Tuesday, August 11, 2009


After Ridge Campmeeting finished we had a week with not a lot to do. We had thought we would go to the Black Hills and just be tourists for most of the week. One of our new friends at camp then told us that our free week was the time of the annual Biker's Rally at Sturgis, South Dakota. Over half a million bikers from all over the States and a few from other places converge on the Black Hills for a week of carousing and showing off their bikes, mostly Harleys. Motel rooms were at a premium, and we just couldn't afford that. As we pondered what to do instead, our friend, Chad, informed us that he had talked to his folks and we were welcome to come and stay in their home in Rapid City. The Lord is really good to us by working out situations almost before we are aware of them! So we drove to Rapid City on Monday and stayed in the home of Roger and Rebecca (Becky) Bingaman for the whole week. Most of the time we were out sight-seeing and enjoying nice weather.

But first I must talk about the bikers. It was incredible to see so many motorcycles on the road and parked by the hundreds at the different places we visited. Who would have ever thought that bikers would enjoy sight-seeing too! We finally decided that we had never seen so many tatooes in our lives, along with heads covered with bandanas, and lots of leather jackets and pants. In fact, when one salesperson asked me if I was in Rapid City with the bikers, I just looked at her and replied, "Do I have any tatooes?", at which she and I laughed together. Some of the motorcycles were fantastic, and some looked very uncomfortable to ride.

Our first day out we went to Mt. Rushmore and had a wonderful day for it. The sun was shining but the temperatures were mild and pleasant. I'm rather proud of the next picture. The sky was very blue and George and the boys looked wonderful.

Another day we went to Custer State Park to see the wildlife, and had some wonderful shoots of the buffalo herds. The following guy got up close and personal, so I quickly rolled up my window!

The final day of sight-seeing we went to Deadwood, the home of Calamity Jane and sometime home of "Wild Bill" Hickok, and their burial place. Deadwood was awful. It has become a mini-Las Vegas where all the old western buildings have been turned into casinos. The crowds of bikers were terrible. We went inside one casino----the bottom floor had a model train exhibit and Frank wanted to see it----and I thought it was shabby and uninviting. The slot machines were noisy and the people were like automatons--nothing got their attention but the machines. One casino had an interesting motorcycle on display outside. It was really cool with the pictures of old-time Westerners on it. We ate lunch in a restaurant that had a restored Victorian interior and even there the slot machines were working and people were trying their luck. For us the best thing about Deadwood was the cemetary. It really showed the history of the town, complete with the graves of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane. And it was quiet, no roar of engines.

No comments: