Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Road to Sturgis
Arrival Day

With a big breakfast in our bellies we bid adieu to Kadoka and take to interstate 90 once again. It’s the Badlands that has our attention today and we are seriously tempted to divert. Andy comes over the radio and reminds us that this is something we plan to do with Lee and Deb. We fight the desire to follow the signs at the next exit and content ourselves with the view from the saddle. In a few more miles we do pull off the road in Wall and stop at the Buffalo Gap National Grassland Visitor Center. I am a fan of the National Visitor Centers around the country. This one in particular has exceptional displays. I get my stamp too in the Passport Book.

At a rise on the next bluff is a spectacular view of where we are heading; the Black Hills. I dismount and take in the 360 degree view. There are many scenic views in New England, yet they are but pie slices compared with the panoramic vistas on this wide open range. Your mind can’t help but think of the hardy souls that first settled this land. Indeed the farmer’s prayer I read in the visitor’s center comes to mind, of the sod that yields not to plow, and the winds that beat down the tender shoots.

As we near Sturgis, the excitement builds. Finally this day we are seeing many motorcycles. We take exit 32 and are dropped right into the heart of activity. The Bikini Bike Wash girls are there to greet us. Yet it’s the Mustang Saddle folk staged right behind them that have my real attention. The saddle has been acting like a sponge, much to my dismay and I want to speak with them about it. Not only do they take the time to listen to me, they are quick to action, and provide me with instructions, a can of spray sealant and a cover to keep it dry in the meantime.

We are only about looping through to check out the area, as we want to do our serious Sturgis activity with Lee and Debbie. Andy pulls over to find restrooms, and we decide to break here for a bit, watch some activity and have ice cream. Suddenly there is a roar like none other, and above us zips the B-1 bomber, drowning out even the hundreds of rumbling bikes before us; a seriously fantastic salute to our military personnel. All eyes are on the sky, until the B-1 is but a pinprick in the distance.

Towards late afternoon, we are reunited with our friends, and enjoy swapping tales of the road. We enjoy an evening meal seated outdoors at a biker friendly location, and try to converse as best we can with the roar of bikes as our background music. We swap stories with other riders too, before we finalize our plans for tomorrow. Now for some much needed rest, unlike last night’s sleep disrupted by bad dreams, which both Andy and I experienced. This is something I will write about later, which will have some of you paranormal fans rubbing the goose bumps from your arms.

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