The closer we got to the Black Hills, the more bikers we saw. We started seeing "Sturgis riders, welcome" at the Interstate exits. I searched my GPS for Rapid City motels and began calling. The first several I called were booked up, but I finally found an out-of-the-way place that had a room available. I gave the lady my name and told her we were about half-an-hour away, and she said she would save it for that long.
Whew. This was probably the oldest motel we stayed at during our trip, and at $79 per night, it was the highest-priced. It was very clean, though.
We got settled in and went down the road to get bread and other necessities, cooked and ate in our room, and started planning for the next day. There were four things I wanted to see: Wild Bill Hickock's grave at Deadwood, Mount Rushmore, Needles Road, and the Badlands. I recalled seeing all but the first-mentioned of these when I was a teen.
Sunday morning I found a bearded guy in the office and asked him about these places.
"Just what do you want to see in Deadwood," he asked.
"Wild Bill Hickock's grave," I told him.
He looked at me as though I was crazy and explained to me that the town of Deadwood would be nothing but a parking lot full of Harleys, due to the Sturgis rally.
"Oh, I thought all those people would be in the town of Sturgis."
Now I got a REAL look from the guy who, turns out, was a biker himself. "They'll be all over this area," he said with a sigh.
"OK, maybe we'll skip Deadwood. It's out of the way anyhow."
I could tell he agreed with my decision, and I knew Cliff would be glad at this turn of events. He has never understood my fascination with outlaws, but Ladies Love Outlaws, you know.
So we were off and running, and before you know it we saw Mount Rushmore in the distance.
Because Mount Rushmore is a National Memorial, our golden age passport got us in free.
We made a quick pass by Crazy Horse Memorial, but we didn't go in because there isn't that much to see. I don't think the world will last long enough for them to finish that project. Next, on to Needles Highway:
I'm going to break up this days activities into two or three entries because we did so many things in such a short time. Next stop, the Badlands.