We took our first multi-day trip on the motorcycle to the Sturgis 2022 Bike Rally as a test run for our Route 66 trip that we plan to do in a couple of years. It seems I can’t ever do anything in “baby steps”. Instead of our first multi-day trip being an overnighter, we decided 16 days was the way to go; granted nine of those days were spent in one spot where the hotel was our “base camp”.
Check out my YouTube Sturgis 2022 Playlist for all the videos (I am currently working on the last four days worth of videos).
- Our Decision for Going
- To Ride or Trailer It There?
- Day 1 – Heading Out
- Day 2 – Made it to Kansas
- Day 3 – Made it to Nebraska
- Day 4 – We’ve Arrived! Sturgis 2022
- Day 5 – Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, & Sturgis
- Day 6 – Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
- Day 7 – Iron Mountain Road & Needles Highway
- Day 8 – Badlands National Park, Wall Drug, and Minuteman Missle Siloh
- Day 9 – Sturgis & Full Throttle Saloon
- Day 10 – Vanocker Canyon, Custer State Park, & Needles Hwy
- Day 11 – Stoneville Saloon, Montana & Sturgis
- Day 12 – Needles Hwy & Iron Mountain Road & Sylvan Lake
- Day 13 – Headed Home (Stopped at the Ranch Store & fed the Praire Dogs)
- Day 14 – Stopped at the World’s Largest Covered Porch Swing
- Days 15 & 16 – Oklahoma & Home to Texas
Sturgis 2022 – Our Decision for Going
My parents have been trying to get us to go to Sturgis with them for years (they have been going for like 20 years or something crazy like that), however, life always got in the way. This past year my Mom basically said they were getting old and weren’t sure how much longer they would be going. We knew this was the year we needed to go.
So we bought a new bike =) I love the Heritage Softail, but it isn’t the most comfortable thing when riding for hours on end. Plus, we were going to buy a new one before we did Route 66 anyway.
To Ride or Trailer It There?
Originally the plan was to trailer it the 1200 miles there and the 1200 miles back. However, shortly after buying the motorcycle and looking for a trailer, inflation hit, and overnight the price of those trailers went from $2700 to almost $5,000! We checked into renting a U-Haul motorcycle trailer and realized that after reading the fine print, the reservation would not be guaranteed and that a rep would call us 48 hours before the reserved pickup time to confirm!
So then we set out to see about having it shipped. All the shippers were already full, so we returned to U-Haul and made the reservation. We were just going to hope for the best until I came up with a brilliant idea…let’s ride it there and back.
I was excited about my lightbulb moment, so I presented the idea to my husband who apparently didn’t share the same enthusiasm.
I won him over in the end. He likes adventure just as much as I do (ok maybe not as much as I do, but pretty close) and this would be an adventure. I think what tipped the scales in my favor was when I said we could use this as a test run for our Route 66 ride in a couple of years. After all, if we couldn’t do the 1200 miles to Sturgis, we had no business doing Route 66!
Day 1 – Heading Out
We headed out about 0730 with our first planned stop in Oklahoma to check out a VW bug that had been made into a giant spider.
We arrived at our hotel in Moore, Oklahoma about 1530 and walked over to Grandy’s to have an early dinner. It was Jerry’s first time ever eating at Grandy’s (we don’t have one near our house) and it was just as good as I remember it when growing up. Miles Rode: 342
Day 1 Video
Day 2 – Made it to Kansas
Today we made it to Kansas, we had planned to stop in Newton, Kansas, and see the Blue Sky Sculpture, but the GPS had other ideas and completely left out our exit. We chose not to backtrack and continue on. We also had to go through a cash toll booth, so that was fun lol. Miles Rode: 260
Day 2 Video
Day 3 – Made it to Nebraska
We made it to Nebraska today and made a couple of pit stops before the hotel. One of them being the Geographic center of the continental United States which is located about two miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas. We also attempted to stop at the world’s largest ball of twine made by a community, but could not find it. After that, we headed to Nebraska, which needless to say, was pretty boring scenery-wise. It made for a long ride. Miles Rode: 295.
Day 3 Video
Day 4 – We’ve Arrived! Sturgis 2022
Today felt like a shorter ride even though it was one of the longer days, probably because we gained an hour due to going from Central to Mountain Time. The ride was really nice. We stopped at Carhenge and attempted to stop at Dobby’s Frontier Town, however, their parking lot was all gravel and Jerry forgot his puck, so that wasn’t going to happen. Carhenge was super neat and we recommend stopping if you ever get the chance! We met my parents and had dinner at Dakotah’s (a really awesome Steakhouse there in Rapid City) for their Anniversary. Miles Rode: 338.
Day 4 Video
Day 5 – Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, & Sturgis
Today we rode Spearfish Canyon then over to Deadwood where we did some shopping and lunch. We ended the day with a trip to Sturgis and Full Throttle Saloon. Miles Rode: 159
Day 5 Video
Day 6 – Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
Today we headed to Wyoming to visit Devil’s Tower. This was my first time in Wyoming so I finally got to mark that state off my list. After our visit to Devil’s Tower, we headed to the town of Hulett to eat lunch at the Red Rock Cafe (their wraps are on point). From there we headed to the very small town of Aladdin and stopped at the General Store there for some souvenirs. Miles Rode: 235.
Day 6 Video
Day 7 – Iron Mountain Road & Needles Highway
Today we did the Iron Mountain Road and Needles Highway Loop. Jerry was nervous about Iron Mountain Road, but he kept it up. We passed some that didn’t. We also stopped at the Ghost Town of Spokane. This was mine and Jerry’s second trip here, my parents never knew it existed =) Miles Road: 128
Day 7 Video
Day 8 – Badlands National Park, Wall Drug, and Minuteman Missle Siloh
Today we headed to Badlands National Park, then stopped at Wall Drug to have lunch. From there we headed to the Minuteman Missle Historical Site. Funny thing is, as we were headed to the welcome center my parents (who were leading) exited onto a gravel road. Turns out my stepdad had seen a sign for the Minuteman Missle site.
This was the ACTUAL site that you could walk around. Further up the highway was the welcome center (where we were headed). We would have missed it if he had not been looking at the signs! While at the welcome center I mentioned how I wished there was a Hardee’s around (we don’t have them here) so I could get a Mushroom & Swiss burger. They mentioned how they had never seen one around here.
On our way back to Rapid City, my stepdad exits the highway unexpectedly. It turns out he (and only him) saw a Hardee’s sign at a Love’s Truck Stop! We had Hardee’s for dinner. Stepdad gained some major bonus points today! LOL (not that he even needed them). Miles Rode: 200
Day 8 Video
Day 9 – Sturgis & Full Throttle Saloon
Today was a short day. It was supposed to rain for most of the day (but ended up not doing so lol). We had planned to use this day to do any “chores”. We went to breakfast (that turned into an early lunch due to the wait for our food to get to the table) in Keystone. After breakfast, we headed to Dahl’s Chainsaw Art to pick up my two purchases and get them ready for the ride to West Virginia (where I will pick them up when I go to visit here in a month or so). I ended up buying a third piece as well.
After our “chores” were done, we headed back to Sturgis and Full Throttle Saloon. Miles Rode: 90
Day 9 Video
Day 10 – Vanocker Canyon, Custer State Park, & Needles Hwy
Today we rode down Vanocker Canyon, into Custer where we had lunch, and then into Custer State Park before heading back onto Needles Hwy to return to the hotel. It was a great ride other than the fact that I forgot to record while in Custer State Park. We only saw one Bison (and it was hidden in the trees). Thankfully the last time we were there, we saw a giant herd. Miles Rode: 204.
Day 10 Video
Day 11 – Stoneville Saloon, Montana & Sturgis
Today we rode to Stoneville Saloon in Montana and then headed to Sturgis to do some people-watching. Pretty fun to see all the interesting “outfits” lol. I love people-watching and we had front-row seats at an establishment right on Main street. Miles Rode: 248.
Day 11 Video
Day 12 – Needles Hwy & Iron Mountain Road & Sylvan Lake
Today was our last day here at Sturgis 2022 and we decided to do Needles Hwy & Iron Mountain Road again, this time we did Needles Highway first and came from the south end of Iron Mountain Road. Before getting onto Needles Hwy at Sylvan Lake, we decided to take a walk around Sylvan Lake since my parents had never done it before. Totally worth the short hike around if you get a chance to do it. It was the perfect ending to our Sturgis Trip! Miles Rode: 116.
Day 12 Video
Video coming soon!
Day 13 – Headed Home (Stopped at the Ranch Store & fed the Praire Dogs)
We followed my parents on our way out of town and stopped at the Ranch Store to feed all the prairie dogs. They were so cute! We bid farewell to my parents here and headed towards Nebraska, where we took what seemed like a never-ending, no-shoulder, middle of nowhere, upper 90 degrees no clouds in sight, state highway. We also had to pass a truck spraying pesticide on the sides of the road which I, unfortunately, didn’t see in time and got a huge lung full (I ended up spending the rest of the ride over the next 3 days coughing almost uncontrollably). That was an interesting ride for sure! Miles Rode: 326.
Video coming soon!
Day 14 – Stopped at the World’s Largest Covered Porch Swing
While in Nebraska we took a small detour to stretch our legs and check out the World’s Largest Covered Porch Swing. What an absolutely cute town! The swing was in the middle of town square right across from the fire station. As we were taking pictures of the swing a super nice guy walked over from the welding shop and offered to take our picture! We hung out and talked for a while before hopping on the bike and making our way to Kansas. Miles Rode: 325.
Video coming soon!
Days 15 & 16 – Oklahoma & Home to Texas
We stopped in Moore, Oklahoma again (at the same hotel). The front desk clerk remembered us and promptly ask how Sturgis was. We chatted for a bit. We absolutely love this hotel, they are so friendly and really make you feel like family. I am a huge fan of Holiday Inn Expresses (hence why I am a Platinum member) and this has to be my absolute favorite one.
Anyway, we finally made it home on Day 16. We were worn out from riding through big city traffic and promptly took a nap. After nap time, I unloaded the bike and put stuff away. The cool thing about taking a trip on a bike….there’s not much to unpack!!! Miles Rode: 228 & 332.
Video coming soon!