This one time in Sturgis…

Up and running from my much deserved nap here at Hog Heaven. Now….whatever will I do with my day?! 

First things first, I should finish unpacking the saddle bags. This was a great idea until I decided to repack the passenger side bag which was on the down hill side of the bike which was basically perpendicular to the ground due to the kickstand leaning into the hill. 

I pushed my jacket down into the bag with the precise amount of pressure required to tip the entire bike over towards myself.

Classic Jessie “Ooops!” 

Not the first or the last time I’ll drop one of my bikes. Life happens! Aside from a minor bruise on my knee and some scuffs to the paint on the saddle bag nothing  was damaged. I walked over and asked my camp nieghbors to give me a hand putting her back rubberside down and all was well. 

Next up, downtown Sturgis for my annual shopping trip … bandana for a friend, Tshirts for a few more, leather vest for the kiddo, and a new patch & pin for me. Done! One stop shop, one bag to carry, time to stroll the streets and see the sights! 

People often have a misconception of this rally that if you don’t ride a Harley you don’t belong….well…. here are a few photos to prove that wrong! 

I really wish I could of gotten a look at the riders of this dynamic pink duo here… as for the Norton I’d just like to take that for a spin! 

A big block with a saddle and a puppy in a cage… don’t ask why …the answer is always why not?! 

I’ve got a thing for Bobbers and this one is badass!!! 

Shows at 12, 2, and 4 …I simply MUST see this happen! Not a clue what it does but it’s definitely something I’ve never seen. 

My downtown stroll was eventful and entertaining as always but I called it an early night and headed back to camp. 

I didn’t quite make it…The Jackpine Gypsies were holding a Hillclimb at the entrance to my campground and dad and I used to race there so I had to stop. Turns out it was actually Hilldrags and I got a discount on admission when I mentioned I Hillclimbed there 20 years ago! I failed to get a picture but there is a video on my Facebook page, Jessie Lee’s Open-Road Experience. Watching bikes run side by side up a 300+ foot hill that looked to be completely vertical at the top was awesome! However it mostly made me wish I had a dirt bike with me! Good times! 

Ok time for bed! And for an entire night not just a nap! 

Thursday morning I was up with the sun! My favorite part of camping in Sturgis, head to the shower house for coffee and chit chat. Today I met several people from Canada and Washington. Some had never been before so I shared a few of my favorite places with them. Others have been many times and we swapped rally and road stories. One guy from Alberta has been almost everywhere in the U.S. that I have been so we chatted over breakfast for about an hour and several others joined in with questions and comments, it was a regular family affair. Love it! 

Camp breakfast never disappoints…no I didn’t order it to go on the bike, these are the plates here at Hog Heaven. 

I tried something new this year, I actually took the time to stop and wash my bike while here! I know dad won’t believe me so I took a picture. 

I seem to end up in Deadwood every year at least once for a Bloody Mary at Saloon No. 10. I decided today was the day! 

Someday someone will tell me why we only park on one side of the street in Deadwood?! 

Down the road I rolled to my favorite rest area on HWY 385. I never remember the name so I took a picture of the sign this time in case anyone else wants to go visit it. There was a fun group of guys there from Texas…Rig Riders I think the name was. They were having a good time taking pictures making smart ass small talk and just enjoying the day! Exactly the kind of people I love finding out on the road! I took about 30 minutes to enjoy the scenery and entertainment. 

Next stop Hill City where we get to park on all sides and in the middle of the street! I waited my turn on the roof top of the Buffalo bar to get up to the railing and enjoyed the bikes rolling by with my coffee. 

Hydrated and caffeinated I was ready to roll on. Needles Highway up next! One of my must do rides in the Black Hills I have never missed it even on vacations here in a car. It was creeping up on lunch time when I pulled into Sylvan lake and they always have a beat & burger stand out front of the park office. I stopped and grabbed a plate and a guy in line behind me commented on my Betty Boop patch on my vest. It occurred to me that it came from here so I shared the little story of how the people on the Indian Reservation in Custer hand carved and painted the leather and one year when I couldn’t make the rally someone brought it back for me. 

I continued through the line and perched myself up on a rock wall like many other years the tables were full. I was just finishing my food and the Betty Boop guy wondered up and asked if he could give me a compliment, now I thought seriously about saying, ” Absolutely NOT!” But figured he might not get my sarcastic humor so I simply said “sure!” And he proceeded to tell me that I am very beautiful…..WOW way to make a girls day guy!!! THANKS A BUNCH! 

All fat and sassy time to wind some curves! 

And climb some rocks….I always get the best views! I also ended up in several pictures and videos of people passing through the Needles Eye tunnel as I stood on top of it and waved. 

I found a can of Peaches in the strangest place ...

I pulled over in a new spot I had never stopped and got a great view of Harney Peak. This is a fantastic place to hike to, 7 miles round trip climbing I forget how many thousand feet to an old Army Ranger station which is on top of a ginormous rock face and you are able to go up inside the tower to the look out station. Generally in the clouds and the views are amazing!!! 

I didn’t hike it this year but figured I should tell you why I’m posting a picture of what seems to be nothing ….waaaaaaay out in the middle of this ontop of the highest peak is a dot. That dot is the ranger station tower. 

What an awesome trip through the Needles! 

Buffalo happen in the black hills …cruising along behind a few bikes with an Allstate Insurance can behind me when suddenly the brake lights flashed up ahead and people actually came to a complete foot on the pavement stop on a curve in the middle of my lane!!! Are you EFFing serious?! Yes I see a buffalo 50 feet off the road laying down ….no I don’t think you will hit him from here….yes I like pictures of buffalo…no I do NOT find it necessary to stop in the middle of the road in a curve with traffic behind me to take said picture! 

Ok rant over …for real people get a clue! 

Now after I went around them and continued on my way I found another buffalo on the side of the road that ended up in the road. He had terrible timing. He was the star of the show and everyone was pulled over off their bikes taking pictures when police cars and an ambulance were trying to come trough to an accident. One officer stopped and asked everyone to please get back on their bikes and away from the road so the emergency vehicles could get through. 

This was becoming an eventful day…no word on the accident yet hopefully they are all ok. 

I cruised passed Crazy Horse, it hasn’t changed much in 20 years so no need to stop. Same with Mount Rushmore. A few fly by pics and I was in Keystone.

The streets were fairly empty but the board walk was full ! I wondered over to the empty balcony above the ice cream shop and had the deck and the views all to myself. It’s open to the public yet every year I seem to be the only one who gets the memo. Fine by me I like having my own place ! Wild Bill was in the street cracking his whip and put all of our exhaust pipes to shame with the loud bang he made! And man what a giant I’m guessing a few inches over 7′ tall!!! No one was telling him to be quiet or get out of the road anytime soon. 

I took a rather quick paced ride back into Sturgis . I was in my zone on my favorite curvey piece of asphalt in the hills and there wasn’t a soul in front of me!!! Time to fly kids!!! Throttle cranked, sidewalls getting a work out, round and round I go! I don’t want to incriminate myself here so we will just pretend I was obeying all traffic laws and wearing proper safety gear. Wind in the hair sun on the face and tires to the pavement man what a ride!!!

Final stop of the day the Full Throttle Saloon! Met a friend for a few adult beverages and some awesome yet strange live entertainment. Definitely one of those “only in Sturgis” type situations. Hell I even found Waldo!

Turned onto the camp road and discovered there were once again some races going on and tonight it was a run what you brung type deal. I watched bikes race trucks and bikes race bikes and a few other vehicles that remain unidentifiable. 
Stopped at the camp bar for a final drink of the day and chatted with some fellow campers. Ended the day with a full moon.Thanks for following along I hope you are enjoying the ride! 

Just wait until you hear what dad did tomorrow!!!

3 thoughts on “This one time in Sturgis…”

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