Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back

Yes my little langoliers, I'm back from the nasty little sinus infection I contracted a few weeks ago. Feeling better every day! For all of you back in central you remember the connection to langoliers? And for all of you that were around in the mid-70's.....does the title of this blog ring a bell? Maybe you still remember Vinnie, Epstein and Horshack?

Joan and I have completed well over half of our assignment here in South Dakota and have just over 6 weeks left until it will be time to head south towards Lake Mead. We have really enjoyed our stint here at Crazy Horse and would recommend it to anyone who has not had the opportunity to visit the Black Hills of western South Dakota.

A few weeks ago the city of Custer celebrated Gold Discovery Days. Arts, crafts, car show and a parade which Joan and I decided to check out.

I guess you just never know what you might see at a parade like this.

Joan & Kevin
Over the last few weeks we've been on the bikes quite a bit. 2 weeks ago Joan's cousin from Ohio Kevin and 2 of his friends, Mike & Julie called to let us know they would be passing through town on their way to Wyoming. After 3 days of riding through the Great Plains, once they drove the 50 miles through the Black Hills to stop and see us, they decided to stay.....which they did for 3 days! We had a blast. We led them on a winding ride that included Wind Cave, Custer State Park, Iron Mountain Road, Keystone and Hill City.

Mike & Julie
Check out the stats under the
Iron Mountain Road sign
The next day Phil & Rudy took them riding to Pactola Lake and a few other locals including a pre-rally ride to Sturgis. I think we wore them out as poor ol' Kevin had to check in at the clinic for a quick pick-me-up before they could head out the next day. Don't worry just a sign that your getting to where you're more mature and experienced than some of the others around you.

Last week was the official week of the Sturgis Black Hills Rally and Joan and I knew we had to make the passage at least once while we were here. Our days off were Monday and Saturday......hhmmmmmm...let's see.....should we go early in the week before it gets too crazy? Or should we wait and join in the insanity that ensues on the weekend? Decisions, decisions. We chose Monday. 57 miles between our campsite and the location of 1 of the most well known motorcycle rallies in the world. And there was never a break in the oncoming traffic.

I would have never guessed that the roads that far out of Sturgis would be so busy with motorcycle traffic. 2014 is the 74th Sturgis Rally and estimates for attendance included over 400,000 bikes. Next year, 2015 will be the 75th and sources are estimating that anniversary will bring out more than 1 million motorcycles. Let's just say that Joan and I are in agreement that we plan to be far away from that crowd. Sturgis was a lot like the Bike Weeks and Biketoberfests that we have seen in Florida with the vendors and the crowds. But the riding in and around the Black Hills is what makes it so special. Nothing like Florida at all. Remember the title of this blog? Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back. That's what the state of South Dakota says every year to the motorcyclists that visit. The local Chamber of Commerce has published information that the Sturgis rally pumps over $800 million in revenue into South Dakota every year. Huge, just huge.

Our friends Dave and Lydia are leaving Florida with their Harley in the back of the truck this week headed to visit us! We expect them this Friday and are looking forward to showing them around. I'm already planning the routes we'll ride and some of the non-bike related activities we'd like to share with them. Hurry up you guys!

Stay Tuned. More to Come.


  1. You are definitely in great motorcycle riding territory. One of our annual summer trips west led us through Sturgis. It sure is much nicer in June!! They say there is nothing available for staying within a 100 miles. I do believe it!

    Glad Joan's cousin and friends had a great time touring the area. You two would be excellent hosts and guides. Enjoy the arrival of your guests. They are in for a treat for sure!

    Good hear you are all healed Steve:)

  2. What fun you both are having. Love to read your blog because it feels I am right there with you. What fun. Glad you both are well. Many more fun days ahead. Take care.

  3. Welcome back! (Welcome back Welcome back) Glad to hear you've recovered from your sinus infection.

    400,000 motorcycles is A LOT of motorcycles. A million predicted for next year??? Holy cow!!

  4. Sounds like a good time! It is fun to get into Sturgis at least once during the rally to see the bikes and people watch but it is a little crazy to be on the road with all that traffic!