Patty Eastburn – Why I Ride
Made a check on my Bucket List!!!!!
This past summer I got to make a big check mark on my Bucket List! With each of our Harley purchases (3 so far) each bike has gotten to be more for cruising! So I said to Den, “Why are we trailing and not riding”? In August we packed the bike and the two of us headed to Sturgis!! Who’d a thought?!!!! We planned 4 days out, 5 days there and 4 days back.
On all of our trips, as we head out, I always look up to the sky and pray to my guardian angels to keep us safe! As I was praying, a Shinaia Twain song came on that my now deceased cousin and I would sing on many of our Girl Road Trips. So, I knew she would be keeping watch over us and we would be OK!!
On Our Way…
Day 1: we made it to Wausen, Ohio (545 miles). Great riding weather: “Why have we been trailing”?! As we were heading down the highway, I could hear a roar coming up behind us. Up around us came about 12 Hells Angel riders. They looked at us; I waved and said, “Hey”!!!! Riding with Hells Angels – Who’d A Thought?
DAY 2: we were up and on our way by 7:30 am, an advantage of being by yourself. Another beautiful day of riding, radio blaring out all our favorite tunes – Jethro Tull, Janis Joplin – and I was singing as loud as I wanted to; and, no one minding! Except Denny who turned off the intercom; trust me, my singing sucks!!!!! Ten hours later (546 miles) we were in Newton, Iowa. Another day of great weather for rid-ing!
DAY 3: the weather started out good, but we hit rain in afternoon, tried rain gear for a while, and then decided to make it an early night (450 miles today). We’ll get rest, then Sturgis tomorrow!!!!! Denny saw a sign for a Best Western, so we got off at the exit. We saw a sign which said 5 miles to bar shaped hotel (BAR!!) (Do we really wanna ride 5 miles off the interstate for a hotel? But sign says BAR!!!)
Well, we finally get to town (small town USA): Canistota, South Dakota. The town only has two roads and the hotel is at the dead end of one! Where is the bar? I saw the word bar, but sign really said “bar shaped hotel”. There were only two rooms left out of 40 total rooms. I wondered how anybody knew about this back road place run by Mom and Pop. But within 30 minutes, bikes starting arriving; and, by 8:30 pm the parking lot was packed with bikers going to Sturgis. We all sat in parking lot ‘till dark just bullshitting about whatever!
DAY 4: Sturgis, here we come!!!! We were up early and on road by 7 am!!! We met with friends (who trailed theirs) in Mitchell, SD, had breakfast, and onward we went. As we crossed the Missouri River I knew we were al-most there!! We went straight to the Rapid City Harley Dealership, got off the bike, and Denny and I hugged each other- WE DID IT! Who’d a thought??!!!!
We stayed in Custer, SD at a Holiday Inn Express (great hotel), an hour from Sturgis. We went to Sturgis the next day; gotta get tee shirts! The town was packed; loved just people watching.
My favorite road is Needles Highway which is on way to Mount Rush-more. I think it has many more sharp curves than the Dragon’s Tale! If you have not been there, you gotta go do that road. My favorite place to see is “Crazy Horse”, a must stop for me for what it means to the American Indians and because I always treat myself to Indian jewelry. (I did ride there!)
This year, Hill City was the best town to people watch and chill. The first night there, as we were walking around, I saw a store selling homemade PIE (I LOVE PIE). We went in to buy a slice of the best “DAMN APPLE PIE” I have ever had.
As we are sitting outside on the step eating pie and people watching, Denny decided to stand. He started on his knees and then began to stand up. Just then the owner came out of the store and yelled, in front of everybody, “ARE YOU PROPOSING”????? (Denny never did ask me, I just took ring.) Everyone was looking!
Den told him that after 38 years if I have not asked why ruin a good thing!!! The owner then proceeded to put his arms on mine and Den’s shoulders and said, loudly: “By the power invested in me in Hill City, I now pronounce you man and wife.” I was hys-terical by now! He went into store and brought out a silk rose for me! I have it in our hutch. Everyone around was laughing also! That made the trip!! Two days later we went back for more pie and he remembered us, sat at our table, and started telling jokes!
Now if you have been to Sturgis and rode out there you understand how beautiful the riding is! But if you haven’t, let me tell you about some of the highlights for us.
We rode to Wyoming to see Devil’s Tower. We cruised along for miles: clear open skies, farms every 20 miles. It’s just you and the open road. Before we knew it we had gone 100 miles!!!! And never passed one Wawa!!!!!
Then there is the Needles Highway. As you weave around 5 MPH hairpin turns, pine trees and rock formations, you come to a one way tunnel cut out of a mountain! Everybody gets off their bike to take pictures and do some rock climbing (Denny, not me). And then, as you exit the tunnel, Mount Rush-more comes into view!!!! Pictures do not do it justice!!!!
We made it in three days; remember I said 4 days home!!
DAY 1: we did 700 miles, stopping in Iowa, at the same time as the Iowa Fair. It took 5 exits before we could find a room (the only room left was smoker’s room); it was 10 pm -we started at 8 am!!! Is that like the Iron Butt Ride?? Thank God for that cushy back seat and my Air Hawk cushion!!!!
DAY 2: we only did 600 miles, stopping in Toledo, Ohio at a great hotel with a great room (king size bed and hot tub). It was great to soak those tired bones!! That cushy seat was not so cushy anymore! Still, the riding was great and bikers would all wave as they went by knowing we were all homeward bound! If they had PA tags they would honk!
DAY 3: up on way by 7:30 knowing we would be home that night. We arrived at 114 High Street by 6PM! Mike, our son, waved us into garage!!!!
What a trip! Would I do it again? Damn Right!!!!! Denny and I are already planning next road trip; riding, of course. WHO’D A THOUGHT?
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