“Good Girls Go To Heaven. Bad Girls Go To Sturgis” – Motorcycles, Devil’s Tower, and Buffalo

On the road below Devil’s Tower

One of the fantastic things about being on the road involves the surprises.  As we headed toward our next Servas host, we couldn’t help but notice motorcycles, of all types, on the road with us.

Many of the bikes looked very expensive

Motorcycles, motorcycles, motorcycles

We found that our Servas host lives near Sturgis, South Dakota, the site of the annual Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Rally.  This year was number 71.

These were not the Hell’s Angels of long ago.  On the road, the riders acted in considerate and safe ways.

Her T-shirts says, “Good Girls Go To Heaven–Bad Girls Go To Sturgis” (but I got the shot from behind because although everyone was pleasant to us, I remember the stereotype of years ago).  🙂

These bikes were not for the down and out.  In fact, many of the owners must be quite affluent.

Expensive rides

One biker told me that her motorcycle jacket is heated.  She and her husband talk via microphones–no more yelling into the wind!

As part of the rally, the bikers had great music concerts at night, and we saw bars with many parked bikes.

Stopped for liquid refreshment or shopping?  Somehow my stereotypes of bikers weren’t working.

During the day, many took rides, as we did in our rental car, to enjoy the South Dakota and Wyoming open lands and sights.

Devil’s Tower

Can you see the little red dot near the upper right? That’s a rock climber on Devil’s Tower.

One exciting event on Devil’s Tower was the 1941 parachute landing on the top.   The landing was successful, but then it took about a week to find a way to get the guy down!   🙂

For more information about Devil’s Tower–and the current climbing opportunities, go to <http://www.nps.gov/deto/index.htm>.

Some of the bikers – and we – also went to nearby Mt. Rushmore.

Mt. Rushmore–Although this view looks tranquil, people swarmed everywhere.  We drove on.

For more information on Mt. Rushmore, go to <http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm>.

Bikes at a tunnel/bridge –an  engineering feat through rock

We weren’t the only outsiders. An Amish family joined everyone to look at Mt. Rushmore

Do you recognize these men? I overheard the one on the left say he had paid his drummer $18,000 for one concert. Get your kids to practice their drums!

With Barry near Mt. Rushmore

It wasn’t all bikers and sights, we saw animals too:

Cute prairie dogs

We were extremely close to a buffalo:


We were so close, I couldn’t get the whole buffalo in one shot–so here is his rear.

He’s looking–and I’m staying in the car.

Heading home

As always, we met interesting people too.  During her first day of summer work at a local motel when she was 14, one young woman set her heart on owning a motel.  When the owner’s son of the best motel in town didn’t ask her to marry him, she bought her own motel!  Now at 24, she is running her motel and majoring in business at college.

The American Dream for one young woman

Do you have plans for your summer vacation this year?   Consider going to  the 72nd Anniversary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally held this year from August 6-12, 2012:  <http://www.sturgismotorcyclerally.com/>.

Everyone seemed to have a great time.   You would too.

Aloha, Renée


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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

One response to ““Good Girls Go To Heaven. Bad Girls Go To Sturgis” – Motorcycles, Devil’s Tower, and Buffalo”

  1. joan schnabel says :

    Hi thanks, a bit belated, for the lovely calendar. A bit of cheer for the wisconsin winter. Where are you guys? We really enjoyed your visit here. Also I want to thank you because I think you inspired (no pun intended, I can’t be that clever even if i want to) Jeff to get an evaluation for sleep apnea which it turns out he has big time. he is still getting some of the kinks worked out with the machine, but the other day he said he finally knew what it was like to get a good nights sleep. no other big news here except that we now live in the middle of frac sand heaven and are working hard not to let it destroy our land, county etc. urgh…….

    Be well, keep in touch and have a great time in China. Joan

    ps I tried sending this by email, but both addresses bounced

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