The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is one of the largest in the world...
This rally began in 1938 with about 200 visitors, to over 773,000 visitors in 2015 (75th Anniversary). The next “big” anniversary, 80th, is August 7-16th, 2020.
Back in August of 2015, a group of fellow riders and I headed out to Sturgis for the 75th celebrations. We choose to ride out the week before the actual rally due to traffic congestion and the amount of visitors that would soon flood this small town.
For most of us, this was our first time in Sturgis, first long distance ride and first time being out west. We chose to rent a house in Lead, South Dakota that was central to taking in plenty of adventurous miles with stunning destinations.
As a group we agreed on a few basic rules, one “never leave anyone behind”. Well, if you haven’t guessed it by now, that’s exactly what we did. We left our house one person short. The last person in our staging line was missing, the person in front of her thought she was staying behind with another fellow rider. We had one rider who saddled up with another person. However, the communication of this didn’t pass back to the last person who was in the house. We excitedly hopped on our bikes and started our ride. When we arrived at Spearfish Canyon and hoped off our bikes we realized we were down one person. Then the panic set in, “OMG, where’s Stephanie”. Yep, we were missing her and felt absolutely horrible….how could we have done that. Our leader rode our route backwards to the house searching for our lost companion. She was at the house waiting for us to realize our complete absent minded blunder.
While our leader was rounding up our lost mate, the rest of us settled in at Spearfish Canyon. The group found shade from the sun and heat under the overlook deck, but one of us decided to be adventurous (me). It was going to be awhile before they returned so I decided that I was going to climb down the rock embankment, across the stream and through brush to get a better picture of the falls. I get down to the bottom underneath the overlook deck and see two people walking across the stream to get a better view of the waterfall. I am determined to get a better picture myself, but need some assistance to get across the stream. The fellow that had already crossed with his girlfriend comes back and says, “follow me”. He guides me across the stream and through the brush to get a close up shot of the waterfall. I turn around and he’s is GONE. What the heck, he’s already starting back up the rock embankment. Not only do I not know how to get back to the stream, I have no idea how to get back across the stream. I yell for them to come back and help me across, but he just shouts out a few words of encouragement. I do find my way back to the stream, eventually, but sure it’s not the way I went in. Crossing the stream is where I really get into trouble. I stick my phone in my pocket and camera in my bra and start to make my way across. Now mind you, by this time my group thinks this is hilarious, as I struggle not to fall into the stream. I manage to catch myself several times. Unknown to me, while I was trying to save myself, my camera fell into the stream. Luckily, some brave young boy went in and rescued the camera. I finished crossing the stream, soaked feet, a few laughs and awesome pictures. The morning ended on a happy note. We were re-united with our friend and I have awesome memories and photos.
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