MARILYN HAGERTY: Highways are sprinkled with bikers, detours in AugustDear Shirley, If ever again I plan to drive through Sturgis, S.D., the first week of August, I hope someone throttles me.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
If ever again I plan to drive through Sturgis, S.D., the first week of August, I hope someone throttles me.
It is not a good plan. Yes, you avoid the detour on Highway 83 in South Dakota. But I tell you what happened, Shirley, when we drove down from Dickinson, N.D., and into Sturgis on Highway 79: We came across camps and shelters where bikers were congregating. Not just groups. Hordes of them.
It was the first day of the annual biker rally in the Black Hills. We were surrounded by thousands of bikers. It took us an hour and a half to get through Sturgis. The bikers were ahead of us, behind us, beside us.
Thank goodness, Jack was driving. I would have freaked out. I commended him for keeping calm. He said there was nothing else to do. Grandson Jack is now 21. Years ago, when I drove him to Colorado, he sat in the back seat whistling and cracking his knuckles. He could even crack his toe knuckles, but he has sort of outgrown that.
I was glad he could go with me to visit our Carol and her family in Colorado. These are tough times since ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, has relentlessly taken its toll and paralyzed Carol.
We managed to have a good visit and tried to help out at the Werner cattle farm. We drove away early Saturday with a goal of having breakfast at Perkins in North Platte, Neb.
“No more of this crazy stuff through Sturgis,” I said.
Well, guess what? We found going up Highway 83 in South Dakota from Pierre north toward Bismarck was not much better. In fact, a horrendous detour near Selby, S.D., was the worst I have ever experienced.
So, you can see, I was glad to get back home Sunday. The drive from Bismarck to Grand Forks was blissful.
All week, I have been thinking of the August travels. I have flashbacks to our crawling along in the Black Hills in seas of motorcycles. There was a sign as we entered Sturgis giving the population as 6,442 and saying, “Welcome Riders.”
The ground was fairly shaking beneath the big bikes. The gas fumes were strong. There were businesses set up in tents to cater to the bikers. One place was called “The Broken Spoke.” One sign offered massage therapy for the bikers. There was a sign for Aleve on another tent-like shop. And another place was offering cigars and knives. And there were healing services scheduled at 3 and 7 p.m. at one place.
If I were giving out awards along the way, I would present the peskiest fly award to the one that hopped in our car down in Nebraska. The craziest grasshoppers are found on the high plains of Colorado. The biggest mosquitoes award would go to those that have grown up this summer in Bismarck and swirl around the deck at daughter Gail and Dale’s house. The gas station with the best service: Don’s Sinclair in Pierre, S.D. There, two young men came out and pumped the gas, cleaned the car windows and handled the payment at no extra charge. The gas station with the lowest price anywhere at $3.299 last week is still Sav O Mat on West Main Street in Fort Morgan, Colo. Best food and best prices award would have to go to the J and L Café in Sterling, Colo.
The highest price for gas was at Newell, S.D., as you approach the Black Hills. There, the going price was $3.929.
I was looking for the cleanest rest room award, Shirley, but I didn’t find any clean rest rooms in my August travels.
I wish you could have gone with us, Shirley, but you seem to be sticking pretty close to home these days. I hope all is well with you in Tucson.
Love from your sister, Marilyn, back home again in Grand Forks eating tomatoes and cucumbers from my neighbors’ gardens.
P.S.: I joined friends and family who sadly said goodbye to Margaret Peterson during her funeral service this week at United Lutheran. She worked side by side with her husband, Clarence, to build Peterson Construction Co. And, side by side, they raised a large, outstanding family. She was a gentlewoman and a friend at the bridge tables for years. When she played with us a couple weeks ago in the Town House, she knew because of her health it was her last game. And she asked to say something before she left. As she spoke her farewell, she reminded us to be kind to be kind to one another.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 772-1055.