Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 15- Sunshine, Aliens, and a Biker or Two

I awoke today to find sunshine and clear blue skies without a cloud in sight, so thanks to all of you who sent those good thoughts our way. We left Billings and got on the road to make our way to South Dakota and the Sturgis motorcycle rally, the largest motorcycle gathering in the world.
The ride was fantastic, and having the sun on my face made it even better. Along the way, we stopped at the site of the battle of Little Big Horn, also known as Custer's last stand. It was here that Sitting Bull and his warriors killed General Custer and defeated his men. I wasn't even there 5 minutes before I started to feel sick. This part of American history really bothers me. The mission of the U.S. soldiers to "civilize" the natives and move them on to reservations is appalling to me. It is a part of U.S. history that is often overlooked and brushed over, a bloody stain in the record books. In this way, the U.S. was stolen at gunpoint, and entire people's were massacred, and their sacred way of life destroyed forever. I left soon after arriving, as neither my wife or myself wanted to be in a place such as this. Because of this history, one of the world's most spiritual cultures, the only true Americans, now exist as a minority , relegate to reservations and casinos. It is sad, and like the holocaust of my people, it should never be forgotten.
After leaving the battle sight, we took a short detour into Wyoming to go and see The Devil's Tower, the United States' first national monument. If you have ever seen the movie Close Encounters of the 3rd kind, this is the iconic mountain in the film. It is such and strange and surreal sight. All around the area is red earth and green forrest, but the mountain itself has almost a green color to it and towers over everything around it. It looks as though it has been brought over from some strange alien land and dropped into the middle of the forrest. It was a strange and surreal sight to see, and if you don't believe in aliens, a visit here might have you thinking otherwise.
From the tower we rode on, and made our way into Spearfish, South Dakota, just 17 miles outside of Sturgis. Along our entire ride today, the closer we got, the more and more bikes we saw on the road, until literally everywhere I looked I saw bikers and bikes. It was an amazing sight to see. After checking in at the hotel, we made our way into Sturgis itself. All I can say about that is wow. I have never seen so many bikes, and bikers, in one place. There were literally thousands and thousands of them everywhere. We parked amongst the madness and walked around for a while. If you have never been to something like this, it is truly hard to comprehend. After walking around for a while, buying a couple mementos, and watching in amazement at the craziness all around, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest. We will be her for the next 2 days, visiting the nearby sights, and enjoying being a part of the largest motorcycle rally in the world.

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