This year I decided to go to both the Spearfish Stampede and the National. Since its about 1500 miles from my home I haven't ridden thru that area for almost 15 years. A couple of friends had rescently gone from Airheads to new bikes so they figured it would be a nice trip to break in their bikes. Julie and Carol loaded up their F650GS and R1200R and we were off.
We had a good ride from Oregon out to Spearfish. The Tetons by Jackson are still beautiful.
The Stampede at Chris's campground was a pleasant surprise. I don't think there was a single bad spot to camp. Nothing but shade trees and green grass.
When we checked in the lady said her husband would lead us to our spot. Later I would learn exactly why they do that. We arrived on Monday. At the campground I noticed some fluid on my inside fairing panel. I had been into the cooler for a cold one just before this so I thought I had just dripped water onto it. I wiped it off and went back to setting up camp. A few minutes later I noticed more drops in the same spot so I looked closer.
The site glass in the front master cylinder had decided to call it quits after 15 years. Being a very astute person I immediately came to the conclusion that a leaking front brake on a motorcycle in hill country while also pulling a Bushtec trailer was probably a bad thing. So I pull out the handy dandy Anonymous book and called the Sturgis dealer. They said they could have a new master cylinder on on Wednesday about noon. So they set me up with a 1:00 appointment on Wednesday.
We had planned on riding to Rushmore on Tuesday but I decided not to because of the leak. (Theres that astute thing again Without any plans on Tuesday we decided to ask the guy (I can't remember his name) putting the rally on if he needed any help. It turns out that the night before one of the rally goers noticed that the person from Alaska camped next to him had never returned the night before. After calling hospitals and the state police they found him in a hospital in Rapid City. He had tangled with a guard rail and broke his Femur, fractured a vertebrae, and broke a couple ribs. I later learned that this is why the campground keeps track of where everyone is. She said that during Sturgis every year they end up packing several tents and belongings of people who crash.
The rally Guy (someone please help me with his name) wanted to do a 50/50 drawing and donate the money to Bob from Alaska. Julie, Carol and I where on it. We spent about 3 hours selling tickets to help out Bob. After hearing what the proceeds were for our fellow rally goers stepped up to the plate. In that short amount of time we sold $908 in tickets. That was $454 for Bob and $454 for the winner. At the drawing the winner hit a home run in my opinion. He donated ALL of his winnings back to Bob.
On Wednesday morning I arrived at the Sturgis dealer and set up my little slice of heaven. I had cold water, shade, a Kermit chair, and a book. I was set. At almost exactly 1:00 p.m. they pulled my bike inside to work on it. At 3:00 they pulled it back outside. At 3:15 I was on my way to Gillette. Thank you Sturgis BMW. Even as busy as they where with several people headed to the National needing work my appointment was exactly on time.
We set up camp Wednesday on a little hill. Some people close to us set up just down from us. Thursday morning it turns out they had beach front property to what we called Lake Gillette.
Some of the vendors also got hammered by the storm. Remus's awnings did not fair to well
On Friday we finally made it to Rushmore. The wait was worth it.
We had a great time at the rally and hit the road for home on Sunday morning.
We ended up camping on the Chief Joseph highway on the way home. It was a beautiful sun set. We didn't hear until after getting home that we where only a couple of miles away from the campground that a bear had attacked a man on the way to the national in his tent. That would of sucked. Well that was my adventure. Hoped everyone had as good of time as I did. Now I can just be in denial until the credit card statement comes in the mail next month. I did my best to help the vendors out. The biggest purchase was the new Nomar tire changer that was waiting for me when I got home.