After several meetings for planning and preparations, Gene, Kirk, Jeannie and Alden, set our departure date for the evening of August 3, 1995.
As things turned out, Gene in his excitement to commence the trip moved the date up to the evening of Wednesday, August 2nd, and we departed
Portland to begin our adventure at 2030 hours. Gene got to the shop early and he and Alden loaded the bikes on the trailer. Several pegs,
mirrors, etc., had to be removed to fit all three in the width of the bed, but this was completed and the tie downs were applied to strap
down the load. Between tie downs, bungee cords and rope, everything was secured in shipshape fashion, ready for the balance of the gear to
be put aboard. Kirk arrived at the shop about 1730 hours, changed his clothes, and we all went to Jeannie and Alden’s house to load the rest of the
gear stored in their garage. After this was completed, Jeannie and Alden went inside for a chicken dinner cooked by her mother, while Gene
and Kirk went to the Great Lost Bear for a burger. Everyone said their last good-byes to those remaining behind, and with Gene at the wheel,
off we went.
The trip out was generally uneventful with many jokes and lies told to entertain the participants. Everyone was tense upon leaving but as we traveled further and further from Maine the sense of “getting away” came upon all of us. The excitement level was high as we plugged along to our destination. The trailer with three Harleys’ and a good deal of gear aboard handled very well, and we were pleased to find that everything stayed where we put it, including the tarp we had strapped down covering the load. We stopped every 250 - 300 miles for gas and a stretch, and we checked the load at these times.
We all took our turn at the wheel, stopping only for fuel and sustenance, continuing ever westward towards our goal. We drove to South Dakota without stopping except for fuel and food and it is a long way from Maine. Finally, well after more than forty hours drive time, Gene spotted the first sign for Sturgis. He remarked his excitement was as great as when he as a young boy and his folks took him to Disneyland for the first time, an event forever burnished into his memory.
We were all amazed at the length of time required to drive from Sioux Fails to Rapid City. We were very pleased with ourselves being in South Dakota when we realized that
Rapid City, about thirty-five minutes from our destination in Sturgis, is over 350 miles from Sioux Falls! You need to drive across the entire State, well over six hours.
So onward we traveled...
Finally arriving in Rapid City and then Sturgis, we located Glencoe CampResort and were soon registered at that facility, and scoped out the area. We searched for the right spot and soon located a promising site opposite the RV camp. It was wooded for shade and pleasant. Kirk, due to his camping experience in Civil War re-enacting, was elected to lay out the camp. In a little hollow we pitched our tents among the trees, and named the spot Camp Hawg, Co. H, 3rd Arkansas Volunteers. Kirk unofficially enlisted everyone into his Confederate Regiment. The site was ideal expect perhaps we were a bit in low country in the event of heavy rains. We were first class scooter trash and here to stay.
The first order of business was to set up the camp and obtain the necessary items required to be comfortable. Kirk and Gene were designated to secure a picnic table, firewood, and a fire pit (a 55 gallon barrel cut in half), which they accomplished with some alacrity. This isn’t as easy as it would first appear. We were in the camp early so didn’t have much problem. However, there weren’t enough fire pits and picnic tables to go a around; you may come back to camp and learn you had neither – someone had ‘liberated’ yours while you were gone. We couldn’t do much with the fire pit, but we chained the table to a tree. As soon as the trailer was unloaded Mo-Mo started to whine about wanting to ride his hardtail and started to misbehave somewhat. Alden, who was to install the required parts back on the scooters while we tended to other duties, completed this task and we decided to go for a ride.
Our first scooter ride in South Dakota was to Bear Butte State Park, very close to our campground. Bear Butte is still regarded by the Plains Indians as a sacred shrine, and we saw that the Lakota were planning a pow-wow when we visited. When you are on or around the butte, it’s kind of like being in church and everyone stays low-key. In honor of our friend and sister, we promptly renamed Bear Butte, 'Jeannie’s Mountain'. This mount was visible very clearly from our campsite, and we knew we would go back when time permitted.
It was on the return trip to Camp Hawg when we stopped at an intersection that Kirk had an eye opening experience. Gene took off and really got on Mo-Mo. Kiro, not to be outdone, did the same and was accelerating rapidly; he was cruising right along when all of a sudden a tremendous noise filled the air around him. The first thought he had was that there must be a jet air strip nearby, perhaps an approach pattern for large aircraft or something. About this time he realized what it was; Alden and Jeannie on Hawg-1 flew by at a high rate of speed and continued to accelerate... It was so loud that Kirk couldn’t even hear his own motor; he was amazed at the raw power and engine roar Hawg-1 was displaying. When they finally stopped, Kirk asked Alden to explain the modifications made to the bike; this certainly got his attention and he gained a new respect for this scooter. Alden, being in the business, had bored and stroked this machine along with other modifications and it showed.
It was just before dark that two beautiful Harleys’, a Fat Boy and a Heritage, roared into the area near our camp. All eyes were upon the unknown man and woman that arrived
and parked at the lone tent above us. As Kirk and Gene worked on the fire, we spotted the man walking along the road on an errand; he was eyeing us as we spoke of him.
A Short time later he returned and within a few minutes the ice was broken. This was our first introduction to John (Juan Valdez) Galvin. Soon we met his wife, Sonya
(I wanna’ bone ‘ya). These two riders were soon well entrenched in the sty of Camp Hawg, as well as firmly and forever in our hearts... Juan and Sonya were
from California and had ridden out for the week. She indicated she was a prison guard by day and scooter trash by night. She talked of her work experience
and some of the craziness she’d witnessed. We surmised she was one tough woman and a true road dog.
It may not have been exactly at this point, perhaps the next day that the Civil War tent was designated the “time out tent”, and it was decided that anyone acting up would have an enforced stay until an attitude adjustment was displayed. This tent was used mostly for storage because it had flaps front and rear with easy access. Several came very close for one reason or another, but we are proud to state that the deterrent apparently was effective as it was never really used much. Let it be known that no group anywhere has spent as much time together and got along as well with so little friction since the dawn of recorded time. (Although we had to threaten Mo-Mo with a spanking from time to time, we didn’t realize until later he likes that kind of thing!) After sitting around the campfire and discussing plans and things in general, we retired, as we were far from recovered from the long journey out. We’d been in the vehicle nearly 50 hours, stopping only for gas and food in brief breaks and sleeping in the van.
We returned to the camp and found everyone up and preparing to ride. Juan and Sonya had been invited to join us the night before and so the party was composed of
five scooters and six people. This contingent remained the same throughout our time in the Black Hills; we were like a happy family. It was at this time that Gene
introduced the concept that we were not on vacation at all. We were on Holiday Man! Just like in the Islands.... This quickly spread through the camp and we told
everybody we were indeed on holiday. This phrase was added to “my sister’s a hoe and she don’t look like dat” that was started on the journey out.
Mo-Mo, being a man among men, became the unofficial head scooter trash of our expedition, and took the lead on the road. We decided to start out with a trip to Keystone and a visit to Mount Rushmore. We traveled to Deadwood and ran smack into a parade that caused us to reroute. We backtracked through Sturgis and headed on the highway to Rapid City which we soon realized was a hub of activity. The national HOG (Harley Owners Group) convention was taking place and Rapid City was full of bikes and bikers. We went to the auditorium where the 1996 Harleys were on display and got in line to go in. We quickly learned, however, that without a HOG card we couldn’t enter as we were not in the “chosen few”, in other words, not members. We told them to fuck off and formed our own club right then and there. After all, we are all brothers and sisters in the “Disciples of Alden” (D.O.A.), named after the Master Mechanic himself, and did not appreciate the attitude of those “other people”. We got back on the road heading to Keystone.
Jeannie later pointed out that we came across a little old lady and her son who was in a wheelchair. After witnessing our “photo-shoot”, this lady told Jeannie
she understood why they called us “hogs”, as we were all such hams! We were to see this fine lady and son several more times during the day. After a tour of
the gift shop, which was quite large, we decided to have an ice cream. Jeannie bought about thirty post cards during this visit, so many that Alden had to help
her carry them out, but the big event was Juan eating his ice cream cone. Yes, yes, you’re thinking, what’s the big deal right? Well, the big deal is that Juan’s
cone weighed in at 25 pounds.... We were content with a single dip cone, but Juan, oh no, he had to go all the way. For a brief time our friend Juan became more
famous than Mount Rushmore. More photographs were taken of him then one of the most famous sites in America; people were rushing in from outside to bear witness,
children were whining and crying because their parents wouldn’t let them have a true double dipped cone like the crazy Mexican. Juan basked in his moment of glory,
and then we moved on to other things...|
When we left Camp Hawg the weather was warm and very nice. We traveled the highway in our tee shirts and enjoyed the day. While at Mount Rushmore, clouds started to develop and before we arrived at Crazy Horse we were riding in the rain. It got cold, uncomfortably cold and we were happy to put our jackets on. Kirk was riding in an 1862 Alabama style shell coat with corporal of infantry chevrons sewed on; he thought he was a hot shit... We learned our first lesson about riding in South Dakota; always carry your leathers because you never know when you’ll need them. They speak of fickled New England weather but the Dakotas’ are every bit as bad, if not worse. In one day you can go from being comfortable to freezing and then to sunburn weather when it’s down right hot. It’s not improbable to catch a cold from freezing and a nasty sunburn mixed with cold rain in the same day. We Maniacs found the sun very strong and we all started to burn while riding; we soon learned we weren’t the only group in this predicament.
Camp Hawg came to life shortly after sunrise. There were complaints about people being awakened so early, “it’s Sunday”, and all that kind of thing, but the average
sleep period was from midnight to 0600 hours nearly everyday at Glencoe. We stayed on the go constantly except for one day that will be mentioned later. Plus there
was a great deal of whooping, hollering, bikes running all hours of the night and day – all kinds of noise and commotion going on in the camp all the time.
If you were a light sleeper this could prove problematic.
Before we continue, there is one issue that should be addressed. By Sunday morning, we had slept in out tents for two nights. Our camp consisted of four tents, Juan and Sonya in theirs, Jeannie and Alden in another, the Civil War tent that was used for storage and “time out”, and Kirk and Gene together in a tent of their own. As stated, by Sunday morning after several nights, the camp was alive with rumors about what was taking place in Gene and Kirk’s tent, you know, the old ribbing, etc., etc. Kirk will assure all of you, nothing happened. He claimed to be so tired and exhausted by the time we crawled into our sleeping bags (which were separate by the way) that nothing could have happened, nor could anything disturb his slumber. He also related that Gene was well known to fall asleep in mid-sentence on several occasions. If the most beautiful woman in Sturgis crawled into the tent to seduce the Captain, he would have asked her to please wait until morning as he was too damn tired; and even then he may have had to ask Mo-Mo to help out. Although he did admit that Gene was starting to look pretty good by Friday and it appears that Gene was getting jealous of the other couples. There was one night that Alden was searching for a bag of pillows after we had gone to sleep. Kirk thought it was a dream but somehow the Master found what he was looking for and went about his business.
The Annual Black Hills Motor Classic is a truly unbelievable event. Downtown Sturgis and its environs are something to behold during this period. It is nearly
indescribable, and if you haven’t seen it for yourself you will never fully appreciate any verbal, written, or photographic account you will ever come across.
Being there is almost a feeling, and this feeling can never be properly conveyed by the written word. It is like the Madi Gras, dropping of the ball in Times
Square, a carnival, and the Superbowl, all rolled into one event centered on and around Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Every type of bike, paint job, modification,
customization, etc., you could ever think of can be found to look at, to purchase, or have implemented on your scooter. You can have anything done to your
bike you can imagine provided you’re willing to pay the expense, which could be considerable if done during the event. Walking through the array of
vendors, products and services available was truly amazing. |
Scooters are one thing; people are something else entirely different.... There is no sight you can not experience if you stay in town long enough. You could sight-see downtown everyday and never tire of what you will witness although your feet may rebel from all the walking. We all agreed that when we returned downtown we would wear comfortable shoes as our riding boots were making us suffer. Riding gear and hot weather are a poor mix when you're off the scoots. As six people created too large a group to keep together in the crowds, we decided to meet at the bikes between 1300 and 1400 hours after our visit, and off we went to shop and check things out. It was still relatively early in the morning but we had to park about four blocks from the head of the street, but we did manage to stay on the main drag. We learned to get into town early if you wished to park in the midst of things.
Deadwood, normal population around 1,800 persons, has only one main street, all that space permits on the floor of Deadwood Gulch. The balance of the town is built
clinging to the steep sides of the canyon surrounding it. The gold rush boom of yesteryear is still apparent in the town of today, and it was a haven for
gunfighters and gamblers in the late 1800’s. The likes of Wild Bill Hickok, who was gunned down during a poker game here on August 2, 1876, Calamity Jane,
Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday, lend historical significance to this town that is very tourist orientated in our time. Gambling was again legalized in 1988
as a source of income to restore the town, and it has been instrumental in its rebirth. Upon arrival in Deadwood we went to ‘Tin Lizzie’s’ for a great lunch.
It was at this facility that the Princess discovered the joys of gambling, and she was hooked the first time a quarter fell into the trough of her slot machine.
She won about $10.00 here between bites, and we convinced her to walk further into town with us where there were other gambling establishments.|
We did the usual tourist things and located the site of the burned down Saloon #10 where Wild Bill was shot to death. Under the sign marking the spot we posed to have our pictures taken. Actually, we had twenty-six pictures taken below this sign, as Alden wasn’t sure if the camera was functioning or not, so he just kept on snapping them off; the Princess finally caught on and took the camera away from him before the film ran out.... All credit is due the Master though; the plethora of shots he took came out pretty good!
Perhaps now is a good time to inform our readers about the Glencoe shower facilities… The showers utilize a gas fired hot water system that provides a
hot water mix into the shower flow stream, but let us all inform you, it didn’t work worth a damn! A few times the showers were warm, once even hot,
but we took several showers that would curl your hair and turn it white...The water supply for the camp showers must come from the top of some vastly high,
very cold mountain-top, or, perhaps from the deepest bowels of the planet in order to be as cold as it was shooting from those nozzles.
Grown men were known to cry trying to stand in those stalls of misery; this was truly an awful thing to view and hear; tough, hardened scooter
trash whimpering in distress and agony as their raw hamburger colored skin burned by the sun, tried to remove the road grime from their bodies
in water so cold their balls turned blue. It is good that the owner of Glencoe CampResort was not known to the general populace of campers in
those showers, there was talk of death and tortures so hideous that one shudders to think about them in a civilized setting. But, all things
considered, you felt pretty good once it was over!
Even at this early hour the heat from the road was very noticeable and we had concerns for the mid-day period. Juan and Sonya had a good deal more experience with this type of riding as
they travel desert routes around California and they understood what was in store. It became extremely hot and Alden was concerned about the motors as we saw bikes on the side of
the road with unsettling regularity. Riding the Black Hills while quickly & easily evaluate the condition of one's motorcycle.
Before we crossed the State line into Wyoming, Mo-Mo’s electrical system went down once again. We pulled over, reviewed the situation and our
options. It was here that Alden the wonder mechanic showed his stuff. Now you think that the ride ended right here don’t you? You think that you’re going to read that we
left someone behind and went after the trailer (again)... Wrong on all counts- Alden formulated a plan to save the day! Perhaps it was his recent wait in the sun, perhaps not,
the truth may only be known as the Master’s legend grows and his fame spreads throughout the land. In any event, he announced he must have electrical wire. “Electrical wire!
Are you shitting me Alden!” we exclaimed together in anguish, “We are out here in the middle of east bug-fuck preparing to incinerate when the sun gets just a bit higher”.
To shorten the tale of woe, the following is what happened: Kirk and Juan were dispatched to the closest town, Beulah, Wyoming, population 33, (no exaggeration, it is really 33!), to quest for wire. There is a general store in town and we arrived and politely made our request of the nice lady. It was obvious we were screwed by the look on her face, but she pointed to a nearby garage and said to go over there and ask the guy if he had any we could purchase. We rode over to a large truck bay garage and found a man polishing a dump truck. We asked with our most polite voice if he had about ten feet of wire we could buy, and he said he would take a look. Well, low and behold he found just the right thing and measured off exactly 10 feet. He asked how much it was worth to us, and after having already explained about Mo-Mo shitting the bed, we felt uncomfortable with this response. After all, it would be worth a great deal to us to not be stranded on the road. $3.00 was the amount rendered from recollection. Our quest successfully completed, we returned in triumph to our group.
It is time for a Camp Hawg note for future reference: We all love Gene as much as is humanly possible, and we have no problem with he being the unofficial leader of our
clan on the road because it’s always better to keep that crazy bastard ahead where on can see and keep an eye on him. He was proven to very adept at planning and charting
the different rides and schedules, however, in future we learned, do not let Mo-Mo decide when to stop for sustenance. Gene just does not want to stop his scooter for any
reason; he figures why stop now when you can just keep on riding and riding and riding... Had we not located this restaurant, we were considering mutiny and a state of
hateful discontent. We were on Holiday and didn’t enjoy his idea of an endurance test. Food, of course, put us all in better spirits and we continued on our way.
The trip to Devils Tower took another thirty minutes or so. We stopped alongside the road to view the tower in the distance, took photos, etc. While we were stopped, a group of bikes came by that left us amazed by the magnitude of the group. This was one of the tours that were organized in Sturgis, and they made various runs everyday in very large contingents. Too many bikes we decided, too many for us to travel with, we thought as they passed. We came to Devils Tower National Monument and were awed by the entire spectacle. This National Monument occupies 1,347 acres in the area between Sundance and Hulett, and the Devils Tower is the most conspicuous landmark in northeastern Wyoming. The tower rises 867 feet from its base and has a 1.5 acre top that supports a growth of sagebrush and grass. We did not see the top of course, really had no interest in doing so. The way to the top is by rope in a nearly vertical climb. We witnessed people doing this and found it to be something else indeed... The tower was formed by an ancient volcanic core of rock that was superheated and cooled. Over time the land eroded away around the cooled rock, and it was left exposed, looking very much like a gigantic tree stump. The vertical rises are fluted in appearance and are really quite amazing. This was our country's first National monument, and was so declared by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Many of us have seen this from the movie, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ with Richard Dryfess, so you may have seen it before. We didn’t remain at Devils Tower any great length of time. It was very busy as were all the places we visited and as the day progressed it got hot, very uncomfortably hot for us Northeasters. We decided to make it an early day anyway, so fired up the scooters and headed towards Camp Hawg.
Returning through Sundance, Gene decided to stop and let the bikes cool down somewhat, this was an issue that Alden frequently addressed. Not only are our bikes under his care, he loves them all as individuals, and yes, even the Evo Kirk was riding... We dismounted at a tavern looking kind of place and ordered iced tea or whatever, talked and looked around. We struck up a conversation with a family of four and soon learned the wife had lived in the Portland area for a bit, (Maine – remember out here, Portland brings Oregon to mind immediately) and she was excited to find we were familiar with many of the places she remembered. Mo-Mo was talking to her husband who mentioned that he was from Oklahoma. Of course, Gene asked where in Oklahoma, and by the greatest coincidence, learned they were from the same hometown of Holdenville. Gene was completely blown away by this, he had not talked to anyone from there for a long while, and they discussed the area and people they remembered in detail. The Master reminded Gene that his scooter was still on a temporary fix and that we should not plan to extend the ride until these issues were resolved. We learned that the generator problem was not new, but it had been determined before we left Maine that Mo-Mo could make it through the week. As this was not the case, it was decided to install an alternator and change the system to correct the problem. Therefore, we determined to return to Sturgis to find the required parts to set things right. This isn’t a simple matter actually; Mo-Mo is a 1953 Panhead Harley and parts for this machine aren’t that easy to come by.
Surprisingly, we located a gasket with relative ease at our first stop, which was a motorcycle parts store. They didn’t have silicon which we thought odd, but they may have been sold out.
As it turned out, the other items required some searching. We quickly learned several things: 1) People in South Dakota have never heard of Solarcain.... the response was always the
same when we inquired, ‘What?’ 2) Sunblock was more valuable than Black Hills gold at the moment, it was in huge demand everywhere in Sturgis and the outlying areas; the sun was killing
everybody it appears, not just us. We eventually came to a small supermarket and located the last bottle of #15 sunblock in the Dakota territories. We paid $9.40 for four ounces of
Coppertone, and were very happy to get it! Bear in mind this was after probably three or four stops at different stores, all who had vast expanses of shelf space where the sunburn
prevention articles are normally kept. We also purchased a bottle of sunburn relief lotion that contained aloe in lieu of the unknown Solarcain; we figured something was better
than nothing and there were no remaining options. Later we found this product worked very well and were pleased with the relief it furnished our burned and aching shoulders.
The water wasn’t nearly as difficult to locate and we returned with several gallons. We made our triumphal entry into Camp Hawg feeling once again like heroes. The gasket
worked fine and the Master put Mo-Mo back together in record time, ready for the road and the next day’s touring. With our tasks completed, we all kicked back to relax,
started the nightly fire and conversed.
As everyone was pretty much beat by the sun and our “chores”, we may have gone to bed a bit earlier than usual this night. Before this happened though, we took our medicine, told our stories and reminiscences of the day, basked in our friendship and camaraderie, and dreamed of our scooter rides to come in this rugged and beautiful land.
Another reason that prevented an early ride and kept us in camp was that the wind began to pick up. Big deal right? Well, after about 0630 hours, we began to
experience gale force winds, we’re not talking little baby winds here.... this wind was blowing scooters off the highway; tents were being pulled out of the
ground, laundry, blankets, tools, chairs, anything that wasn’t secured was on its way out of camp. Hombre and Sonya dropped their tent to the ground so it
would be there next time they wanted to use it. The rest of us policed the area the best we could so nothing would blow away. Later on, the camp trash cans were
full of those Coleman aluminum framed tents; the high winds simply destroyed the framing on these.
Kirk returned from town about 1:00 and informed everyone that Bill had decided to stay downtown and enjoy the photo opportunities. Bill always carried his camera and was able to get some of the shots that we guys were wishing we had taken. We will try to get a set of his negatives at some point. Juan and Sonya had done their laundry and had returned by this time also.
As the wind was still a considerable deterrent but we still felt the need to ride, we elected to take a short trip back to Jeannie’s Mountain about 4-5 miles distant. All six of us, as Bill had not returned, jumped on our scooters and headed to Bear Butte State Park. The Princess was especially happy about this as she had wanted to visit this beautiful site once again. We visited the museum and looked at all the Indian artifacts, read the plaques and markers and traveled to the upper parking area for a look see. We didn’t stay outside too long as it wasn’t comfortable with the high winds still present. We decided to head downtown and do some people watching. So, we ended up in downtown in the crowds and excitement. We had our eye on many different things to buy over the last few days, so we did spend some money.
Kirk, who had purchased many T shirts, went on the prowl again after just the right shirts. Let it be known that around this time, Kirk was becoming known as the “Captain”, as someone made the connection with Captain James T. Kirk of the Star Trek/Enterprise fame, not a new issue to him actually. Our documentation does not indicate what days these T shirts were purchased, but the grand total was around nineteen by the time we left South Dakota, plus two that were given to him by others. (Note that upon returning home, the Captain gave about 14 of these shirts away as gifts. Nearly all of these shirts were purchased with people in mind. Juan bought the men tank tops so we could all wear the same shirts as the ‘uniform of the day’; we found this very thoughtful of him, but that’s the kind of guy he is... (Thank-you Juan and Sonya!)
Now is as good a time as any to add a note about shopping in Sturgis. There are so many shops and vendors selling anything and everything imaginable, that
we decided to look around before buying things. First of all, if you purchase something, whatever it may be, you have to lug it around for a considerable
length of time, or make a bee line for your scooter and stick it in the saddlebag, where it would sit unsecured. As far as we are aware, no bikes were robbed
of stored purchases, but you would be reluctant to put an expensive item in your saddlebag and walk away for the rest of the day. Generally, everybody looked and
looked and as they saw things that were possibilities, noted where the shops were. By the end of the week most of us were ready to go back and make a deal on
anything we had our hearts set on. Another thing we found was that once the majority of the bikers were in town, the prices mysteriously went up. Sonya saw an
example of this with a pair of road dog riding boots she wanted to purchase. When she checked them out early in the week they were about $25.00 less then when
she returned to purchase them. Both she and Juan told the seller they were aware of this and ended up buying them at the old price. There were minor examples
of the same merchandise at different shops where the prices varied, T shirts were an example. You would need to compare apples to apples products when you
shopped for the best price. Of course, the best way to determine this is by what the item is worth to you, if you do not feel ripped off, you probably weren’t.
Later we will mention the jackets that Juan and the Captain purchased. These were identical, but that little fuckin’ Mexican managed to buy his for $25.00 less
then Kirk! As stated previously, we had things in mind to do from our earlier visits in town. Sonya had her clutch and brake handles wrapped in leather at
one of the booths. These looked very sharp with gray and white leather and she seemed very pleased. Kirk went to a leather shop he had visited earlier and
had several patches sewn on his vest. Two were Sturgis related and some were of an Indian design; all looked great.
We watched the RevTech crews testing motorcycles for horsepower. You cannot help but notice when this occurs as it is so loud that it’s nearly painful. Gene asked the Captain, ‘Do you think Alden can hear that?’ being the smart ass that he is.... Alden said he had Hawg-l tested in this manner but was very careful to limit how far they pushed the engine. The test determines the horsepower at the rear wheel and is not good because they over-rev the bikes to the point of engine damage.
It was early in our week that Juan Valdez made several comments about his Mexican heritage. He mentioned several things, the town where they lived, the Hispanics in the area,
things like that. The Captain and Mo-Mo looked at one another thoughtfully and contemplated this somewhat. Juan could have been blue with white polka dots as far
as we were concerned, he was already firmly and forever etched into all of our hearts, he was our brother; but boy did we start to screw with him! We gave him some
serious shit about being a Mexican; after all, he brought it up… We announced that the camp shouldn’t be left unattended when he was around, anytime somebody
couldn’t find anything we suggested checking the Mexican’s tent as we were certain the little prick stole it...
One night when Juan and Sonya were off while she had some tattoo work done, we waited and waited for them to return to Camp Hawg. The night went on and they didn’t show and we discussed the possibility of them having a problem, breakdown, etc., figuring they would be back soon. In the meantime, we sat around the camp doing whatever, shooting the bull. Finally, very late, they returned to our happy greetings. The Captain started giving Juan some shit immediately, ending with the comment that we called the local authorities about a Mexican kidnapping a white woman out of our camp, and that they were searching high and low for this culprit. Mo-Mo jumped in and we told Juan that we were going to call the Texans from the camp below as they were far more adept at handling Mexican issues then we were; they would be happy to lynch our token Mexican for entertainment! Just an example of the kind of thing Juan had to put up with upon occasion, you had to be there to really appreciate the camp humor, which was the purpose of these last paragraphs... But, we do have some advice for you Juan... stay just like you are brother, no truer man ever graced this sorry planet of ours, and we couldn’t love you more!
Eventually we all went off to bed, another fine day done in the Black Hills.
We went outside; those who smoked lit up and waited for Sonya and the Princess to join us so we could be on our way. We waited and waited thinking it was taking far
longer than it should have. Eventually we figured either they were “enjoying the facilities” immensely or Jeannie had noticed that there was a post card rack on
the way out the door, (Heaven forbid we thought). When they exited we saw them conversing in a rather angry fashion and we wondered what happened. They explained
that we were charged $.99 per each cup of coffee, adding about $15.00 to the bill. None of us had ever heard of such a thing before, it appeared really ridiculous
to have that much added to the check and Jeannie was wild. ..."Well Princess," we stated, "at least you got your way and decided we would never again grace this
establishment with our presence."
We ran into Keystone and decided to shop for a time. We set a return time to meet at the bikes and went off on our separate errands. Everyone had been here before of course and had specific tasks in mind to check out. Keystone had many tee shirts that were not Sturgis related but more in tune to the Black Hills and Indian logos, so they were different. The Captain purchased a Black Hills gold necklace with the able assistance of Blond Sonya whom he asked for an opinion. Do you think this type of thing is ingrained in American men while growing up? Needing a second opinion from another source? Sonya thought the piece was nice so the Captain bought it and went off to other things. Our time in Keystone was not more than an hour and we soon mounted up for a tour of Custer State Park and the Needles Highway.
The Needles Highway is so named for the obvious rock formations of weathered granite spires that line the roadway of this twisting and turning fourteen mile section of road. This ride is beautiful and quite fascinating but not as good as an operator, better as a passenger when you can look about more. The road is always turning left and right with many hairpin turns, and you cannot leave the path of travel unattended to sight for more than a second at a time. (A biker was killed on this road about 20 minutes ahead of us when he left the road and was run over by a bike coming from the other direction, we read about this in the newspaper later). As stated, you must really pay attention which is difficult when you consider the amazing scenery all around you.
It was at this establishment that we purchased our “Pecker Rock” tee shirts. They were dated 1989 which wasn’t too cool, but they were pretty neat!
There really is a “pecker rock” formation, and it’s about 6 miles from where we now sat. We didn’t try to go to the location as it was out of our travel route,
and decided to see it another time, although in the end result this didn’t happen. The Captain bought two Pecker Rock T-shirts but gave them both away upon
returning home - didn’t even keep one for himself. As a note of interest, one of these shirts was given to a friend of his from Finland. Tom Eckbert is his
name and he and his girlfriend Mickie, were in Maine visiting before returning to Finland. All together, they were on holiday about four weeks. Tom wore this
shirt often and was very pleased with it; nearly every time Kiro saw him afterwards he had it on everywhere they went and he was quite proud...
The second shirt was given to Greg Joy (aka The Prince); his wife Kathy and Kirk work together in Portland. He too, liked the shirt.
We ended up in Deadwood about 1900 hours and decided to look around. We found the town was jumping with tons of scooters everywhere. Like Sturgis, they imported additional law enforcement and the streets were loaded with cops all over checking people out. As long as you were sober chances are nothing would happen and you wouldn’t be bothered, but any unusual behavior and they would seek you out. Like in all the towns during the event, law enforcement was considerably beefed up with Officers' coming from all over to assist the locals. We later read that two scooters were stolen from the area where we parked our bikes on the same evening. There weren’t many options, the town corralled all the scooters in one area, but it appeared reasonably safe. These thieves were caught and turned out to be from Minnesota looking to make a fast buck. If you were unlucky enough to get caught pulling a stunt like that, it’s best if it’s the law and not the bike owners as the best one could hope for was a good beating.
There were scooters everywhere you looked. Deadwood with its legalized gambling was a major center of activity and a good place to be based out of if you could arrange accommodations. The Princess had to try her hand at the slots as we expected, but all and all we stayed in town a little over an hour. We were getting tired and longed for the comfort of Camp Hawg, so we gathered together and headed out. The weather had turned cool and we were wearing our jackets, our sunburns still had an impact on us and we had trouble retaining our body heat. Everybody except for Juan of course, he was getting darker and darker everyday, a point that we just had to press upon him.... Not cold enough for chaps and nothing like fall riding in Maine, but far more comfortable in leather jackets just the same. The sixteen miles back to Sturgis was cool and great fun, a very nice ride we found. Even with the amount of traffic going through Sturgis we managed to get back to camp around 2130.
The best way to get this work done was to wait it out they determined, so we decided to hang out until Juan and Sonya could get their scooters in. This was a very
interesting time we found. It is difficult to be bored in Sturgis; no matter where you are there is much to see and the people are everywhere. Mo-Mo and the Captain
noticed that next door was a mobile water systems truck that had shower stalls with hot water. You could take a shower for $3.00 and the line wasn’t too long from
what we could see. Another thing they noticed was that hoses running from this vehicle supported a bike wash set up in a grassy area, so they wandered over to check
this out. You could get your scooter very well cleaned by two scantily clad young ladies for only $5.00, what a deal! We told them to proceed as there were only two
bikes ahead of ours. Both Gene and Kirk took photographs of these young women at work. They took several photos when they were cleaning the bikes ahead of ours as well
as when they washed Mo-Mo and Kiro. Even this wait wasn’t boring, we talked to people from everywhere in this country and Canada, all having a great time and sharing
the experience of just being there. One guy was from Calgary (in Canada) and he had a beautiful scooter that was detailed with gold trim. He indicated that he spent
$6,000 over the winter having this work done and was very interested in Gene’s skulls that were affixed to his rod covers. He had tried to locate some gold skulls
for the same location and was unsuccessful, but his scooter was gorgeous!
As we were directly across the street from the Broken Spoke Saloon which is a very famous facility, we wandered over there for a look see. This place is so busy during normal hours and at night that you would have trouble getting near it, but as it was about 0830 in the morning we walked right in. Just above the elevation of your head they have mounted a 2 x12” plank around the building perimeter. Along this plank they had a collection of motorcycles spread out in various areas. These motorcycles ranged from Harley flatheads to an Evo, British bikes, including a Matchless, and many others, probably about twenty in all. A fine collection of bikes and certainly a great deal of money graced the walls of this mediocre building which wasn’t much nicer than an average barn. We walked about and looked at these scooters, discussed what we knew of many of them, then walked into an adjoining room where a crowd of people stood in front of a counter loaded with tee shirts, hats, sweatshirts and other paraphernalia with various Broken Spoke Saloon logos. Before we left Gene, Kirk, and Sonya purchased several tee shirts to add to our collections.
The Captain was extremely aggravated by one of these miscreants when returning to camp after trying to use the phone. Trying is the key word here as you had to wait and wait in
line (lines, lines everywhere!) to try and make a phone call, with about a 50% chance of not getting through to begin with. The phone system in Sturgis is handled by a small carrier
not in conjunction with MCI or AT&T. As he had an AT&T card, he found you had to call another number to tie into your service, no problem, just call 1-800-Call AT!’ and all your
issues are resolved...Wrong! The telephones did not have numbers that corresponded with the letters, no, we were special, and our telephones were set up in Braille! They must have
figured that many bikers either need or use Braille in everyday life, or perhaps they heard that a large group of sight impaired motorcyclists were coming into town. In any event, after
waiting and waiting, when he went to punch in the numbers he was stymied because he didn’t know what numbers the code related to in the letter form.... Back to the first sentence..,
as he returned to camp a big blond dumb looking dude stood on his side of the fence and watched as he passed. Just before he got by, this fellow flipped the bird and smiled!
The Captain was so insulted by this he was very tempted to go back after this perceived moron, but as discretion is the better part of valor, he went back to camp and told
everybody what had happened. They were surprised that he was bothered by this and after a threat of the “time out” tent he “got his mind right” and things returned to normal.
After you passed the gauntlet of the crazies and continued along, the various groups and clusters of people, men and women, whom were out there for the same reason, titty or whatever watching, lined the road. These folks were more normal and part of their having fun was entertaining you as well as being entertained and believe us when we tell you, anything can happen! A Camp Hawg award goes to one guy that was very inventive. This fellow created a neon sign that said, “Show your Tits!” around two round shaped neon tubes with neon nipples; at night when illuminate it was fantastic. He even had it so it would partially light up if that’s what he wanted to do. Everybody going by thought this was neat. Everywhere you looked was “show your tits” signs, “show whatever you want signs", etc., some signs indicated places like, “Titty Hollow” or ‘Titty Curve”, things of that nature. You cannot go to Sturgis without getting at least a little in the spirit, it is an amazing phenomenon.
Mo-Mo and the Captain walked down to the road closest to where Camp Hawg was located. Tents and camp set-ups surrounded the area on both sides of the road, so we located
ourselves at a spot away from the mainstream so we could observe. We met a party from the heathen State of Pennsylvania and laughed and joked with them. The two guys were
quite intoxicated and very funny. They each had a bone about two feet long which they inserted to hang out of their spandex shorts. These bones hung down like the real
thing and they thought they were quite something. As someone came by on a scooter they would shine the light on the bone and shake it to get their attention. We learned
they were brothers, biological brothers that is, and one of them would pour beer on his bone and shake it off as people came by, it really was hilarious!
Gene and Kirk watched as the women came by and jerked up their shirts or whatever, and they laughed and cheered as time went by. The group across the road were very drunk and very much in the spirit of things and we had fun just watching them as we waited. Men came by on scooters totally nude, woman passengers came by naked, standing on the rear pegs of their scooters, many folks came by wearing chaps with nothing under them; you just never knew what to expect next! As we were going home soon, we decided to try this again tomorrow night with Juan. Juan was always funny in these situations and we wanted to get his opinion on the situation. You must remember, Gene and Kirk are executive types and not used to such abhorrent behavior, it was important to us to understand what we were viewing!
They returned to camp and shortly the other four came in. They didn’t stay until the end of the drags either and wanted to get into camp and kick back. The evenings in camp, generally short before retiring as everyone was wore out, were a great deal of fun and we shot the shit, took our medicine and enjoyed ourselves. Gene announced that tonight’s feature would be “The Man with No Asshole Strikes Out”, featuring Gene Barber and Mo-Mo. By now everyone acknowledged that the Captain was very smart insisting that we transport his wooden chair from Maine. This chair is built in two parts that slide into one another, so it isn’t very bulky but is made of red oak and is a bit odd shaped. After all week in camp it was the most sought after comfort we had, and after some discussion, Kirk told Alden and Jeannie that he would find them some to purchase at a Civil War reenactment if they liked them that well. They are used extensively in this hobby as they expose no metal parts whatsoever and are reasonably comfortable. The Captain did indicate they must behave themselves in order for him to do this though.
The town of Spearfish has a modern population of around 7,000 persons. The town is situated in a valley of the northern Black Hills and derived its name from the days when Sioux
and Cheyenne Indians speared fish in the creek that flows through the town. One thing we read of interest here is that Spearfish Creek is unusual in that it freezes from the
bottom up and flows north to south. Tourism is a major contributor to the well being of the community and the filming of “Dances with Wolves” certainly was an event in the area.
We were aware that some of the filming took place in Spearfish Canyon and some of the folks in the area informed us all the winter scenes were filmed there.
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Highway has its terminus southeast of the town. This ride was truly spectacular and we understood what all the fuss was about. We also noticed that the traffic was lighter than usual, perhaps due to the hour we arrived, but we were able to take our time and enjoy a wonderful cruise through the canyon. As the ladies needed to enjoy the facilities, we stopped at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge about in the middle of the tour. This facility was very nice indeed and we wondered what kind of money would be required to stay here during rally week. We had a cup of coffee and roamed the small gift shop; Jeannie saw the post card rack so you know where she went. This break also gave us an opportunity to use the telephones for those who wished to do so. It was nice, no lines, very quiet without the roar of Harleys going by; a useful break indeed.
We learned that the Thoen Monument commemorates the Erza Kind expedition’s ill-rated discovery of gold in 1834. Although they did ascertain there was “gold in them thar hills”, the Indians killed the entire party before they could relate this information to the rest of the world. Before his death, Erza Kind etched their story on a stone which wasn’t discovered until 1932; later research indicated the story was the real deal and was quite interesting.
We returned to Camp Hawg after our search. It was only about 1100 in the morning and we had toured well over 100 miles by this time. Sonya and Juan had asked us about taking their
boxed goods into the UPS center for shipment back to California, and we had included this as part of our day. They debated their departure time, whether today, or tomorrow,
when we intended to leave. Part of the problem they had was that if they shipped their tent and goods out, they would be unable to stay as all their accommodations would be
gone. We thought about this for a moment and asked, “you mean to tell us that you’ll leave today if we help by shipping your stuff out? Well, we ain’t helping ‘cause we
don’t want you to leave...” Without much consideration whatsoever, we assured our good friends that we had extra tents, sleeping bags, pillows, anything they wanted,
“just stay another night in Camp Hawg with us”. The thought of them leaving was too much to handle and we wished them to stay with us to the bitter end; we would be forced
to leave tomorrow regardless of our wishes.
As Juan and Sonya packed their things we chatted and laughed during this bittersweet time. We had grown very close; we were a family, and as the Bard once stated, “Parting is such sweet sorrow....” We realized that taking their stuff into town was one more final step before all of us departed. Sonya had bought a pair of bar risers for her Heritage recently in Sturgis. As we hung out, Alden took the time to install these on her scooter. She seemed pleased with the change in the handlebar height and we all agreed it should be a more comfortable riding position. The Master is a considerate human being and this kind of thing comes naturally for him.
This was the first time that we actually hung out during the day. We looked over and saw Mo- Mo’s feet hanging out the tent, he was taking a nap and we discussed doing something mean and hateful to him but decided not to, at least not right now. The Captain saw Mo-Mo and thought a nap was a grand idea. Of course, Mo-Mo was in their tent and the canvas tent was pretty much full of stored materials, so he lay under a tree and closed his eyes. Somebody (wonder who?) through a flag over him and took a photo. This was the only time since the start of our journey that anyone took a nap of any kind during the day in camp. By Friday we all become exhausted by the pace of our adventures.
For several days we had discussed picking up our laundry, dropped off days before, and decided we had better get it now before it was too late. We got to the Laundromat to find
that the guy who ran the drop off facility wasn’t around. Upon checking we were informed that he was in attendance only in the mornings, an answer we found unacceptable. Gene,
who was talking to the lady, pretended to start crying, and with alligator tears running down his cheeks and Kirk trying to comfort him, told her he must have the laundry today
as we were leaving shortly for our home, very far away. The poor woman was dumbfounded, she said anyone who loves laundry that much shall have it, and sent her son for the key.
All together, we had three small bags, they charge by the load and not by the pound, and the bottom line was around $25.00 give or take, so Gene paid the lad and off we went. It
was said of our compatriot Mo- Mo, that he could “charm a snake out of a tree”.
Our errands complete, we parked the van around 1400 hours and decided to do some last minute shopping and running around. Kirk and Juan had discussed buying those really nice Sturgis jackets they had the eyes on; these were expensive but sharp looking. If we were to do this, it had to be now or at least today. Although they had discussed going together, it just never happened but both were advised of three, perhaps four places that had what they were looking for. We agreed to meet at a supermarket near where the van was parked at 1300 hours. Juan had decided that he was holding a cook out tonight, and we were each to select what we wanted from this facility and Homeboy was to cook it. Everybody split up and went about their business to do whatever they chose, Jeannie and Alden, Kirk and Gene, Juan and Sonya. We all were aware that this was the last time we were to shop in Sturgis. The Maniacs, because we were leaving with the morning tide, the Californians because their stuff was already shipped, anything they purchased had to be carried on their scooters.
The Captain was aware of a tee shirt that stated, “dances with hogs” on the front, and was hoping to find some to buy for the 3rd Arkansas boys. He found out that these were made when the movie was being filmed and were not available much to his chagrin. He and Gene ended up at the Rally Headquarters building where they located the Sturgis jackets. Mo-Mo said, “OK Captain, it’s now or never”, so Kirk found one that fit and forked over the cash. Things worked out fine as the local ATM machine was nearby, (after the appropriate wait in line, of course), people were reluctant to take a check from an out of stater, and cash was the way to go. Later the Captain expressed his pleasure with the purchase of this jacket. When he wears it around the Camp Hawg members, it brings back the memories of a special time to all, a symbol of a shared experience and a feeling of brotherhood; we are the Disciples of Alden. Kirk did not find out until later this evening that Juan had also purchased an identical jacket, Homeboy kept it a secret until after dinner and then pulled it out of his bag of goodies.
The time went by quickly and we all gathered at the rendezvous point. As all the Maniacs had keys to the van getting in was no problem, and Jeannie, Alden and Kirk where reading the newspaper and waiting for the others. After a bit, everyone showed up and we entered the store and went shopping. Being a team, we each got an assignment to fulfill and went about our business. Pick out what you want and meet at the check out line was the order. As we all got in line, Juan decided he was going to pay the tab for everything. The little shit did pay as it turned out, he wouldn’t take no for an answer. We thought this unjust as he was going to cook for us, it just didn’t seem right...
Before we continue, there is a note of interest to add about food, paying the tab, gas, etc. All of us in Camp Hawg are of a very generous nature. This sort of thing was never openly
discussed, it didn’t have to be. We could go to breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever, and anyone may pay for the entire entourage, money wasn’t that important; very unusual
in a money oriented society don’t you think? We were all very generous indeed, and not just in a monetary sense. We all had to monitor our expenses and such, but we
are not aware of anyone having a concern, although there may have been some. It can be stated without equivocation that Gene would give you the shirt off his back if the
need were proven, Kirk is certainly in this category also; Juan and Sonya are a happy couple, and to say the same of Juan, which is unquestionable true, includes his
spouse without question, ditto for Jeannie and Alden. We were and are, a group of people having a good time, concerned that everyone else was having a good time. As
long as one of us had money, nobody would go without. Of course, if we all ran out of money together, that would be something entirely different...
We carried our grocery bags to the vehicle and returned to Camp Hawg. Juan found a grill top from a bar-b-que set up somewhere; we have no idea where, he said he “found” it, and set up the fire pit to cook over an open wood fire. We had steaks, tortillas, beans, all kinds of good stuff. This was probably the best meal we had on our journey. We cannot say enough good things about Juan’s cooking and the meal he provided, all at his expense and effort. We helped with anything he wished of course, but he was the main guy. The company, well, as far as the company and companionship go, there was none better anywhere...
About this time we showed one another what had been purchased, something we did almost daily. It was part of our camp conversation and we discussed things we had noticed that we liked, what other people purchased or wore that we thought was neat, that sort of thing. It was at this time that our friends, Juan and Sonya, (Homey and the Blond Woman), presented us with matching tee shirts. We were all taken by surprise and were extremely pleased at their generosity. The shirts said it all, “If you can’t Rock and Roll, then don’t fucking come, (DFC)” What proud members of the sty we were! “Uniform of the Day” shirts for everybody! We sincerely thank you Juan and Sonya, your thoughtfulness will not be forgotten. You are truly the finest kind of people.
Juan waited until this moment to pull out his new Sturgis jacket. He started by telling the Captain he got one just like his, and Kirk replied, “Oh really, then show it to me”.
Juan dug out his new garment and presented it to everyone. He said his beautiful bride bought this jacket for him and what a lovely woman she was. What a hot shit! The jackets
are black with leather sleeves and wool bodies. On the back they have the Sturgis 55th Annual Rally logo, very nicely done, but are not dated. The front has a Sturgis patch
also, together the patches are outstanding. Kirk was very pleased to know that Juan, his best Mexican friend, had a jacket like his. He found it very flattering that Juan
liked it so well. As stated previously, every time one of them wears this jacket, it is impossible to not think about Camp Hawg and our brotherhood.
With dinner complete and everyone content, it was time for us to begin preparations for departure. Gene relocated the trailer so we could load the scooters and this task was completed after removal of the various parts as required. We learned on the trip out that the mirrors should be removed as they would work cut the tarp and protrude through the opening they created. So the mirrors, pegs, and other items were taken off and we put them together and packed them in one of the saddlebags for safekeeping. With the bikes loaded and strapped down we packed all the non-essential and loose gear onto the trailer. This got it out of the way and it was used as dunnage to keep the bikes from hitting each other when traveling. The balance of the gear in camp was required to spend the night and would be loaded in the morning.
Juan and Sonya were set up to sleep in the Civil War tent. They had retained anything they thought essential for the welfare of the camp, which included many items like the coffee pot and cooking system. They didn’t want us without coffee in the morning. They also kept their air mattress that Sonya said they were going to junk as it had a hole in it. All the items that they choose not to transport were given to the Princess to take home. Being very nice folks they just gave her everything. Jeannie assured them she would UPS to California all their things upon her return home as she felt that was proper.
So, about dusk, Mo-Mo, the Captain and Homeboy strolled to the edge of the road. We stayed by ourselves in a neutral area so we could observe and realized immediately that this was
the place to be. Across the road and down a bit from us were the camps of the same group we had noticed last night, but tonight, tonight they were really in the spirit of things!
We laughed and laughed, listening to their conversations, comments and other things we were witness to. These people had a rule that nobody could stand on their side of the
road if you were dressed. Some had various things on; you couldn’t be fully dressed let’s say. The uniform varied, but there were three guys standing at the roadside
holding lamps that wore only chaps - chaps with nothing underneath that is. You can imagine this without further ado certainly! One guy who was very drunk was a riot;
he was buck ass naked except for a straw sombrero. We thought Juan was going to try and take his hat but we talked him out of it. He would throw his hat into the road
and perform a Mexican hat dance when scooters came by. Mo-Mo had several comments about this guy: 1) He had the biggest balls he had ever witnessed in his entire life.
We all admitted that this fact was true and 2)the rest of him was nothing to brag about, but his sack was truly unbelievable in its magnitude...) He had his hair cut short
and the back of his head he had a tattoo stating that, “no one gets out of here alive”. As it got darker, finally melding into the blackness of night, they really got started.
We moved down to position ourselves directly across for the other group. There were other camps where we relocated and we conversed with the people and many other folks came down and joined us. One plump lady from Illinois took an immediate shine to Juan and was talking to him on various subjects. Their conversation, Gene and Kirk noticed, was very studious and they were impressed. Juan and the woman where discussing who should show their tits and when, various attributes of those examples that had passed by recently, important matters of that nature. Eventually, Homeboy asked her why she had a tee shirt on; after all, it was warm outside. Juan asked her to pull her blouse off and pose for a photograph with his buddies; this she did without question, she appeared much taken with him. The Captain informed Mo-Mo that he would be very interested in this photo; it probably would be suitable for enlargement to display in Gene’s office! We teased Homey about her for a time, telling him that we would inform his wife he got arrested and things like that so he could spend some time with her. Being a gentleman, Juan refused our offer and walked away from this woman and on to other things.
As the evening progressed the guys with just the chaps on were shining the lanterns at everybody going past their station. They illuminated their peckers for the ladies going by,
and they in turn pulled up their tops. Many didn’t have a top on to begin with and several stopped to photograph the group by the road. By now, the women were involved; some
had vests on with nothing else, some with thong underwear with chaps over them. All sorts of people were stopping to look and chat, it was like show and tell in fourth grade.
We were laughing and hollering, it really was funny and everybody was having such a good time. Guys were riding their scooters without a stitch of clothes on, save footwear
for shifting; many naked ladies came by displaying their wares.
The Captain was broken hearted. He didn’t get one photograph, not even one, before the battery in his camera failed. Can you imagine this? All those titties going by and no way to prove it to his friends at home! He just never thought about keeping a spare battery in his camera case. All these terrific opportunities and no way to keep a photographic record, (some researcher he turned out to be). Fortunately, his memory is excellent, (after all you’re reading this account, right?) and we all retained much of what went on. We made Juan the official photographer of this event and indicated to him he would be punished if he didn’t do right.
So, we drank a beer or two and watched the show as the scooters went by. We noticed a guy standing to our left who appeared quite drunk, as he was swaying and having a problem standing erect. This guy was very quit and we looked him over, figured he was harmless, and never gave him another thought. About this time, a fine looking lady with nearly nothing on, being driven by her husband, boyfriend, old man, whatever, came by again, probably on her third or fourth trip around the circuit. This time they decided to stop as she had her camera out and wanted to photograph Big Balls and his cohorts. She even took a shot of the back of Big Ball’s head to capture his tat. Well, the drunken guy next to us suddenly sprang to life! When the scooter stopped, perhaps ten feet from where he stood, and he saw this fine looking babe, it was just too much for him to handle. He ran into the road and started kissing her profusely on her beautiful bare ass! The bike was surrounded by many people of whom he was one. From what we could tell, it looked like something must have occurred as the rider fired up his scooter and took off like a bat out of hell. We looked at one another, continued laughing, and turned our interest back to the road and the next thing that would happen.
We learned that the drunk was part of the group across the street, perhaps he was too well dressed to be allowed on that side of the road, he had pants on so we weren’t sure.
In any event, he was doing some serious bragging about kissing the lady’s behind; he thought this was very cool indeed. It wasn’t five minutes later that the scooter operator
came back and man was he pissed off! He was of medium build, not especially scary looking really, but fire flashed from his eyes. We knew this man was on a mission. He walked
over to Big Balls, right in the middle of all his friends, and said, “I wanna’ know who bit my ole’ lady on the ass!” We were surprised that he had the gumption to do such a
thing, maybe his balls were bigger than Big Balls we thought. Big Balls quickly stated that it couldn’t have been him, he had been standing right next to him and there was
no way his head could reach that far. Then he added, “I would have bit her ass if I would have thought of it!” The guy went wild! We thought for sure all hell was going to
break loose. He was yelling and hollered, “Fuck this shit you bunch of assholes!”, and stormed off to his campsite. During this exchange, we noticed that the drunk heard
what was going on and hauled ass to parts unknown, needless to say, he stopped bragging. At least Big Balls didn’t give him up to the irate biker; he probably didn’t
know who did it anyway.
Gene, Kirk and Juan looked at one another and talked things over. We just knew the pissed off biker was coming back with some sort of “equalizer”, he was out for blood. We thought he may return with a handgun or something, and figured now would be a good time to return to Camp Hawg. We agreed that what we witnessed had a valuable lesson in it, just like in Aesop’s Fables, or Fractured Fairy Tales from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, for those of you with simpler minds. This lesson was very simple, look but don’t touch! Scooter trash, alcohol (or whatever), and their woman create a dangerous combination. It is not unusual or unlikely, for the “fun” to get out of hand. So the three of us walked back to our home, Camp Hawg. We said hello to the rest of the family and pulled up our chairs to enjoy what was left of the evening. We got hunkered down and kicked back, determined to enjoy what time was left.
Sonya had already retired, she was sleeping comfortably in the Civil War tent, and we just had to tease Juan.... “Ha, ha Juan, none for you, you little Prick!” He of course,
took the wind out of our sails by indicating that he at least had a woman, Mo-Mo and the Captain only had each other, a point well taken they thought. There were valid reasons
for returning to Maine after all...
Everybody was exhausted after a week of hard riding and on the go adventures. We didn’t see everything we had hoped on this journey. The Captain was very interested in going to the Little Big Horn battle site (in Montana) and Wounded Knee (in South Dakota), but this would have to be another time, another visit was required. The site of Custer’s death was nearly three hundred miles from Sturgis, definitely a two day excursion unless you wanted to do a twelve hour ride in one day. This we found unlikely, or at least unwise, predicated from the tours we had taken. We learned that with so much going on locally it just didn’t make sense to travel that far away, a point Juan had informed the Captain of earlier in the week.
We talked about the good time had by all and travel plans for our respective trips home. We told our stories and spoke of our friendship for one another, planning another future Camp Hawg event in Sturgis, perhaps in 2000; it was a bittersweet ending to the greatest of adventures, but not one of us would have exchanged it for anything.