Just so there´s no confusion as to what is going on and why these blogs are still coming after we arrived home on August 28. It's simply because I stopped writing near the end of our trip due to the fact that I was spending too much time writing the blog and not enjoying the place´s we were at. I was determined to finish the blog and I will, so I went over to point form and now I write from home when I have the time. Not sure if you noticed but I tend to write quite a bit. A lot of my Danish friends have opened up for my blog and kind of gave up on reading it. They found the pictures much easier to overcome. There are surely others with English as their mother tongue who also found it a little overwhelming.Long live the brave and fearless who did take up the challenge and of course long live those that didn´t. Then there were those who took the blog and had it translated from English to Danish through Google. It did work quite well. Not perfect but for the most part it wasn´t bad. Km in the translation did become kilometer but Karen Margrethe has been called many things in her life and has learned to live with it. The main reason as to why I wrote so much is because when we get old and yes, 50 is not old anymore,we will be able to remember all the amazing things we experienced during the summer of 2009.So… that was the explanation and here is the blog… Still going strong!!!
The Road to Sturgis, South Dakota
We arrive at the US border at around noon hour. It is really cold today and the sun is nowhere to be seen. On top of that we run into clouds with quick showers now and then. We have our rain pants and jackets on not only for the rain but also to keep warm.This is the first time I´ve actually had frozen fingers. It´s times like this that I really miss the desert ride from Amarillo, Texas to Dumas where Km misplaced her credit card. We reach the border and the Customs Officers were very pleasant. They checked our passports and wanted to check our saddlebags to see what we had in them. I told him that they might be difficult to open due to the amount of luggage attached onto the luggage rack. He said to open them as much as we could and that would be fine. After a quick inspection we were allowed to continue on our way. I asked how far it was to the nearest gas station. I had about 100 kms left in the tank.He tells us that the nearest gas station is about 70 miles down the road. When I explained that we only had enough gas for 60 miles he was very helpful in finding another service station just off beaten path. Once again after North American standard, it was just around the corner . We just had to travel west from Fortuna about 20 miles and cross the state line into Montana. It was not what we wanted to hear but what can you do when you need gas and that's the only place to get it. Then to our luck, he realized that it was Monday and not Sunday. He told us that when we reached Fortuna, we should turn left and when we saw some large wheat silos where they load the wheat onto the trains, we should just drive in and ask at the office if we could buy some gas there. He gave us a map of North Dakota and we thanked him and were on our way. We did find the place without any trouble. It was quite a large company. We found the office and asked if we could buy some gas. He pointed us in the direction of the pumps and asked us to write down the amount of gas we filled in our tank, then come back in and they will figure out the price. With the tank filled, we were once again on our way south along route US 85. This will take us all the way down to Spearfish, South Dakota. This part of North Dakota is really out in Gods country. There is absolutely nothing out here but barren terrain. We passed through the odd city but other that there´s nothing here. We just had to stop again and get a picture of these never ending straight roads. We begin to see more and more motorbikes heading in the same direction as us. We have a good idea as to where they are headed. About 20 miles south of Watford City, we run into the North Dakota Badlands and the Little Missouri National Grasslands. Incredibly beautiful area. Typical Badlands. That is, canyons and quite desolate area. Nice place to visit but I wouldn´t want to live there!!We stop at the side of the road to take in the scenery. It was quite breathtaking to see.By late afternoon we cross interstate 94 and stop in the town of Belfield. We check in at a fine motel called the Cowboy Inn. This will be our halfway stop on our way to Sturgis. There are again, lots of motorcycles in the area. We meet a man at the store who is accompanied by three young teenagerson their way to the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, South Dakota. He was probably their chaperone to make sure they didn´t get into any trouble. I never mentioned it to Karen Margrethe but I too was sent along by Km´s mother for the verysame reason.The Buffalo Chip motto is… there is always room for another tent.This is also where we headed when we reach there.We awake early next morning and have our instant porridge and coffee and are soon sitting on our bike continuing south along route US 85. We aren't that far from Spearfish, South Dakota.It´s an easy 3 to 4 hour drive so we have time on our hands for a relaxing day. The closer we get to Sturgis, the more motorcycles we see. By noon hour, there are bikes everywhere as we enter the town of Spearfish just 20 kms west of Sturgis.Here is where we stop for lunch.We find ourselves a table and after a quick look at the menu, decide to go for the morning buffet which is served all day long.We head up to the buffet and as I start lifting the lids of the different things they have to offer, I´m wondering if I made the right choice. The bacon and sausages were dripping with fat and I almost lost my appetite over this.There were other things available and there were napkins if I decided to soak up the bacon grease so it should be okay. The time was now 1 pm and we´re on the bike heading for Downtown Sturgis.The sun was shining and it was warm.The Gps takes us along I-90 towards Sturgis. We see that there are 2 exits in Sturgis. I have absolutely no idea where The Legendary Buffalo Chip campground is so we get off at the first exit.We stop at the red light at the end of the exit ramp.We were surrounded by motorcycles waiting patiently for the light to turn green.I´m stopped beside a guy on his bike and ask him if he knows where Buffalo Chip camping is located.He tells us that as for as he can remember, we have to make a left hand turn towards downtown Sturgis and it should be on the other side of town. He seems to know where he´s going so we follow him. As we travel through town, the traffic is stop and go. We´ve never seen so many motorcycles gathered at one place at one time.It´s quite a special feeling. There were set up make shift stop signs along the main strip obviously so there is no one racing up and down the road.It took some time to get through town but it didn´t seem to matter. There was plenty to look at and we were both looking forward to return to town to check it out.We reach the other side of town and our speed picks up a little.Three kilometer`s on the other side of town we make out the huge Buffalo Chip campground sign.Yes… it´s a Buffalo, cut out of a huge piece of plywood with the word Chip written on it. We drive up to the main entrance and are directed over to the parking place where we can stop out bikes and then get in line to buy a camping reservation.It costs 65 dollars/person/night for a camping place but the price does includea concert every night. The concert tonight was no one that Km knew or felt like hearing and due to the price, we decided to find another place to camp. Cheech and Chong were performing the comedy thing which would be difficult for Km to get anything out of it so it wasn´t a difficult decision. Not that Km doesn´t have humour but with comedians, it´s much easier in your own language. It did look a little disorganized as well so the decision was not a difficult one. The group I really wanted to see was George Thorgood and the Destroyers but we were two days late for that. There was the Aerosmith concert the following day which I myself would rather see so I was hoping to see that one instead. It was 120 dollars a ticket but we were on vacation so why not. We found the Lamphere Ranch Campground just down the road from here on Hwy 34 which we did check into. It looked quite nice so we paid for two days just to start.There were no real campsites.We were told to just look for an empty place and set up camp so this is what we did. The toilets were not the best we´ve seen. Basically a Johnny on the Spot sort of thing or just a hole in the ground with an enclosure.The smell did get the best of Karen Margrethe.The showers were fine though and they had an enclosure with picnic tables for people if it did rain. There was also a kind of fast food restaurant which served food all day long and then a little grocery storefor beer and other important things. This is where we did most of our eating, especially breakfast.It was bacon and scramble eggs for me just to get my cholesterol up and running. It sure did the trick.With the tent up and everything unpacked, we head into town.Funny enough, the traditional waving to other bikers was not in use down here. It actually stopped about 40 kms north of Spearfish where I noticed that people couldn´t be bothered about waving anymore. The closer we came to Sturgis, I began to understand why. Anywhere we seem to drive now we meet 40 or so bikes and then a car. Then 40 more bikes and a car again. Just looking at the different bikers down here is a show in itself. There´s fat and skinny, young and old and the clothing they wear is sometimes quite imaginative.There were even girls who forgot to take their tops on as well. Km was on the spot snapping pictures of these very forgetful ladies. Thank heavens for the pasties on the nipples or we might have seen something we were not suppose too.Unfortunately I wasn´t around when most of these pictures were taken.Where the #ell I was… I´ll never know.Thankfully Km was there to take these ever so important pictures. At one point I was standing beside a man and his girlfriend/wife as she snaps a picture of this topless lady. When the picture was taken, she hands the camera over to him and says, here honey, this one is for you and walks away.He turns to me and I say to him… " They have absolutely no idea how important such pictures are for you and me and we both walk away with smiles on our faces. We arrive on the main strip in downtown Sturgis and find a place to park the bike. We quickly change from our long pants and boots to more appropriate attire such as shorts and sandals. We then set out to explore the area.It was of course one big flea market sort of thing with lots of bars, restaurants and places where you could hear live music. For those who wanted to buy motorcycle apparel and motorcycle parts and accessories, this was definitely the place to be.The streets were lined which such stores from one end of town to the other and then on both sides.It was quite fascinating watching the different types of bikes and the people riding them.Then of course there were those like us who walked around looking at each other. Okay, not Km and I looking at each other but more so, us looking at the other people.Not sure who had the prettier picture. Most likely them ;-))) unless of course it was Km and I looking at each other then it was definitely I who had the prettier picture.Spent a few hours just walking around and we decided to find a grocery store where we could buy some dinner.There seemed to be brewing up a storm at the moment.In the far distance there were darker clouds on their way to the Town of Sturgis.It was difficult to hear if there was thunder in the distance or just Harley Davidson motorcycles.One thing for sure was that it looks as though our decision not to see the OUTDOOR Concert this evening was a good one.Found some sandwiches and some beer and headed back to the bike.With our motorcycle clothes on, minus the leather jackets because of the heat, we head out to the main strip, turn left and immediately involve ourselves in bumper to bumper traffic only without the bumpers.It took us quite a while to get out of town with all the bikes in our way.At the last stop sign it began to drip upon us.I opened up the throttle and away we went.Next stop… Lamphern Camping.It was a real nice drive back to camp. Amazing feeling as we drive on down the road along side all these other bikes.On the left hand side just before we reach Lamphern Campground, there was a huge part outdoor part indoor bar called The Full Throttle. Thousands of bikes parked just outside the front and more or less all the way around the building. This is a place we´ll have to check out later. One section of the bar was an old iron bridge set up on pillars with tables and chairs. There was even a chair ride on a wire which sends people soaring above the heads of everyone in the courtyard from one side to the other.
We arrive back at camp and decide to build an awning for our tent just in case the storm became serious. Then we wouldn´t be stuck in the tent if it rained.It worked out really well and later did hold up to the rain. We couldn´t stand up under the awning but we were very comfortable in our chairs sitting at our foldout table playing a game of cribbage.We were up at the restaurant after our sandwiches to have a cup of coffee before heading off to bed.The next day
after breakfast at Lamphern camping we returned to our tent to relax a bit.The sun was shining upon us again and it was warm. It was soon time to cruise back into Sturgis. In contrast to 80% of the bikes here, it sounded as though we were sneaking out of camp on our more or less silentHonda Vt 1100 C2Shadow. It´s got the look but not the sound. On the other hand, how many Harleys can cross the 100.000 kms markby only changing spark plugs, Oil and filter?We can!!!
Wehad a real pleasant day in town snapping pictures and just enjoying the atmosphere.At one point I saw the booth Memphis Shades. They sold Windshields and had lots of them. I always wondered what it would be like to have a windshield on my bike but never bothered because in Denmark, you normally see them in a catalogue in which you order them. Then you have to hope that it fits your bike and at the same time look good. Here at Memphis Shades, they had 20 different types of windshields and they hold them up to your bike and you can see how they look before you buy. This was the perfect chance to buy. Besides, it was only 322 good old American dollars and they install it for free. I kind of earmarked 240 dollars which was to be used at the Areosmith concert tonight. A few dollars more and the windshield was mine. I arranged with the man that I would return the following day and we would find a shield for my bike.With a big smile on my face, we continued our stroll through town.Like clockwork, it was around 4 pmand a storm seemed to be brewing.. This one looked big and black but it was difficult to determine which direction it was headed. The wind was blowing one way and the clouds another.We stepped into a little bar and museum type place to look around and see what happens with the weather. Here we found a huge map of the world. This is where people make their mark and set a round headed coloured pin by the city where they come from. There was absolutely no room on the North American side and just enough room on the European side for a little pin in Fredericia, Denmark. The pin actually took up most of Denmark.After a quick look around we walked out the door onto the main street and could see that the rain was headed our way so there was a quick stop at the Grocery store for the dinner of the day and then it was back on the bike to head home. As we reached the Full Throttle Bar, we decided to check it out.We found a parking place just out front of the bar, locked our things up and went inside. This place was amazing. The first bar of many was located on the right hand side and was apparently the German Bar.Five meters ahead on the same side was a stage with a lightly clothed girl singing and dancing with her band. Then a bar on the left and one in the middle and then you were out in the Courtyard where there were lots of other bars, booths and a Wrestling Ring in the middle. It wasn´t long before they introduced the Girl and the guy who would be wrestling with each other.This I had to get on film along with all the other stuff.It was shortly there afterI lost contact with Karen Margrethe.Looked for her at most of the souvenir shops without any luck.Found her later outside near the bike taking some more Very important pictures of woman in the new outfits. They were of course gone by the time I got there but that's nothing new for me. Thank goodness for pictures. We returned to base camp to relax a bit and would return to Full Throttle after dark. There was a shuttle bus which picked up and returned every 20minutes so that was nice.The rain did start to fall from the skies but we sat very comfortably under our green plastic tarp.In a way, it also helped keep in the heat after dark. We had dinner and a few beers and at around 10 pm I headed over to the showers.Km said she was too tired to go out so I decided to adventure over alone.I almost didn´t do it but thought to myself that I will never get any closer to this than I am now. Went up to the shuttle bus after my shower and saw that the bus had just departed.Nothings so bad that it can´t be good for something. Now I have time to drink a beer while waiting and the store is only 10 steps to my left. How good was that !!!??? We were now 10 people waiting to depart for the bar and the rain was nowhere to be seen . The Shuttle bus arrives and people start boarding. The driver brings it to our attention that the trip is free but he does appreciate tips since it is his own bus and that he does this voluntarily. Unfortunately there were those who chose not to hear this. Shame on them because in the long run it will be people like myself who will have to find alternative ways of getting up to the bars when the driver packs things in.We arrive at the front of the bar and we all get out and proceed to the main entrance.There was live music from the moment you walk in. The place was packed with people and I ´m sorry I didn´t take my camera with.It was quite a show. Just looking at the people was enough.I entered the courtyard where there was a concert going on. I was glad I had my ear plugs with because it wasn´t long before they were planted in my ears.The music was so loud and the bass was trying to enter my chest. Deaf people could have heard the music. Then, just as you thought the noise had reached its peak, a man starts up his Harley which was parked in the middle of all these people, gives it full throttle for 2 minutes. There were flames coming out of the muffler. Then he shuts it off, his girlfriend shakes her head from side to side and everyone goes on about their business. I couldn´t agree more with his girlfriend. I´m sure that the shake of the head meant, grow up and get a life.Spent a couple of hours just walking around and taking in the atmosphere.It was then back to the shuttle bus and return to Karen M.We started to sleep with earplugs due to the noise during the night. Its not that the Harleys made noise all through the night. It is because that every half hour there was a guarantee that one would drive past the tent.The earplugs were heaven sent.Slept more or less well that night and in the morning went up to the restaurant for my usual scrambled eggs and bacon.It was pretty cold today so we had our wool sweaters on which was great to help keep warm. Took the laptop with to get in touch with the outside world . This, like many of the campgrounds we found had wireless internet. We spoke with Marc and Kante but at times we couldn´t hear each other because of motorcycles driving by .The Harleys seem to require revving of the engine at all the times so they don´t conk out.It's a relief to have a real motorcycle.The good ol Honda VT 1100 C2.
After speaking with Marc and Kante on Skype, Km left me alone at the table and disappeared for a while. I decided to check my e-mails. In the meantime, a young couple came and sat down at our table. It sure wasn´t easy for a simple man like me to concentrate on my e-mails.Despite the fact that it was cold and I´m sitting there wearing my wool sweater, this young lady had a short leather skirt on and a bikini top. Without exaggerating at all, this woman could have been Dolly Partons runner-up. To make things worse or perhaps much better, the bikini top was nothing more than a two inch leather strap which was by no means enough to cover very much of her accessories.I asked her if she wasn´t cold.She said a little but all of her clothes were wet and this was all she had left. How lucky was I !!?? She asked me if I was on the internet. I told her I was and she asked me if I could see what the weather will be like today and the next few days. I told her I could and she slid herself across the bench and planted herself close up to me so she could see the computer screen.In the meantime, her husband says to her that he´ll be right back and leaves the table. So there we were, us two trying to find out what the weather would be like, her husband's gone and I`m sitting beside this more or less half nude lady and I know that any minute, Karen M will return and I´ll have a lot of explaining to do.I guess I could say that I was sitting here minding my own business checking my e-mails when this lady came over and sat beside me and asked if I could try and find out what the weather would be like the next few days. Ya right… she´ll believe that story. Shiiit man, I´m in trouble. Thank goodness for miracles. Her husband returned first and then Karen Mand I was able to introduce Km to him, and his lovely wife Boobie, I mean Betty. They were really a sweet couple these two. With the weather situation in hand, we returned back to the tent, straightened up and prepared ourselves for another trip into Downtown Sturgis.I´m looking forward to that because today´s the day my bike will be fitted with its own windshield. It started to warm up again quite quickly as the sun insisted upon shining. We headed into town and started to search for Memphis Shades. Didn´t take long before the place was in sight and we drove right in.They were pretty busy but they managed to squeeze us in.It was after the third showing of Motorcycle windshieldsthat I found the one that looked best on the bike. Karen M agreed and after a half hour, the bike was ready to rock. I wasn´t sure if I could get use to the 17 inch high shield so the man said I could test drive it today and if I wasn´t satisfied, they could exchange it for the 15 inch tomorrow. With the windshield in place, we parked the bike in their parking lot and walked around town until it was getting close to dinner time. We had just enough time to take a test drive on the bike and then shop for supper. We headed out town so we could feel what it was like to have the wind blocker in front of us.It was a little different driving with this windshield in the way all the time but it wasn´t long before I actually started to enjoy having it there. For some strange reason it seemed to dampen the noise and for the first time I could drive without glasses to keep the wind out of my eyes.We didn´t drive far because Km reminded me of the fender to fender traffic we have to get through in orderto get back to camp. We stopped in and grabbed a couple of sandwiches and beer and headed on home. As we came out to the main strip, the road was missing under all those bikes. The beer would definitely be warm by the time we got out of town. An emergency plan was in order. We turned the bike around and found a back street which headed in the same direction as we were. Theroad wasn´t as long as we hoped but it did save us some time. We were finally forced to join the others in close contact riding. The clouds began to spit on us again so we were heading the right way.We arrive back at out little tent at Lamphern Ranch and took our sandwiches and beer under our very own terrace under the tarp. Here is where we enjoyed our evening together only to be interrupted with an evening stroll without rain before retiring to our beds. We will be heading south tomorrow towards Sylvan Lake on the Needles Hwy 87. We hope to find a place where we can sleep without earplugs embedded in our ears.You can take many things away from us but you can´t take our hope!!