Sturgis and a New Motorcycle Lift

Our August travels included a stop in Sturgis for the 75th motorcycle rally on the way back to the Midwest to visit family. Bob had been to the rally twice before, but this was my first visit. We didn’t decide to attend until July, so we felt pretty fortunate to find a spot at Rocky Point Recreation Area just outside Belle Fourche, SD.  It gave us about a 30 minute ride into town each day, but we thought it was ideal, especially for the price! 

Riding to Sturgis with a full moon!
    
 We had visited the black hills a couple years ago when my family all met in the area to vacation together. One of the few sites we missed last time was Devils Tower National Monument, so we took the opportunity on one of our first days there to visit this amazing site. Amazingly, this tower looks radically different in person. The iconic picture of the tower seems to be from the South, so riding in from the Northeast gave us a whole different perspective.  We took Highway 34 and 24 from Belle Fourche and were treated to a great hilly, winding road. We would love to stay at Bear Lodge campground some time. It seemed amazingly peaceful.  

Devils Tower has a completely differently profile from the Northeast
    
   
The number of bikes in Sturgis was mind blowing, and we were only there for the weekend BEFORE the official start of the rally.  

 We really enjoyed all the free bands at Easyriders Saloon and Loud American Roadhouse. Hairball was an arena rock tribute band that was awesome!  All your favorites from the big name bands…they just traded singers dressed as the different lead singers without missing a beat. If they come to your area, I would highly recommend their show! 

    
 After a couple days of the craziness, we headed on to Omaha to visit my family and get a new Hydralift motorcycle lift installed on Maxi. As you know from previous posts, the Cruiserlift that came installed on Maxi when we bought her bounced so much that it was tearing itself apart. After watching our Harley shake itself partially free of its ties multiple times, that lift had to go.  In fact, now that I have the Hydralift, I can say that not making this change sooner is my biggest regret so far in our travels. It would’ve made each move so much less stressful! 

So long Cruiserlift…
  
…so glad this contraption is gone!
  
It had quite an ugly mess of wires on the back.
 
Ace Welding in Omaha did a great job on our installation. Jim and Aaron were meticulous in making sure we had a sturdy, attractive installation that would stand the test of time. As a lifetime welder, Bob kept a close eye on their work, and was really pleased with the results. Other than the shipper losing our lift from the distribution center, the process was mostly smooth and we appreciated their attention to details.  

They even added brackets to mount our old Cruiserlift lights
  
Nice, clean Hydralift installation!
  
The Harley is SOOO stable on the road now. Yippee!
 

Visiting Omaha, Council Bluffs and Des Moines  also gave us the chance to join some of Michelle’s family at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium and the Iowa State Fair. If you haven’t been to this zoo, it’s time to make a vacation trip to Omaha. This is the top rated zoo in the world according to Trip Advisor. We got to see a bunch of really cool animal encounters this time. Feeding the lions, Pumas and sea lions, oh my!  I can’t wait until their new African Savannah opens with all the elephants they have coming!

  
   
While I grew up in Iowa, this was first my first visit to the Iowa State Fair. It was pouring rain, unfortunately, but we enjoyed seeing the butter cow and the super bull and watching the nieces and nephews climb on the farm tractors and load up on the temporary tattoos from the Iowa colleges.    

    
       
We would really like to experience it again without the rain in the future. 
Our stop in Kansas City to visit Bob’s daughter and family also had great timing.  We got to see the grandkids play softball and soccer, help out granddaughter lose her first tooth and take part in our grandson’s fifth birthday party.   In addition to the great family times, the Blue Angels were flying in the Kansas City air show. What a show!

                 
I have to say, one of my favorite things about RVing is the amount of time we’ve gotten to spend with our family. We look forward to many more adventures with them in the future. 

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