2011 would be Carla’s first trip to Sturgis and my second time. The plan was like that of last year. Meet in Indianapolis and leave early on Friday morning and make it to Sioux City, Iowa 740 miles.
This was our group minus two guys from Ohio that are coming in the morning with a trailer pulling their bikes. After some drinks and dinner some went to the hotel and some went to their homes until early in the morning.
This would be Diana’s first ride to Sturgis but she has ridden for almost 20 years and also a subject of one of my earlier posts. https://harleytravelsandtips.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/life-is-to-short/ The year before, I went with Ken and Jon who have been out to Sturgis several times. Dave and Greg I had just met this evening before we left.
The next morning Carla and I are up early and ready to go. Diana has left her house and is on the way to the hotel where the others are preparing and waiting on us. Carla and I meet Diana at the hotel and I can tell by the look on her face the others had over slept. Ken, Jon, Dave and Greg had just started moving while Diana, Carla and I are saddled up and ready to go.
Diana looking like she is ready to go and a little pissed that the others are dragging ass. There is a story about a shower shoe (flip flop) found in the lobby of the hotel, lost by a drunk member of our group. That flip flop made us late thats all I know. We finally had everyone ready to ride except the guys from Ohio with the truck and trailer. They are on the way “about 10 minutes out” Ken shouts. About is the key word here. Thirty to forty five minutes later the truck arrives. This was good to know we had a chase vehicle just in case. The only thing was the truck took off before we did and stayed out front most of the time only a phone call away. Why did we wait for them again? I never have figured that one out.
Finally we get on the road and covered some ground, we did make it to Sioux City, Iowa around 9:00 pm Friday evening. Some where west of Des Moines, Iowa it rained on us and it rained hard. So hard cars and trucks pulled off interstate 80. The rain didn’t last long and we rode it out and regrouped after it had stopped raining.
We also had a minor gasoline issue. When you are out in corn country sometimes the best octane you can get is 89. Keep in mind that some of the stretches of road out west of Des Moines has few places to fuel so when you can, you fill up. Only one of us refused to put 89 octane in his bike, Greg! You have to it’s all you can get. Nope I will wait until the next stop I have plenty of gas Greg says. You will never guess what happens next. Yes thats right we had to stop so Greg could get some fuel and it was 8 miles off of the interstate and yes it was 89 octane. This is what makes it a journey and not just a ride.
The second day started off much better and it would be a bitter sweet day because we knew that Diana was going to peel off from our group and make her way down to Custer, South Dakota where she was going to stay. The rest of us would be heading to the Legendary Buffalo Chip.
Closer and closer only 3 or 4 fuel stops until we make it to Sturgis. More bikes than cars on the road the closer you get to Sturgis. Bikes of all shapes and sizes all makes and models. you start seeing grandmothers riding a trike with a Chevy 350 V8 motor, you see a dad on a Ultra then the mom on a Street Glide and the daughter on a Softail and baby brother of this family on a Sporster with a side car, all matching in black, the family rides. We had made good time and started getting thirsty near New Underwood, SD, population 660. Good thing there is a biker bar in New Underwood and it’s only 48 miles from Sturgis.
It is small but it’s a good one. Cold beer, shirts for sell and a stripper pole, what else can you ask for. If my memory serves me correctly this is where we say goodbye to Diana. We will see her a few times while we are in Sturgis and she will ride back to Indianapolis with us.
During the week in Sturgis we did plenty of riding and partying!
You can even buy this whole town of Scenic
Different strokes for different folks.
We ride a loop out through the corner of Montana and back towards Devils Tower.
Hulett Wyoming on Wednesday serves free ham and beans to everyone who wants it.
By the way it is also no panties Wednesday.
You have to visit Aladdin Population-15 and all 15 sitting outside watching the bikes rumble passed.
On to the Stone House Saloon.
The entire place is covered with autographs from all over the globe.
The girls meet Boner the skeleton.
Out towards Pactola Lake on the way to Iron Mountain and Needles Highway.
Needles and Iron Mountain
Friends Patty, Don and Diana from Indiana with Carla and I.
Mount Rushmore view
Now on down the road to Keystone and Deadwood
Yep that’s Rupert of Survivor fame
You see all kinds of people at the Buffalo Chip
We survived the festivities to ride again another day
This day we visited the Broken Spoke Saloon to see the Jasmine Cain Band.
Next stop we stumbled into One Eyed Jacks
This place was off the hook with dancing, body painting, body shots and friendly people.
Jerry taking or giving a body shot I don’t know
This is all good clean fun.
As you can see Jerry is cleaning the whipped cream off of this bartenders belly.
I can’t tell who had more fun Jerry or Whip cream girl.
Back to the Buffalo Chip for more concerts and good times with friends
I finally found my files from Sturgis 2011.
This discovery helped to jog my memories of the trip
2012 trip to Sturgis will be the last one as after we had made reservations and put money down for the trip in August,
I was diagnosed with Lymphoma in May of 2012.
The first thing I asked the doctor was is it going to kill me? Not if you respond to treatment and follow doctors orders, said the doctor. Then I asked if I was going to be able to work, make a living? It’s up to you and how you feel, I was told. Then I asked if I would be able to go to Sturgis in August? How do you plan on getting out there? Asked the doctor. I am riding. You might want to reconsider your plans, I was told. As time went on and the treatment got worse my doctor actually told me if I didn’t change my plan and trailer my bike to Sturgis she would make it so I couldn’t go at all. Well the doctor is always right so I did trailer in 2012. That story is coming soon if I can remember what happened and find my photos. The Chemo made the trip less memorable for me.
I do know this.
Do not put off your dreams until all you can do is look back and say I wish I would have done this when I was younger.
You are never going to be any younger than you are now!