Day 232 Wed. 1st August Rapid City & Sturgis (Playing Tourists) 382km

Not all of the 382km belong to today as we rode to Stirgis late yesterday afternoon via one of the many little routes around this area and had dinner in Sturgis and then rode back on the highway last night, (so 130km was done yesterday and not today.) I was totally blown away with the riding, it feels like Switzerland with Alpine Cabins, Pine Trees and winding mountain roads, everything is green and the road surface is in mint condition and excelent road markings and a small run-off area on the side on some roads. And it is very busy with mostly Harley Davidsons, and many wifes are with their husbands on the back or even on their own bikes. It is unbelieveable to think that the landscape changed from the dry Badlands to these forests in the Black Hills within 50km.

The main street of Sturgis was not as busy as this photo below, which is a photo I took of a photo against a wall.

We manged to find parking and thought we would be considerate, so we all parked on one parking, but the Harleys feel they each need their own parking so there is enough space around your bike to show it off, and there were plenty of bikes to show-off.

 

We found a table on Main Street and sat and watched the bikes go past. In a week from now then the Rally starts this would not have been possible, and judging by the amount of market stalls, pop-up restaurants and bars being erected in the parking-lots and on the sidewalk I am very glad we are not going to be here for the crowds when they arrive. What we also learnt was that the event is sperad out over the entire area and all the campgrounds and trailer parks and holiday resorts in a 50km radius are full with bikers, they all ride around to the little towns in the day, stop off at Sturgis during the day, but at night they ride back to where they staying, and that was another reason why it was not so extremely busy in the town last night.

At the markets they are selling mostly Harley Riding Gear, but you can find any tye of cool riding boots and hats to ride around in as this state is happy that you dont have to wear a helmet and die when you have an accident, but dont let them catch you without eye-protection, Peens discovered this last night, the policman was very angry as he did not wear glasses and said it was dangerous as a bug could hit him in the eye and he could become blind. The “Look” this year is to wear an Undertakers type of hat. Trump also featured on many T-Shirts.

This morning we started off early and headed to Mount Rushmore to beat the crowds.

But we were a little distracted by a couple doing Aerobics Yoga on a little wall.

Both are extremely strong and he spins and flips her and it is scary to watch. Then Dog recognised him from a TV Show. Google supplied this to us later.

So we started chatting and he offered to do a move with Dog. Milsy helped a little to get the move going.

But then Milsy managed to complete the move and is now thinking of selling his Dirt Bikes and taking up this sport full time.

And then we started riding:

At some places wooden bridges were built that “cork-screw” you to the next road section.

There are many roads and Loops you can do, but the most impressive one today was the Needle Hi-way which winds through a strange landscape with rocks sticking out of the green undergrowth. At one place there is a small pass-way through the rocks.

And then we passed through another park and had a look at Bison (they call it Buffalo here.)

 

And then we found a lake and it was time for a swim. This lake was a very popular spot for families having lunch under the trees and Kayaking accross the lake.

Mount Rushmore took 390 men 13 years to chissel out of the mountain. One of the workers was a Polish Imigrant. He was asked by an Indian Chief, “Henry” Sitting Bull (he was sent to proper school andhad to get an English name and had to wear Western Clothing,) to do a carving in another part of The Black Hills of a famous Indian Worrior, Crazy Horse, who became famous when him and his men stood their ground in the battle against General Casta, (at a place now refered to as Casta’s last stand) and defeated the army, know as the battle of Little Big Horn. But he was arrested later and stabbed to death when it looked as if he was reacing for his knife by a soldier with a Bayonette. This project is still continuing and will still take many years to complete, but a visitors centre was built and today we went there to learn more of the Native American Red Indian and its very very sad past. There were between 60m and 80m Indians in 1870 before the war started after negotiations broke down, probably because of a problem in the translation. It was a part of history I knew nothing about and something I will research once I get back home.

The sculpture, Mr Ziolkowski and his wife started and during the time had 10 children, he passed away and his wife continued, and when she passed away the children took over. He made a sculpture of Crazy Horse sitting on his horse, see white sculpture below.

He had a lot of energy as this compressor below was what gave him the power for his Jack-Hammer, and it stood below him on the flat ground, 750 steps up a wooden staircase, and he would start it and start climbing the stairs, and he said that some days he would get half way and the motor would die, then he had to walk down again and crank it into life again before climbing the stairs again. The one day it happened 9 times, plus he still had the strength to have 9 kids, remarkable.

On the photo is a red whip-thing, there were being sold yesterday at the Market Stalls and I thought they were normal whips, but today when I saw this one I asked Dog andhe said that they are called “Get Back Whip” and are used to whip a car’s windscreen if it cuts you off, and the mean bikers weave a nut into the tassles and then it shatters your windscreen.

It is illegal in some states.

Tomorrow we move on and have a Traveling Day with a lot to see, Big Horn Mountain in the Rocky’s.

1 Comment

  1. Enjoyed your blog today. Very entertaining! Cheers, Bruce

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