Gear Up for Sturgis with Eagle Leather
July 23, 2014
Get Ready to Ride to Sturgis
The Trip on Every Rider's Bucket List!The rally at Sturgis is chock-full of things to do and see. But the surrounding area has sites worth experiencing too, maybe as a day trip during the rally, or an extension of your trip.
Just cruising through the scenery of the beautiful Black Hills is a treat. It’s some of the best motorcycling in the United States. But there are many other places to see not far from Sturgis.
Mount Rushmore has to cap the list. Begun in 1927 by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the heads of Presidents Lincoln, Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, and Jefferson stand sixty feet proud. You can observe them using telescopes or walk closer for a more impressive view. Did you know that Borglum originally planned to have a museum behind the faces; panels there display our important national documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, carved into porcelain to last forever. Go with a group on the Mayor’s Ride, or solo—it’s just 62 miles.
The Crazy Horse Memorial is 67 miles from Sturgis. The finished work will show Crazy Horse mounted on a steed that seems to rise from the rock. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski promised his friend Henry Standing Bear that he would create a monument for Native Americans, honoring their past and showcasing their living culture. He died before he could finish, but his family has carried on the work. It’s financed by donations and by fees to visit the on-site museum.
Deadwood became a boomtown during the Black Hills Gold Rush about 1875. Wild Bill Hickok died here; he and Calamity Jane are buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery. Deadwood was the first small town to legalize gambling, which revived its fortunes and allowed it to maintain its historic district. It’s a bit (maybe more than a bit) touristy—but it’s great fun to spend a day gambling and fantasizing about the Wild West. It’s only 13 miles from Sturgis and well worth the time. At nearby Lead (pronounced “leed,” you can tour the upper works of the Homestead Gold Mine, the largest and deepest in North America. Science geeks will remember that solar neutrinos were first detected in its depths.
Wind Cave National Park is 87 miles from Sturgis. Wind Cave is one of the longest in the world and is named for the strong winds that blow in or out of the cave entrance, depending on atmospheric pressure. Wind Cave is known for its “boxwork,” which looks like stone lace and whose origin remains mysterious. The candlelight tours are especially beautiful. Above the cave, the park boasts bison, elk, prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets.
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