Granted it was on the bottom of the list but I checked another item off the bucket list. Jeff and I flew to Sturgis SD for a couple of days during the motor cycle rally. We took off Thursday evening and had a nice evening flight to Helena Montana where we stayed for the night. Got up early Friday morning, had a good breakfast, and launched for South Dakota. Sturgis doesn't have a weather station (ATIS) so we had to use Rapid City weather which is a little further east and they were reporting overcast at 300' due to some fog. As we approached we could see that it was breaking up over Sturgis but that Rapid was still socked in. No biggie as we had just enough ceiling at that point to land and set up camp.
Jeff has been here before and knew of the best camping spot on the field. We were protected from much of the weather if any showed up and more importantly we were out of the morning sun! Great spot!
After setting up camp we hitched a ride into town with a friendly local who dropped us off at the end of a long city street filled with motor cycles. Lots to see in the pictures below but let me give you my impressions of Sturgis. That place was nuts! Some of it was not so good (everybody smoked it seemed), but overall the people were friendly, happy, and proud to be American which was very obvious everywhere you looked.
Anyway, here are a few of the pictures we took.
|All loaded up and ready for departure from Puyallup.|
|Parked for the night in Helena. We had to skirt the edge of some pretty nasty looking weather but we had no issues.|
|Devils tower in South Dakota. It is requested that pilots keep at least 3 miles away so we didn't get the best of pictures.|
|Jeff formed up so we could get a couple of pics with Devil's tower in the shot.|
|Sturgis from the air.|
|Downtown area. Not a very big town but with about a half a million people over the next week or so it will be well used!|
|One of many camp grounds that is only barely filling up as we arrive on Friday.|
|No, I don't think this is a camp ground...I think its a junk car lot!|
|A local drag strip...I swear some of those motor cycles were using this (or not) all night long!|
|Planes tied down...|
|Tents set up...|
|Off to town! This is the "entry" to the main drag street.|
|A "light" day on the street.|
|Crazy?!? This guy paid this bartender to beat a welt onto his back! Seriously!|
|No caption needed...some very nice bikes here!|
|The ramp for a motor cycle jump scheduled for later in the day.|
|No helmets required in Sturgis....|
|The motorcycle jumper just as he launched off the ramp. Yes, he made....barely.|
|The street starts to fill up a bit.|
|Cruizin the 'ave'... |
|One of the local transportation options. Notice the signatures all over the bus... walls, ceiling, floor, seats, "hostess", nothing was off limits...well almost nothing.|
|Metal sculpture at The Full Throttle Saloon|
|Another pretty cool metal sculpture.|
|Friday evening, back in camp after partying until the late hour of 9pm!! We were living large!|
|This is a panoramic of the typical venue here. Notice the open sides with balconies and a stage in the center. The open sides makes it legal to smoke inside (ugh). This happened to be one of many in the area and we stopped at this one because of all the screaming and hollering. Turns out there was a Frozen T shirt contest going on. In this contest the women were given Tshirts that had been frozen into a knot and they had to find a way to warm up the shirt enough to put it on. The first one to put the shirt on won.|
|A had to get a picture of this sign posted in the mens room.|
|Stopping for fuel at Townsend MT on our way home.|