles.

Riding down the center of the party!

It would be impossible to count the number of motorcycles here!

We had to wait our turn to get our photo at this sign, but it was worth it!

I was amazed at the number of houses that had tents pitched in their yard hosting riders. I’ve always heard warnings about Sturgis. The people are rough and tough, but we experienced the opposite. People were kind and just there to take it all in. We walked up to a gas station with our unicycles getting ready to ride and encountered two gentlemen who started chatting with us. I offered one of them to try and he said maybe later that night after he had a few drinks in him. I said “I thought you Harley guys were tough!”. His buddy laughed and I offered him the same. Neither of them even wanted to try, but they enjoyed the good natured ribbing!

I experienced Sturgis as more of an idea than a location. While motorcyclists were everywhere, they just wanted to be there with each other. They shared a few moments with us in peace and for that, I will always have fond memories!

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava entry.

Our map of completed states.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles: 110.8
Total Moving Time: 21h 54m
Total Elevation Gained: 3,610‬ feet
Total Hogan UPD: 11
Total Corvin UPD: 9

Hogan Haake

State 19 – North Dakota

8/3/2019

We finished Wyoming and started a long drive to North Dakota. This meant going north back to Montana and finishing the long drive across the rest of the state to North Dakota. Getting to the border to get the state sign was a relief. We’re always grateful for states that have their signs easily accessible by car on the side of the highway. Some have been on bridges or in the middle that makes access awkward and sometimes dangerous.

With the photo out of the way, we were off for a quick gas stop. Corvin took the time to enjoy being a bit goofy.

We were ready to go to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I’ve never been there before.I saw it on the map planning and it seemed interesting. Its nice to get more use out of our national parks pass. An interesting fact about this park, there is a south and north unit. We would only be visiting the south unit for this visit.

There is a 30 ish mile loop that goes around the south unit. Of course, there was a road block on part of the loop that would have made it a short drive. Therefore, we had to drive 3/4 of the way around the park to get to the section we wanted to ride. Along the way, we got to see some fantastic sights. Buffalo, gophers, and wild horses!

Having part of the road blocked off ended up being a blessing. Instead of people driving around a large loop to see the whole park, many people turned around earlier to save driving time. We had very little traffic on our ride. The gravel road we drove down to park, we may have been the only visitors all day!

Most of our photographic efforts were on video of our ride.

Its definitely a park I  would like to visit again and hike several of the trails.

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava entry.

Our map of completed states.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles: 104.17
Total Moving Time: 20h 40m
Total Elevation Gained: 3382 feet
Total Hogan UPD: 10
Total Corvin UPD: 8

Hogan Haake

 

State 18 – Wyoming

8/3/2019

Having just finished Montana the day before, the plan was to drive down south and dip into Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park for a quick ride. When we got up at 5 am, the ground was wet from rain the night before, but looked to be clearing up for a nice day. We got up early because it was a 2 hour drive to Yellowstone from our motel. We wanted to get into the park before the crowds got there possibly making our ride unsafe.

Corvin wanted to stay awake, but quickly fell asleep as I ticked off the miles.  As the sun came up over the mountains, the view continued to change. An occasional low peak would give a glimpse to the days pending sunlight. At some point, the sun rose over the majority of the eastern mountain range. At that point, it was if somebody turned on a light switch and the day really kicked off.

As we approached Gardiner, Montana, I woke Corvin up. We planned to stop at Roosevelt Arch near the north entrance. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

I wasn’t a huge fan of him climbing, but I was young once and remember how important it is to explore!

Yep, its old but still looks great!

And looking back at the whole thing.

Shortly after going south of town, we entered Yellowstone National Park. We were getting serious usage out of our National Parks Pass purchased earlier in the summer and it was really starting to save us money. We were still in Montana, but very close to Wyoming. We scoured both sides of the road looking for a Wyoming state sign to no avail (Darn you Highway 89). This was frustrating, but I knew we would figure something out. Even if we had to make a hand made sign or pose next to a license plate. We did find the state sign (pictured first in this story) a day later on the west side of the state, but we’ll tell that story later.

Our unicycle plan was to start at Mammoth Hot Springs and ride the road for an out and back. We previewed the route in the car to see what we were up against and how far we needed to travel. This was going to be some difficult uphill riding and back, but we decided we were up for it.

We didn’t capture much on the way up because of the difficult uphill riding component. Here are some photos looking over the top of Mammoth Hot Spring.

Corvin with the unicycles.

Hogan and the unicycles.

I didn’t do a great job of pre-scouting the ride as we pulled into what we thought was a small parking lot overlook and decided to ride around. It turned out to be Upper Terrace Loop Drive. The hills were short but abrupt. That meant that Corvin could ride them no problem and I walked a bunch. While the walking slowed us down, it allowed us to take in a lot more of the scenery. There were several smaller formations that people driving would not have seen at their speeds.

Our feeble attempt at a self balancing unicycle.

Hard to beat these other worldly views.

It looks like snow, but its just deposits from the spring.

This little one ran under the road and wasn’t that big, but still interesting.

I’ll let you describe this to yourself, I have no words.

Eventually, we made it out of the loop and started on our way back down. Again, the amazing views!!! We didn’t take many photos as it was a rather steep downhill and we didn’t want to fall. Traffic was starting to pick up as the day was getting later.

After we finished up our unicycle ride, we put the unicycles away and hiked on Mammoth Spring for an hour before heading out of the park. I’m not sure if Corvin was more interested in the girl or the view…

You won’t meet many people that travel this far to go to Yellowstone and only stay for 3 hours, but we had places to be!

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava entry.

Our map of completed states.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles: 99.14
Total Moving Time: 19h 39m
Total Elevation Gained: 2807feet
Total Hogan UPD: 10
Total Corvin UPD: 7

Hogan Haake