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Thanks for the great story.
Will now put Sturgis on the bucket list.
 

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Great report AF1! You took the bad stuff in stride and that makes the good stuff even better! I'm not one for big rallies like that, but a trip out that way is definitely something I'd like to do, when it's nice and quiet.
 

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Discussion Starter #46 (Edited)
Day 8 (I think): Took it pretty easy today. Went to the mammoth excavation site in town. That was pretty interesting. Stayed there for awhile and then stopped in town for lunch. After that, went out to the Wild Horse Sanctuary. Let me tell you now: if you're ever out here on a motorcycle, rent a car to go to that place. You go back this dirt/gravel road about 2 or 3 miles, and it is like riding on a washboard. In addition to all the dust, your teeth are banging together the entire way back there because of that washboard affect. I was about half way back when this big water truck was coming out. You couldn't see anything past it because of this huge dust cloud it was kicking up. Right before it got to me I took a big breath and held it until I was out of the cloud. It remnded me of the dust storms in Iraq. Once I got back there though, it was really nice. They take you on this old, beaten up bus around the sanctuary. You're out for about 2 hours. Saw some Spanish Mustangs. We stopped at them and a couple of them came up to us. Went further down and saw more, and then we came up on the American Mustangs. They kept their distance. Saw a bunch of turkeys, and a doe and two fawns. I forgot to mention that there's no A/C on this bus and the windows are down, so it's hot and dusty on the ride too. Very nice area though. They have 13,000 acres and about 600 horses right now that can just do their thing. This was also the location where they filmed some scenes for the movie Hidalgo. Got to see some caves and rock drawings from the Lakota Indians. They have a section on the sanctuary where they come once a year for a sundance celebration. After that, came back to the hotel and wiped off 3 inches of dust off the bike. Heading back up to Sturgis one last time tomorrow morning. Gonna meet up with Viper (Russ) in Rapid Springs. I don't plan on staying at Sturgis long. I'd imagine the crowds now are horrendous. Then I'll come back to the hotel and start packing up for the beginning of my return trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Day 9: Just got back from Sturgis a little while ago. Got on the road a little before 0800. Perfect riding weather today and even a little cool this morning. Stopped in Rapid City at the Suzuki dealer where I ordered the replacement turn signal lens from. Of course it wasn't in yet, so they refunded my money. As I was leaving, the UPS truck pulled in with their daily parts delivery. Screw it, I wasn't going to wait around. I'll just get one when I get home. Met up with Russ (Viper) there, and we chatted for a little while. Great guy. He was going to do some local riding today, and I went on up to Sturgis. Traffic was a lot heavier in town today but still not horrible. Ok, kinda horrible. I road down Main Street again and was lucky enough to find another parking spot there. 2 for 2. Walked around, bought a couple more tshirt shirts, had some lunch, walked around a little more, and headed back to Hot Springs. Now I have to figure out how I'm going to pack all this stuff and take a look at the return route. I hope to be on the road tomorrow morning not later than 7. Total miles today: 186. Total miles so far: 2,578. Almost another 1,800 to get back home. I really hate to leave. South Dakota is an awesome place, and this has been the experience of a lifetime. Learned a lot along the way and had a blast while here. Not a single regret. Farewell South Dakota, and thanks for the memories!
 

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Great to hear you've had an awesome time! I really have looked forward to your daily posts.....For this year, I'm just enjoying Sturgis via the live web cam. Safe ride home....
 

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Air, I just completed a 3300 mile ride and I found that I had too much stuff to pack on the bike after buying shirts etc. Still had things to buy on the way home, So I decided to send a box of stuff home via USPS to my home. Weighed out 28 lbs of stuff for $20 and 5 days delivery.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Day 10: Got a nice, early start this morning. Got on the road at 0650. Couldn't have asked for more perfect riding weather. Just a couple hundred yards after leaving the hotel, 3 deer crossed in front of me. Two doe and a big buck with a nice rack that was still in velvet. Then went around the turn and there was the sun coming up over the hill. What a way to leave South Dakota. Took Hwy 385 all the way down to I80 and headed across the state. Arrived here in Lincoln, NE about 30 minutes ago. Staying at the Cobbler Inn, where I stayed on the way over here. My lightbulb burned out along the way. The high beam burned out a few days ago, and when I stopped for gas right before I got here, I noticed the low beam was gone too. I use the Sylvania Silverstar bulb. Luckily I've kept the stock bulb in my saddlebag all this time "just in case." Good thing. Got it changed as soon as I got here. And now, time to rest. Total miles traveled today: 521. Travel so far: 3,100. Destination tomorrow: somewhere south and east of here.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Day 11: Got on the raod early again this morning, but it wasn't easy with losing an hour due to the timezone change. Will lose another hour coming across TN tomorrow. Left at 0700 when the sun was rising. Twas a tad chilly which made it cold riding. Had to pull over and fish out the parachute/strangler jacket that I bought on the way out. It helped some, but there are extreme temp changes along Hwy NE-2 E. Finally started warming up late morning. Pretty uneventful today. Great weather, traffic was good, people were driving nice, and the bike purred along. Stopped for the night here in Nashville, Illinois. Total miles traveled today: 511. Total so far: 3,611. Will only be taking 4 days to get home unless I run into bad weather or something happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Day 12: Another early start today. Morning seems to come a little earlier every day now. Hit the road at 0650. Another uneventful day. Kinda tired all day. Stopped for the night here in Knoxville, TN. Will be home tomorrow afternoon sometime. Lost another hour today crossing timezones again. Tomorrow morning is gonna suck! But, even after all this time and miles, I can STILL get my leg over the bike, even with the bags loaded! Total miles today: 446. Total traveled so far: 4,057. Tomorrow's destination: HOME!
 

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Hey we got out just in time.

Late afternoon Friday, Rapid City got sheets of rain and Lead/Deadwood got large amounts of hail.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Day 13: Got up nice and early again today. Went to bed last night at 8:30 to help with 2 time changes in 3 days. Got on the road at 0650 again this morning. Not sure what it is about that time, but it seems like that's when I'm always ready to go. Started out right before the sun came up. Traffic wasn't bad at all. Either Knoxville, TN doesn't have a morning rush hour, or I missed it. Shortly after crossing into North Carolina, it got foggy in the mountains. The further I went, the foggier it got. And there were lots of people without their lights on. Morons. Finally got out of that. Nice and cold riding in the mountains. Crossed into South Carolina and immediately noticed it starting to get warmer. Ugghhhh. Got home a 2. The air conditioning feels great. Gotta get used to humidity again. Haven't had it for 2 weeks now. Total miles traveled today: 354 miles. Entire total for this awesome trip: 4,411. BEST vacation ever!!!
 

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Absolutly thought your venture was great and interesting. Reading has made me start planning for next year. I have always wanted to go but you made it sound great!

Thanks for posting!
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Absolutly thought your venture was great and interesting. Reading has made me start planning for next year. I have always wanted to go but you made it sound great!

Thanks for posting!
It's an experience like no other. It's not just the rally, it's the whole package when you get out there. There is just so much to see and do. I'm afraid though that Sturgis has ruined all other rallies for me. I don't think there will ever be another one that will compare to it. Awesome roads out there, the people were fantastic, etc, etc, etc. I hope to make it back out there some day. On the trip out there, I thought to myself that this would be a one time only trip. I don't think that anymore. And I'm not even upset about the flat tire, lens cover taking flight, getting rained on, losing my rainsuit, ,etc. It was all part of the experience. Just absolutely fantastic.
 

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Outstanding!!! Maybe next year (If you go) I could meet up with you in knoxville (a couple hours from me) and can cruise together!

Its on my bucket list so it will happen.

By the way, Thanks for your service to our country!
 
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