Road trips take a lot of planning. Especially cross-country week-long road trips. I knew Chicago, IL would be my first destination, as I planned to visit my best friend who is attending law school in the Windy City. The stop would put us track to visit the northern part of the country. I decided a pilgrimage to Mount Rushmore National Monument was a must-do. (And it was one of my dad’s must-see list.) Little did I know about a thing called Sturgis, the mega biker rally.
I first discovered Sturgis when I was trying to make hotel reservations. My eyes bugged out their sockets when even the most modest hotel was priced at $200 a night for South Dakota! We quickly found out that the adventure through the great frontier land was going to coincide with the 69th annual celebration for a few thousand American bikers. One things for sure, it made the trip through the northern states a lot more interesting. Here are some of the biker pictures from the trip.
On the road from Sioux Falls, SD to Wall, SD.
About a hundred motorcycles lined the street outside of Wall Drugs. Plenty of signs saying “Welcome Bikers” commemorated the week… Found out that Aerosmith is in town.
In Keystone, SD, right outside the entrance to Mount Rushmore, the bikers were EVERYWHERE and many were headed to the national monument.
In Rapid City, SD right outside our hotel
Bikers having some drinking fun with the biggest martini I have ever seen. There were several olives at the bottom of that massive drink.
Beyond all the visual insanity occurring around us, my father’s first expression at Mount Rushmore was beyond words. He entered the park and patiently walked down the long outdoor corridor towards the main viewing area. He quietly examined each pillar on the way, a small monument to each state. As he approached the main area, he pushed up his large brimmed hat and the elation on his face and the joy in his eyes was historic. He couldn’t believe that he, a kid from a small Mexican village, was now experiencing this breathtaking American monument. All you could hear next was the constant flicks of the cameras. He was going to document this entire experience.
We signed up for a Ranger guided tour, and they explained the labor intensive work required to create this masterpiece in the Black Hills. My father, a scientist at heart, was enthralled in the moment, learning how this was all created…. We stayed at Mount Rushmore till sunset enjoying every moment of daylight on what was sure to be the highlight of our trip.