Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Vroom, Vroom

Two years ago, I was on an ultimate road trip from Orlando, Florida back to Juneau, Alaska with my friend Julie. Julie is cool beans. She’s one of those friends you don’t have to talk to every week, but when you finally do connect, it feels like no time has past. Julie and I worked together briefly in Alaska. I’ve only known her for a few years but she is my favorite traveling cohort. She was my roulette teacher on another Alaskan escape to Vegas, and I partied it up with her extended family in southern Virginia last summer. There are just some people it is fun to travel with and Julie is definitely one of those people. Our road trip came to be because Julie wanted some company on her quest to get her car back to the land of the midnight sun unharmed, and I happily tagged along. We hit up all the cities where we had couches to crash on: Atlanta, Milwaukee, Mankato (MN), and Missoula. We were planning on just blowing through everything between Minnesota and Missoula, but then a funny thing happened. Just after crossing into South Dakota, we stopped at a small gas station and there, taped to the front door, was an 8x11 piece of white office paper that someone had written on with black magic marker.

‘300 miles to Sturgis’

I just about crapped my pants. Julie had never heard of Sturgis, but I grew up in Milwaukee and one of my life’s ambitions is to some day own a Harley. I’ve ridden on the back of a few motorcycles and driven even fewer, but I will feel like I have really made it the day I own a bike. (Along with a hot tub, a pool table, and a HDTV.)

So I proceeded to tell Julie about the biggest, baddest motorcycle rally in all the land. I wasn’t sure how we’d fit in riding up in an Accord, but I knew damn well that I was going to have to go back to South Dakota some other time to visit Mt. Rushmore.

Sturgis is one helluva party. We paid some random couple $10 apiece to pitch our tents on their front lawn and traipse through their house at 4am to use the bathroom, and headed off for the nearest beer tent – about one block away. At one point, I vaguely remember trying to talk myself into buying a pair of $200 chaps but I managed to leave the next afternoon with nothing more than a wicked hangover. Missoula and Banff were also awesome stops on our trip, but Sturgis was by far the best surprise.

1 comment:

becca said...

buttless chaps?