We decided to spend our fifth and final day of the Sturgis Rally in downtown Sturgis. David wanted to visit the Motorcycle Museum and I really just wanted to find an outdoor bar somewhere and watch the people and bikes pass by. I love to people watch.

My sister Kristi and her husband Ron, who live in the area, were working the parking lot at the church. They had shown us the back way into town so we avoided most of the traffic. It was nice to have the inside track to a lot of the events.

David and I walked the 2 short blocks to downtown Sturgis and immediately found some awesome looking bikes. We loved looking at all the custom bikes and we ran across a Boss Hoss trike with a 57 Chevy rear end and a 350 Chevy V8 automatic. It was sweet! You can see the photos below.  We spent some time in the motorcycle museum looking at some interesting vintage motorcycles. Then headed back out onto the street and the noise! The motorcycles were deafening but I guess you don’t go to a motorcycle rally and not expect to hear some noise. We found a corner bar called the Easy Rider and planted ourselves on a stool on the 3rd level balcony and watched all the traffic below. Some fascinating bikes and interesting people passed by that intersection. I wondered why the only women that felt the need to flash everyone were those that probably shouldn’t have been doing that in the first place.

We moved onto another bar called The Knuckle where you could make your own Bloody Mary…again, great people watching. We walked through the many vendors and bought a few souvenirs for our friends back in Oklahoma.

We met my family for dinner at Shooters in downtown Rapid City and enjoyed a nice visit. Having family in the area was a huge advantage for us. Although we had a week long pass to the Buffalo  Chip and could have camped out there every night we enjoyed the nice comfy bed in my Mom’s spare bedroom and the fresh smell of coffee every morning in my Mom’s kitchen.

My sister Cathy is a Registered Nurse and works at Rapid City Regional hospital. She works the overnight shift and would meet us every morning for coffee and to share some of the details of what she had to deal with in the ICU unit she works in. I have respect for someone that can deal with such tragedy every night. She said she is required to work overtime during the rally. There were already 5 deaths reported even before the rally officially started.  The papers reported that the arrests were up this year compared to the same time as last year. Over 45 arrests for drunk driving, 45 for drug related arrests and numerous fights and accidents. I can’t imagine what the police force and the EMT teams go through in the 10 days that surround the rally. Don’t get me wrong, there are HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of bikers at the rally every year, these few idiots don’t ruin it for everyone. Most don’t even know that all this stuff is going on. Also, while we were attending the concerts at the Buffalo Chip, I did not see one security person. I know they were there, they had to be, but they were hidden very well.

All in all, David and I enjoyed ourselves immensely and almost got the bug to purchase a motorcycle…almost! We want to thank the Buffalo Chip for their hospitality and for making our first visit to the rally so enjoyable. We also want to thank Wind River Harley Davidson for sponsoring our trip to the Rally.

Now it’s time to make that long trek home and the best part of any vacation…sleeping in your own bed!