No trip to the Black Hills region of South Dakota would be complete without a quick trip to Sturgis. Sturgis. Kind of conjures up visions of a huge motorcycle rally, doesn’t it? Yup. That is precisely why we didn’t want to visit this area in August. Not that I have anything against motorcycle rallies or any other kind of rally. I just didn’t feel like getting lost in the middle of thousands upon thousands of rally attendees. I prefer low tourist season when it comes to sightseeing. The Sturgis Rally is definitely NOT low tourist season :) RV park rates are also 2-3 times higher during Rally time. I’m cheap that way. If I’m going to spend serious money on an RV site, it needs to be right on the ocean with a beautiful beach right outside my door :)
We had been told that there really wasn’t much in Sturgis the other 11 ½ months of the year but we wanted to see for ourselves. I’m glad we did. We parked the Jeep on the street and walked the town, much of which are tourist shops advertising Sturgis Motorcycle Rally T-shirts. One even advertised “ Overpriced Souvenirs and T-shirts”! I should have taken a picture :) Rick was eventually lured in by a promise of a genuine Sturgis Rally T for $6.00. They suckered him right in and he left with a genuine Sturgis Rally T :) It may be last years model, but who cares? He was a happy man :)
Once our town tour was completed, we did the only other thing we could find to do in Sturgis. We went to the Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame. Admission was $5 apiece and it was very much worth it. There were dozens of motorcycles on display.
While I wandered around taking photos, Rick went to every exhibit, read all the background info and fully enjoyed his visit.
Here is a 1938 Indian Chief. It was in excellent condition.
This 1949 Sundance was built by a Texas man who invented a drill bit for drilling oil. He used some of the money he made to build his dream machine. In the 1950’s this was one of the most expensive motorcycles in the world.
Is it just me or does this look like something Elvis would have ridden in one of his movies? With an outfit to match :)
Pandemonium, a 70’s chopper, was featured in Easy Rider Magazine. It reminds me of the bike Peter Fonda rode in the movie Easy Rider.
Eventually, we left the museum and headed to Deadwood.
Deadwood is a pretty cool little town with an interesting history. Once again, it’s geared to entertaining tourists but that didn’t keep us from walking the streets and taking in the local flavor. There are many, many casino’s in Deadwood. We looked but we did not touch :)
Touristy as it was, I really liked the Mount Moriah Cemetery known as Deadwood’s Boot Hill.
The discovery of gold in the Black Hills brought thousands of hardworking people to the area and some “colorful” ones too. Many were buried here in Mount Moriah Cemetery.
A couple of the more notable people buried here are Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.
and Calamity Jane, buried right next to him.
Calamity Jane is dubbed as “Deadwood’s Original Party Girl”. She was a sharp shooting, booze loving prostitute that was run out of town numerous time…or so the story goes :) She died of a variety of ailments, one of which was acute alcoholism. Her dying wish to be buried next to Wild Bill was granted.
It’s rather interesting to see some of the “causes of death” as listed in the death record :)
I’m particularly curious about the 14 hard boiled eggs!
After a bite to eat at Deadwood Dick’s, acceptable but not spectacular, we headed back home.
As luck would have it, we actually saw more wildlife on the way!
Big horn sheep on the side of the road.
That was it for our day. We arrived home safe, sound and pooped out! Thanks for stopping by.