The Sturgis Bike Rally was a big disappointment. I paid way too much money. There were a lot of bikes but the rally really doesn't have anything to do with motorcycles. The rally is all about drinking and looking at boobs.
I drank a lot when I was in high school and college. I don't do that now that I'm grown up. It's hard enough not to make an ass of myself without adding the affects of alcohol and drugs. Drinking responsibly is one thing but drinking yourself stupid is something else.
Though Sturgis was a disappointment the ride was not. The ride from Denver to Sturgis was great ! The Black Hills were magnificent ! Everything was green and lush - the prairies were even beautiful. We saw a lot of other motorcycles on the highway. We stopped at Orin junction (south of Douglas Wy.) for a picnic lunch, and took another break in Newcastle Wy.
We found a nice place to setup camp in the Buffalo Chip campground then got dinner at the amphitheater. I doubt the Buffalo Chip was 1/3 full when we arrived on Thursday but they were squeezing them in by Sunday. They don't admit RV's or trailers in after 7:30pm, but there continued to be a steady unbroken stream of motorcycles coming in for several more hours.
The concerts at the Buffalo Chip were a mixed bag; some sucked and some were good. Though loud, I liked Halestorm but ZZ Top bombed. You couldn't see the stage at all unless you elbowed your way to the front and even then they looked like match sticks. I don't understand why go to a live performance only to watch them on a big screen TV?
Saturday we made the obligatory trip down the main street of Sturgis. There were some cool bikes but most were stock or modified stock - only a few were out of the ordinary. Junk shops lined both sides of the street for four blocks each one selling exactly the same thing as all the others. I didn't encounter any vendors selling a new, unusual, or hard to find product. The leather goods on sale were very poor quality. I shopped for a new pair of gloves, but everywhere I went the gloves for sale wouldn't have lasted a month and I would have been out another $35.
Sunday I rode to Mount Rushmore, got my picture taken, then rode on to the Crazy Horse monument. They haven't made much progress on Crazy Horse in the last 20 years. The front of his face has been completed but you can only see it in profile. No progress on his arm or the horse. The art gallery and museum at the visitors center is free and worth the trip. I had a good lunch at the restaurant.
We broke camp on Monday morning. Those that had to work headed back to Denver while my riding buddy and I decided to tour the country side for a few days. We made a loop through Badlands National Park then took I-90 east as far as Mitchell SD. The colors and erosion features in the Badlands were pretty and interesting. I would like to see it during a sunrise and sunset.
The weather forecast and reports of flooding convinced us to cut our trip short. We stopped into the Corn Palace in Mitchell before heading south to Nebraska. We ate lunch along the Missouri river in Niobrara State Park, Nebraska.
We ate dinner in Mullen NB. before continuing west on highway 2. We got into a blinding rain after sunset only 15 miles east of Alliance NE. It rained buckets and a little bit of pea sized hail. We had to pull off and wait it out. Fortunately it didn't last very long, but we sure got wet.
All of the motels in Alliance were full so we had to ride another 58 miles to Scottsbluff NE. to get a room for the night. It was after 11pm when we got a room.
We pulled out of Scottsbluff about 10:30am and rode south to Fort Morgan CO. We had a very good lunch at Chef's DA Chinese Restaurant, 209 Main Street in Fort Morgan. It was about 2:30pm when I got back to the house. It was 1,652 miles round trip.
Sturgis was an obscene waste of time and money, but the landscape scenery and the time riding was fair compensation.