Authors note: It was a busy Friday – I split this post up into two separate entries due to lots of pictures and unrelated subject matter. This is Post 2 of 2:
After Storybook Island, (see previous post), we jumped back into the Silverado which still has the Harley loaded in the bed and the bikes on the hitch rack; and we headed north on I-90 to visit Sturgis.
But first- we got sidetracked when we saw all the activity at Black Hills HD located next to the highway in Rapid City. They have a giant tent set up in front of the dealership, traffic cones set up all over the parking lot and attendants in orange vests directing traffic. So we exited I-90 to check it out.
Check out the (seemingly) never-ending rows of motorcycles for sale:
I bought a Sturgis 2015 cap and a Rally T-shirt inside the dealership. They are expecting a madhouse once bike week begins in another 15 days or so. I think we’ll depart the area soon to avoid the traffic and high camping costs.
Here’s some pics we took in and around downtown Sturgis:
Downtown streets will be closed to cars and filled with stop-and-go motorcycle traffic and bike parking only during bike week in a couple more weeks.
This must be what the ‘calm before the storm’ looks like.
We posed for pictures in front of the giant picture pasted on the side of a building in downtown Sturgis:
Now we can say “we were there” for the historic 75th anniversary of the motorcycle rally. We actually attended the rally several times during 1996 thru 1999 and again in 2006.
We headed east out of town and stopped at the Full Throttle Saloon. You may have seen this place on the reality television series that first aired in 2009. Click HERE for more info. During the week of the Sturgis Rally, the saloon averages 20,000 guests per night.
Stilla let me buy a Full Throttle Saloon T-Shirt before we left 🙂
We then drove a little further east of downtown to check out the world-famous Buffalo Chip. We stayed here each time we visited the rally in years past (1996 thru ’99 and again in 2006). This was back when it was still affordable… I remember paying $10 or $20 back in the ’90s to camp here… even with big-name bands like Ted Nugent playing for the evening’s entertainment. It has become so commercialized over the years, that it’s no longer any fun (for us) or affordable.
I had the pin striping and the ‘Buffalo Chip’ logo (below) painted on my rear fender back in 1996 at the Buffalo Chip campground.
I also still have their sticker on my windshield… it’s held up pretty well over the years. Wonder if they would give us a discount to stay at the campground since I’ve been advertising for all those years?
Anyway, it was a fun trip down memory lane to see Sturgis and the Buffalo Chip campground again.
We had an early dinner at Taco John’s in Sturgis and then drove back to Rapid City. When we got close to our Coach parked at Americas Mailbox, we decided to drive the few extra miles along I-90 to Ellsworth Air Force Base to check out the FamCamp. The campground loops were full but they have room at their “overflow” lot for $10. The “overflow” lot has 30 Amp electric but no water or sewer. That works for us, especially at that price, so we moved over here on Saturday, but I’ll leave that for my next post. Stay tuned…