August 8 – Alone Again, Naturally

All things – good and bad – must eventually end. The past week with Jen, Paula and Tony definitely ranks among the good, but they all have other commitments on Monday and are more than 900 miles away from said commitments, so today they’re leaving to begin the long ride home. Tony chose to wear his souvenir boots (with a glow-in-the-dark skull-and-crossbones graphic on each one):


Jen and Paula simply wore whatever was available. They had to meet the rest of their riding group all the way over in Rapid City by 8 AM, so they left early.

Not-so-ready to head home, but what'cha gonna do?

Not-so-ready to head home, but what’cha gonna do?

I heard through the Facebook grapevine that Paula found a nail with her back tire … which resulted in a flat … that was plugged … that blew out … and ended up putting her bike on a flatbed trailer for the rest of the ride home. I’m glad both that the trailer was available (someone else in the riding group had come out to Sturgis with it) and that Paula was safe and sound after two flats!

The campground was continuing to empty out, too. Here’s a shot from yesterday (top) and one from today (bottom):

Iron Horse Campground, Friday, Aug 7

Iron Horse Campground tent area, Friday, Aug 7

Iron Horse Campground tent area, Saturday, Aug 8

Iron Horse Campground tent area, Saturday, Aug 8

Today ended up being a lazy day for me. I rode into Sturgis to do laundry and get my bike’s oil changed. It wasn’t that I *had* to do the laundry, but if I took care of it now, then I wouldn’t have to worry about it again until I got home. As for the bike, it wasn’t due for an oil change, but when Paula checked hers yesterday, I checked mine and found it was low. My first thought was just to buy some oil and add it, but the local O’Rielly Auto Parts Store didn’t have any motorcycle engine oil, so I decided to go ahead and get it changed so I wouldn’t have to worry about *that* until I got home, either. Oh, and I bought some groceries (fresh fruit, mostly) for the ride home.

After I took care of all my errands, I decided it was time to head back to the campground. There were some nasty clouds rolling in, and I didn’t want to be outside in the coming rainstorm. That ended up being a *very* good decision!

When the storm finally hit (well after I got back to the cabin), it hit with a vengeance! The wind blew so hard that my *cabin* rattled and shook, and when the wind backed around and came at the front of the cabin it blew hard enough to let rain in around the door and the window! I had put my bike’s cover over the bike, and just hoped it would survive. It almost didn’t:

A lucky catch by the Honda!

A lucky catch by the Honda!

When the storm finally moved on, and I felt safe enough to go back outside, the first things I saw when I opened the door were the two grommets from the cover, lying on the mud about 10 – 15 feet in front of the cabin. Since the bike and cover were supposed to be *between* the cabins, I figured the cover was long gone. Then I went around to look at how well the bike had fared, and found the cover trapped under the front tire. What had happened was that the kickstand had sunk into the soft ground a little bit, allowing the front tire to move just enough to trap the cover under it. If that hadn’t happened, I have no idea where the cover might have ended up! As it is, I still have no clue to how the wind managed to tear the grommets out of the cover – I wasn’t using them at all!

So I ended up all right after the storm, which is more than I can say for the poor folks in tents:

Tents were flattened and porta-potties tipped over!

Tents were flattened and porta-potties tipped over!

"Cleanup on Aisle Five, please! Spilled liquid!"

“Cleanup on Aisle Five, please! Spilled liquid!”

Right then and there I decided I would *NEVER* stay in a tent in Sturgis!

The upsides to the storm were the resulting rainbow and sunset:

The rainbow was so close I could see where the pot o' gold should have been!

The rainbow was so close I could see where the pot o’ gold should have been!

Final sunset in Sturgis

Gorgeous sunset in Sturgis

Up next – The Badlands! Stay tuned!

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