Yesterday was our first day off from work here in the Black Hills. The weather forecast made us optimistic that we would be able to enjoy a nice day and we were not disappointed.
We started out by riding the bike into Custer to run a couple of errands and grab some breakfast. Once those chores were done we headed back to our campground to meet fellow work campers Doug and Rand. They both ride their own Harleys and invited us out for a ride. Doug drives one of the on site tour buses while Rand works in the Welcome Center. They have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off so hopefully, if our days off stay the same, we can have a lot more motorcycle adventures together.
They hopped on their bikes as we pulled into the park and we headed out. Our destination was Sturgis, South Dakota. Yep "that" Sturgis. :-)
The last week of July until the middle of August Sturgis is a motorcycle Mecca. The "official" bike rally is the first week of August but there are still a ton of people, bikes and activities for the week(s) prior to and after the rally.
We will make a ride over during the rally just to experience it but wanted to get a "before" view of the town and surrounding area before the masses arrive.
The ride over was nice with "picture perfect" weather and smooth roads. :-)
We passed through Deadwood and arrived in Sturgis. After a quick tour of Main Street we stopped for lunch. We lingered over our meal, talking and getting to know each other better. Doug and Rand have attended the rally a couple of times and acted as our tours guides around town. Once lunch was finished we headed out to the campgrounds just outside of town. The campgrounds sprang up when the rally outgrew the small town and people needed additional places to camp and party. Right now they are just large open fields with cattle grazing in them but come July the cows will be gone and thousands of bikers will be camping here.
We made a stop at the Full Throttle Saloon which is a bike week landmark. They even film a reality TV show here during bike week.
Today the place was mostly deserted except for the "locals"
Why is it that some people must make an ass of themselves when they drink? :-)
We left Sturgis and made our way to Spearfish Canyon, a beautiful scenic drive. The road follows the twists and turns of a small fast flowing river. We love to ride these type of roads and I'm sure we will make this a destination several times during our stay here.
At the end of the canyon we turned back toward home but not before stopping at a small diner for a break. I took the lead for the last leg of the trip. Riding along through the National Forest you never know what you may see. We are always alert for Deer, Mountain Goats, antelope etc. While riding I saw a very large bird flying above us and quickly recognized it as a Bald Eagle. What a sight that was against the blue skies framed by the tall pine trees, gorgeous!
Back at home we put the bike to bed in the cargo trailer and relaxed the rest of the evening. What a great day off here in the "Hills". Here is the view from the campground behind our motor home.
Today we have to run some more errands and will have to take the truck. We need to stock up on some groceries and may make a run into Custer State Park to look up some blog readers who are camp hosting there. I'll keep you posted.