If you are a motorcycle enthusiast or know one or live in South Dakota or anywhere in the central midwest or just keep track of random events, you might know that last week (August 8-13) was the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.
I didn't make it out this year (obvio). Scott and my in-laws attempted to head out there but turned around at 3 am after encountering mechanical problems with the truck hauling the toy trailer. Since I failed to blog about our trip to Sturgis last year (found out a week after we arrived home that I was pregnant), I thought I'd finally blog about it now. Fitting, eh?
So, last year was our second year to go to Sturgis. The first year Scott and I headed the rally on our way to Yellowstone (Sturgis was my bait to get Scott camping) and last year Scott's brothers and mom decided to join us on the roadtrip.
We loaded up two trucks to haul the four bikes and caravaned up north. Since it's quite the trek to South Dakota, we left Dallas around 10 at night and drove straight through. The picture below was taken somewhere in Nebraska though now I don't remember where--maybe somewhere outside Grand Island? One day I'd love to take a roadtrip through middle America where I can stop every time I want to take pictures. I love the heartland so much--something about windmills and silos and rows and rows of corn really get me. But I digress...
After driving through Nebraska all day long (I'm sad to say the western part of the state isn't quite as pretty as the eastern part), we finally entered South Dakota and headed toward the Black Hills. We saw a few prairie dogs and antelope, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and a whole lot of bikes before finding our cabin in the hills. We stayed about 15 minutes outside of Hill City in the cabin below. The cabin was pretty isolated but the scenery was just breathtaking.
The next morning we woke bright and early to head back to Hill City and do some riding through the hills. See my shirt below? I was made to buy a rally shirt so as to not look so preppy during the rally. Ha!
The Black Hills are amazing. It's too bad South Dakota is so difficult to get to and in the stinkin' middle of nowhere (sorry Lisa if you're reading this). You can see in some of the pictures how the scenery is more hilly than mountainous, but these soaring rock structures really are stunning.
And everything is so fresh and green. Still warm during the day but without the humidity and thickness of the days in Dallas.
After riding through the hills, we rode up to Deadwood to grab some lunch. Deadwood is a charming town (not sure charming is the right word, but you know) and we always enjoy our stop there. As you can see below, I also happened upon some more appropriate rally attire. :)
Below - Deadwood, South Dakota
More riding through the Black Hills. Scott and I took a picture at this rock formation our first year and wanted to go back again. I believe this is right after the entrance to Custer State Park--maybe Sylvan Lake? A great place for camping!
So many bikes that sometimes we had to wait in line to go through single vehicle openings in the hills. No matter how many pictures I took I could never get a good one that could portray just how many bikes are on the road. It truly is a sight to behold. Not sure who let the car on the road! ;)
Lots of these single vehicle openings in the hills...
Our first year Scott and I ran out of time to ride all of the loops in Custer State Park that we wanted to. This year I made sure that we had time to ride The Iron Mountain (probably pictured above) as well as the Wildlife Loop. As soon as we entered the Wildlife Loop we saw a herd of buffalo. They were probably only about 20 feet from the road. Totally unfazed by the bikes. They were the only buffalo that we saw on the ride but we did see some burros--in the middle of the road!
If you look closely below you can see Mount Rushmore! Taken from Iron Mountain Road.
I didn't include any pictures of our trip to Mount Rushmore in the post since they're basically the same as the ones we took the first year, but I thought this side view of the monument was neat.
We spent most of our time in Hill City--partly because it was so close to our cabin but also because we both really enjoy the little town. Sturgis is loud and hot and dirty and so many t-shirts and scantily clad women that we usually only spend about two hours there before we're done, but Hill City is much more relaxed. We just pulled up some chairs at a bar and watched all the bikes drive by. We may have indulged in some Dairy Queen as well...
And of course I met up with Lisa of Books.Lists.Life and her family again--this time in Keystone. I'm sad we were too early to meet the princess, but as you can see she had yet to arrive. :) And no, we didn't plan our matching pink outfits. And seeing that picture of me is so making me want to chop all my hair off now!
I SO want this Pink Warrior bike!
Overall it was a great trip. Staying in the cabin was relaxing and peaceful and the riding was perfect. We couldn't have asked for better weather. While Sturgis itself is a bit overrated, we absolutely love the rest of the hubbub of the rally. There is so much camaraderie and I love that so many people get together during this week for the love of riding. The Black Hills is such a gorgeous venue and I could see ourselves heading out again and again. Maybe not for a few years as our family is now starting to expand, but I know there will be much more riding in our future.