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This page I wrote for my old rv website before developing the Vanabode as the best travel vehicle for cheap easy long term road trips. People still like big rv's despite the much greater cost and trouble to operate, so here's what I know about them.

Full-time RV South Dakota and area

South Dakota includes sturgis, bear butte state park, mount rushmore, devils tower, mountain biking, hotels and lodging in Sturgis, South Dakota - August 1, 2005, West of Rapid City on I-90. From our base camp in Sturgis we drove to Mount Rushmore, Rapid City, Deadwood, and Devils Tower.

Jason's thoughts - The biggest, most incredible, most astonishing collection of bikers, their motorcycles, and their parties ever assembled in one place in the world. Read more about the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Kelly's thoughts - Bike Week in Sturgis is an event for bikers who absolutely love their bike, the noise of their bike and others, oh yeah and the smell of burning rubber.

To me, if you have seen one motorcycle you have seen them all. If you have heard one Harley Davidson you have heard them all. I won't be disappointed if I don't make Bike Week in Daytona Beach next year.

"Dang, I've had dust on my teeth a couple of times and it's a gross feeling" - Kelly

Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota - August 3, 2005
Travel Info - You do not have to pay to park if you just want to look at the heads. There is a good view of the heads at a pull off point a little further past the entrance.

Jason's thoughts - Played spit the gum wad at Kelly while she drives. Kelly then hits it back at me with her outstretched hand, and then of course I have to find it amongst the curtains, blankets, cushions of the RV. A biker asked me how many miles to the gallon I get on my bike and I replied "all of them".

Mt. Rushmore was definitely worth seeing. Cool, breezy, easy walk and saw a mountain goat.

Kelly's thoughts - There is a walking path inside the park, but really I would not spend my money to park again. It is $8 to park and we spent about 45 minutes inside walking and taking pictures. Heard a Middle Eastern gentleman say to his son while taking his picture, "when I am taking a picture do not talk number one".

Sturgis, South Dakota - August 6, 2005
Jason's thoughts - We mountain biked a 20 mile 4% grade through the Dakota Black Hills and fixed my second flat tire. Learned no matter how many tubes you put in they'll ALL go flat if you don't first remove the thorn in the tire. Bear Butte State Park - Chased by buffalo charging fence and leaping up as if to come over. Biked 7 miles afterwards. We ate, showered, massaged each other, napped, then went to downtown Sturgis sightseeing. Later cows chased us and mooed SUPER loud.
Kelly's thoughts - The Centennial Trail was fun and challenging with its steep, long hills and rocky path. It took us through cow pastures and past a national cemetery.

Sturgis, South Dakota - August 7, 2005
Jason's thoughts - We biked 8 miles and saw a giant jackrabbit and deer jumping and leaping loudly over 6 foot high fences like they were nothing. Clydesdales appeared at the Sturgis show. Kelly collided with a motorcyclist and they both ate dirt. She says she is okay but her front wheel is bent so badly I'll need to buy her a new one tomorrow.
Kelly's thoughts - No, no, no. The motorcyclist collided into me. He was intending to ride in the grass, where I was, to bypass 100 other bikers in front of him (cutting in line). Ergo colliding into me. This motorcyclist must have been a newbie to riding AND the rules of the road.

sturgis south dakota sheep picture

Sturgis, South Dakota - August 8, 2005 Jason's thoughts - That night we snuck out of camp and up into the hills surrounding Bear Butte Lake and climbed up onto a giant 2 story bulldozer in the middle of a field. Kelly and I put our blankets on the roof and laid out under the stars for three hours listening to the nearby cities and parties fade away. We fell asleep surrounded by cows, sheep, and ranches all in view from this hilltop vantage point. We hated to climb down but we were both afraid if we stayed out all night one of us would roll off the roof and fall 15 feet to a rude awakening. People, find someone to love and spend some serious time with them. You won't be disappointed.

Kelly's thoughts - This was a nice getaway from the hoards of people at Glencoe but the exhaust never faded. Apart from the exhaust and the motorcycles burning rubber in the far distance, it was a beautiful starry and romantic night. We need to do more of this, but maybe bring an air mattress next time.

Sturgis, South Dakota - August 9, 2005 Jason's thoughts - We biked 8 miles of the Mickleson trail and saw more deer, watched two hours of "ultimate fighting" at the the Broken Knuckle Saloon in Sturgis. Savored the best homemade hand-dipped truffles we have ever eaten outside Deadwood; and we tend to eat them everywhere we go. Kelly says "This band sounds like Matchbox 21 or whatever".

Kelly's thoughts - The Mickelson Trail is 109 miles long with 14 trailheads and gentle slopes. It is wide enough for a trolley that totally freaked me out as we were coming around a corner. This trail is for hikers, bikers, horseback riding and more. Because it is more developed I really didn't have to pay too much attention to where I was going (well, up hill anyway) allowing me to take in the beauty all around and not the front end of a motorcycle.

Picture of Full Throtle Saloon at night

Sturgis, South Dakota - August 10, 2005 Jason's thoughts - Experienced the wildest fastest downhill dangerous mountain biking yet. Here we rode nearly 6 miles over rock impregnated, narrow neck whipping downhill curves and mini hills for small jumps. Kelly got so out of control she ran off the pseudo path, crashed through the underbrush, and started laughing so hard her eyes filled with tears and she couldn't see. She swerved and smashed her way around finally coming to a stop when she hit a tree and then laughed and squealed for ten minutes more as we raced downhill. Later, we made out by a stream after picking and eating wild raspberries together - I love romance baby! Later, I heard a biker chick scream to her biker man climbing a little rock at Devils Tower, "be careful, if you fall and break yer leg how am I gonna git home?" I realized this really could be a problem if you only know how to ride on the back of a motorcycle. Saw limocopter with glass bottom hot tub on roof.

Kelly's thoughts - The best trail of them all was Reuter Springs part of the Carson Draw & Sundance Trails System in the Black Hills National Forest east of Devils Tower in Sundance, Wyoming . This trail is 6.0 miles round trip and has an 896 foot ascent with a fun-as-hell descent (read above). Devils Tower, odd and exciting. This definitely is one of a kind.

Buffalo, Wyoming - August 11-14, 2005, Off of I-90, Winchester Steak House is incredibly good.

Jason's thoughts - I saw a giant vanilla Llama, her back dusted in huge clumps of black, charging towards a fence, apparently to jump it...Wrong! Two seconds later I see a coyote tearing off and away. Llama's Rule! Almost ran off the road watching them. Awoke each morning to the eerie sound of geese calling voluminously.

Kelly's thoughts - Unfortunately, we were not able to spend as much time here as I wanted. We did make time, however, to eat at Winchester Steak House twice in the three days we were there.

Sturgis cycle rally pics or Sturgis motorcycle pictures or all Vanabode Destinations


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