By now, you know what’s been going on in the northeast portion of our beautiful state and the state immediately northeast of us.
The same thing that has occurred every August for decades — people who love to ride motorcycles and those who love people who do and people who love a good party and good music and people who love to people-watch — is happening in Sturgis, South Dakota, that tiny little town that doesn’t even resemble a town for nine days every August.
We have just completed another of our adventures, which have admittedly been sporadic over the last 18 summers.
Really longtime Constant Readers will remember that the first time we went was a 12-hour, one-day round trip when I sat on a throw pillow bungee corded to a luggage rack. But I was in the throes of “new” love, and although I was in pain, it’s fun to relive that day and the fact that I survived.
And that’s the day I discovered that with everything that Sturgis is, it also includes shopping. I did not know that before the first time, and now I do — and budget for it.
Most of the shopping is exactly like me — blingy, loud, over the top, shouty. Just my style. But there are some really lovely, quality, expensive vendors there as well, especially in the area of jewelry.
Of course, we could take our Harley and ride the Black Hills, just four hours away, anytime, without thousands of others crowding the same highways and stores and eateries.
But we never do. The best riding season coincides with football season, then there’s Winter I and Winter II, and then golf season. So really, we set this one week in August aside and that’s when we go.
I’m perhaps most proud of the little towns in the 307 who have realized that there are bucks — big bucks — to be made by having fun things for bikers and their pals to do during the week.
Both Sundance and Hulett have festival-type events on the Wednesday of Sturgis Week, and the interstate and state highways are filled with bikers getting to and from there.
And our own little secret is in South Dakota, but so close to Wyoming you can almost see it from there. In a 100-year-old ranch pasture, a bar, restaurant, music stage and dance floor have sprung up. It’s only open about 10 days a year, which is part of its charm but sad for those who don’t ride during Rally Week.
We love it there, where the beer is cold and the cheeseburgers are delicious.
Mostly, we just love the whole hot, dusty, buggy week. We love people-watching. We love meeting new people where all of the tables are family style, and if you want to sit, you have to sit with people you don’t know.
We love everything — as long as it doesn’t rain and we don’t crash.