August 7 – Wandering Around Sturgis

Friday, August 7, was very near the end of the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and a lot of people were leaving by then. Jen, Paula and Tony would leave on Saturday, and given our late return to camp Thursday night, it really was no surprise that none of us wanted to do any serious riding on the 7th. Plus, both Tony and Paula decided to get their bikes’ oil changed before riding home, and Jen wanted to look for some souvenir clothes.

All of this resulted in a group decision to spend at least part of the day in downtown Sturgis. The four of us saddled up, and we could tell the crowds were thinning because we only had a one- or two-mile backup before the first traffic light in town, rather than the typical three- to four-mile backup earlier in the week.

Because Jen and I didn’t have to ride through town to the oil-change folks, we opted to park in a nice dentist’s parking lot on the near end of town for only $5 each for all day. Tony and Paula continued working their way through the traffic jam to the far end of town, where they’d (eventually) get their oil changed. Jen and I didn’t see them again until we all got back to camp.

Jen was on a mission. She had seen a pullover sweatshirt earlier in the week that she didn’t buy at the time, and she had been kicking herself all week for that, so she was DETERMINED to find one! I had already bought my souvenirs, so I was just scoping out the scenery – motorcycles, women, motorcycles… you know, the usual. šŸ˜‰ Here’s some of what I saw while I followed Jen around:

One couple had a very calm parrot with them.

One couple had a very calm parrot with them.

Eye Candy.

Eye Candy.

An Indian with a sidecar.

An Indian with a sidecar.

*GASP* Something other than a Harley-Davidson!

*GASP* Something other than a Harley-Davidson!

As we walked up and down Main Street and I photographed bikes, Jen was becoming more and more discouraged. There were plenty of sweatshirts around, but they were all zippered ones and she wanted a pullover. The remaining pullovers either didn’t have the right graphic, or they weren’t the right color, or they didn’t have one in her size. It wasn’t looking good.

We gave up on Main Street, moved one block over to Lazelle, which is the main drag through town (Main Street, surprisingly, isn’t the big through street), and started our return walk back to our bikes. Naturally, we stopped in at every tent and store, hoping to find the right pullover. No luck, no luck, no luck. We were in the *last* store / tent on Lazelle before getting to an area where there weren’t any more stores, and had looked through *all* of their offerings, when Jen spotted One. Last. Rack. of pullovers as we were leaving. She went over to paw through it, and YAY! SHE FOUND THE PULLOVER SHE HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR ALL DAY!!!!!!! So she was a happy camper!

Until, that is, we had lunch (I use the term loosely because I don’t recall what time we ate). We went into a steakhouse and ordered our meals. When Jen’s came out, it was overcooked (she had asked for rare and it came out medium well). The problem ended up being twofold – the server had mistakenly said medium rare on the order, but then the cook had overdone even that. When Jen complained, the server took her plate back to the kitchen, where this all came to light. They credited her bill for the meat, but still charged her for the salad and the potato – which she hadn’t gotten to finish because they took her plate back to the kitchen and never returned it! (My meal was done correctly, but hers was a disaster.) So even if I go to Sturgis again, I don’t think I’ll be eating at that particular restaurant.

But having accomplished Jen’s goal of finding the perfect pullover, we returned to our bikes and rode back to camp. This bike was at the shower house that evening. I have no idea how it could possibly be comfortable to ride, but it was definitely interesting to look at!

Would you ride this? Somebody was...

Would you ride this? Somebody was…

I mentioned earlier that people had been leaving Sturgis all day. Here’s a shot of the tent area at our campground – it’s significantly emptier than it had been earlier in the week.


And finally, to leave y’all on a beautiful note, I took this sunset picture that night. The others had decided to go to one of the many bars / saloons / watering holes for their last night, but I opted out and wandered down to where our campground’s vendors were set up. This just … appeared, and I was lucky to have my phone handy to snap a picture of it.

Beautiful Sturgis sunset!

Beautiful Sturgis sunset!

This has always been my favorite time of day – when the sun is down, and it’s getting darker so everyone’s lights are on, but it’s still light enough to see the trees, buildings, and other surroundings. This particular shot is a fitting end to our group adventure in Sturgis, don’t you think?

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