We have spent the past week listening to the roar of motorcycles, all over the Black Hills. The 74th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is in full swing this week, and we have enjoyed meeting riders from around the world who are visiting Crazy Horse during their stay. We also decided to take a few hours on our day off and visit the city of Sturgis. They say attendance is down this year, estimating 200,000 – 450,000 riders are attending this years rally. Since 2015 will be the 75th anniversary of the rally, they believe many riders are waiting until next year to attend. And if you are planning on bringing your family to the Black Hills next summer, you may want to avoid the first two weeks in August, as they are expecting one million riders next year!
During the week of the Sturgis Rally, Crazy Horse had several additional blasts on the mountain for our guests. You can view the blast from Monday, August 4th, by clicking HERE. The video clip will show just how small 750 tons of granite is, compared to the overall size of the mountain. We had thousands of visitors attending the blast on Monday. I work in the Indian Room gift shop, which sells items such as jewelry, pottery, paintings, and craft items hand-made by Native Americans. This week our visitors have been mostly male, and I have really come to appreciate how quick and efficient men are as shoppers!
I had one male guest try on one ring, and he said “I’ll take it”. I was explaining to him that women usually need to look through all the ring trays, then ask their family/friends what they think. It can take 15-30 minutes for women to shop for a ring. He laughed, turned to his friend and asked “Does this ring make me look fat?!!!”
We also had a visit last week from our good friends Mike and Sue, whom we have known since college. Their daughter Jordan had a cheerleading camp on the Eastern side of the state, so they ventured west for a few days. It was a lot of fun catching up with them. Hopefully we can see them more often on our travels! Go Jackrabbits!
I did have another unusual visitor this week. It is not everyday that a couple comes in with their pet parrot, “Miss Bubba”!
Many of the “hard-core” bikers, are busy shopping for gifts for their grandchildren! It has really been a fun week of work. A lot of our visitors have commented that they never heard about our place, and were so thankful they stopped by. They were also thankful that Crazy Horse didn’t raise their prices like many of the other attractions have done during the rally. It is only $5.00 per rider, and many have been so overwhelmed during their visit, that they have made additional donations to the foundation.
I have told many of the riders the best thing they can do is tell others about Crazy Horse Memorial, because about 25-30% of the people who come to the ticket booth, refuse to pay and turn around. They don’t want to pay for something they can see from the road, or something that is “not finished”. They don’t understand all that there is to see and do, and think they are getting ripped off by having to pay. Trust me, you will get your money’s worth. So many people are so thankful for the memorial.
But enough about work, on to the fun and craziness at Sturgis! We drove up scenic Highway 385, which goes into Deadwood, and then on to Sturgis. It is about an hour drive taking this route, and we passed thousands of motorcyclists on the way. It was a blast seeing so many riders on the road.
This wayside was a popular stop-off for the riders.
Downtown Sturgis had bikes lined up for blocks and blocks.
These were some of our favorites.
This one can sure hold a lot of stuff!
Always travel with your pets!
There were many food vendors, selling all kinds of food (this is for you Mary Y!!!)
We also took some time to visit the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, but since this blog is already long and full of photos, I will do a separate post on that. Sturgis has a reputation for “anything goes”, and even though we were only there a few hours, during the afternoon, we did manage to see a few “unique” fashion accessories, as well as interesting apparel choices (note: these are a little more “R” rated photos, so proceed at your own risk!)
Full body tattoos is very popular:
We had a great time visiting Sturgis during the rally. We pray that all the riders have safe travels home.
Quote for the day: “You do not need a therapist if you own a motorcycle, any kind of motorcycle!” – Dan Aykryod