Wednesday, September 28, 2011
During America's Westward Expansion, Sturgis was originally a stop for the "bullwhackers" (wagon drivers) on their way to Fort Meade. The town was also known as "Scooptown" because soldiers who came in were "scooped" (cleaned out) by characters such as Poker Alice, a famed cigar-smoking scoop expert. Now Sturgis is known for its annual motorcycle rally, the biggest rally in the country.
The first rally in 1938 consisted of nine (that is right, 9), started by a local motorcycle club. It grew and grew to the current count of almost half a million (that is 500,000). During the rally in August, only motorcycle traffic is allowed on Main Street. There would be hordes of Harley riders along US-83, heading to the edge of the Black Hills. Hotels, campgrounds and restaurants are filled with not only riders but also those with a dark side of wanting to be free and wild :)
While at Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore, we constantly were asked by others whether we were at the Mustang Rally. It was just a coincidence that we were in South Dakota during Labor Day weekend when the 5th annual Sturgis Mustang Rally was held. The event started on Thursday and ended on Monday. CP was again extremely pleased when people (mostly men, of course) made comments about the Mustang such as, "Nice pony, it should be in the parade!"
It was almost 6:00 p.m. so the streets were empty since all the visitors were gone after the rally. We walked around and went into a few stores that opened late. We talked to a really nice gentleman who came to America from Iran late 70s. He went to Boston to study civil engineering. He came to South Dakota to work for a company. He later bought the gift shop from a co-worker. "I am very happy to be here", he said. A nice story similar to my America story, and a wonderful example of what our America is about.
We both had steaks for dinner at Easyriders Saloon. After dinner, we checked into the hotel. We saw the sign telling hotel guests to use the cloth from the rag bins and not the good towels from the room to clean their motorcycles/cars. We set the alarm for me to get up early for an appointment with the tattoo artist at 7:15 a.m. - haa haa.