. Within a day's ride, the landscape had been transformed from high peaks to vacant desert, the road stretching runway straight like a bullet shot for the horizon. Towns and gas stops could be a hundred miles apart and we rode for long stretches without seeing another car. The desert spun endlessly along passing towns with names that told stories-- sometimes in French or Native American and sometimes simply in English: Pioneer Woman's Grave, Thunder Butte, Robbers Roost, Starvation Creek . . . Southeast into Belle Fourche, South Dakota and then down into the Badlands. Slowing down from 135 miles per hour to 70 gives you the illusion of moving so slowly that you could jump off and land running. And from there we drifted into a slow cruise of random turns down unmarked dirt roads. A town named Scenic, South Dakota is on our road map and we randomly stumble into it. In most states, it wouldn't be large enough for a town, no less make it onto the map. There is an old prison cell outside and a wooden bar building. The sign above the bar has a faded but still readable message from another era-- "No Indians Allowed" with the "No" poorly painted over. The flag had dropped dead in the afternoon heat. A flag pole, four buildings, a gas station with a small market and one tree. It was easily over a hundred degrees with almot nowhere for shelter. There was a group of young and drunk Native Americans huddled motionless and silent in the shade of the one tree. Our arrival brought the energy for one of the men-- I'm guessing he was about 18-- to stand up and tap me on the shoulder. He asked me for $0.88 which I learned was not a random amount but the amount he needed still for the cheapest liquor in the store.