Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cheyenne Frontier Days, July 26

Cheyenne Frontier Days is the oldest outdoor rodeo and western celebration, this is it's 117th year. It's called "The Daddy of 'em All." Can you believe I've never been? Yeah, me neither. No excuses this year, I actually WON tickets to the Jason Aldean/Jake Owen concert! I about fell outta my chair... Those are two of our favorite top country stars. Yep. Couldn't wait!!

While the concert tickets included a free bus ride up and back, we aren't big fans of buses and that meant we'd have to leave one of our bikes downtown on a Friday night until 2am. Not happening! We had heard free parking was available on the residential streets in the area, the bikes should make that super easy. Karla took Friday off, so after sleeping in a bit we headed out for the easy 2 hour ride up.

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Lots of stuff for sale

Do you think I could get one for the Subaru?

Great carnival atmosphere, minus the usual riff raff found at Denver area events. Kids were well behaved and watched after, teenagers pants weren't around their ankles and I didn't get a single wiff of pot! Plus the place was massive, so it was easy to get away from the crowds.

Ooooo!! I used to love these as a kid!!

Oh this might be interesting.... (Excellent photo bomb by Karla too!)

Time to head back to the bikes for dinner before the show. They're safe and sound all tucked in.

Why we bring our covers:

Sun feels good!


That PB&J made me even more childish... Do we have time? Do we? Just one more? Absolutely!!

Off to get in line! The concert was all setup in the big dirt arena where the rodeo is.

Good thing we aren't wearing $300 cowboy boots we bought just for the event!

We squeezed our way in as close as we dared! This concert set a new attendance record for Cheyenne Frontier Days, 25,000 tickets sold!! Holy smokes. Previous record was held by George Straight! The news reported it was also the largest concert crowd for the entire state of Wyoming. Needless to say we were packed in like sardines!  Secured a great spot for Jake Owen, but we knew our bladders wouldn't hold out for Jason Aldean...

I didn't hear a single complaint from anyone about the mud! This was several inches deep in places!

Jake Owen was totally awesome! I've got some video, but you had to be there...

Glad to see him playing guitar, no one knew if he'd be able to after a go cart accident busted up his hand pretty good.

Yep, awesome!

With bladders about to explode we had to give up our spots in the sardine can! Thankfully they had some big screens set up everyone could still see the action. Just wish there were more speakers, we could barely hear Jason Aldean sing. :(

Still had a great time! Can't believe we wont the tickets, what a treat. Back to the bikes in the dark to change and head home. We were both happy for dry riding boots!

We didn't have much time to really explore the grounds, I imagine we will be back next year! No more concerts though, not unless we win free tickets (or the lottery...).

Full slideshow, 42 pictures.

Monday, July 22, 2013

NatSTOC June 12-14

Every June we head up north to Spearfish, SD (20 minutes from Sturgis) for the annual NatSTOC gathering, organized by the Honda ST motorcycle forum. Last year we hit this "rally" on the way home from California, we're always looking forward to going back. We were blessed with cooler weather this year, the last two have been scorchers! John joined us this year too, he's a great friend and a hoot of a traveling companion.

John and Karla both got Friday off, so we really got to enjoy a leisurely 400mile ride up to the Spearfish City Campground.

 As you can probably tell from the map, there ain't POOP between here and there. Only one picture from the ride, at our first gas stop in Cheyenne (John's bike has a short range).

Love the Spearfish City Campground. Well cared for, quiet, nice folks. Plenty of grass, shade and a great little creek with wooden bridges. We setup in almost the same spot as last time, right along the creek away from the hangout area.

"Our" picnic table with the creek behind it.

 A great evening hanging out with 60-75 new and old rider friends, off to bed. Up early ish for some camp breakfast!

Bikes are ready for our day ride!

I think John found a dirty spot, gasp!

The day ride saw quite a few navigational errors on my part (oops), but we had a great time anyway!!

Hmmm, who put that dirt road there? That won't do!

Great spot for a picture atleast

Beautiful roads out here. Blessed that we can ride 400 miles and be in such a different place!

I'm out of practice with the camera... LOL

Lunch in Hill City

Fried pickles!!

A nice beer selection. Mine:



If you ride with me, I guarantee we will hit 1 lane road construction... Cross that off the list for this weekend! You can see how Karla feels about this...

Next up, Needles Highway!

Lots of weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Lots of these too!

The videos are available in 1080p, so bump up the quality and go full screen if you'd like!

Oh yes, that was a lot of buffalo!!

Onwards!! We have more to see!

Pulled over for a quick picture...

But it wasn't this picture I was after...

It was this one.... Yay 50,000 miles! Not bad, bought the bike in February 2011 with 5,900 miles. Still enjoying it!

Our favorite picture spot is just around the corner....

Cause here you can do stuff like this!! LOL!!

Yes... I know... Easily amused...

Well, time to boogy back to the campground! Would rather be home BEFORE dark! (My navigational errors but us rather behind schedule, ugh)

We were on our way back, almost to Spearfish, but there was one more hiccup to encounter before we got home... This thing was headed right towards us!! A rather spectacular amount of lightening and wind...

Time to find some shelter, grab the photo quick!

We found a good spot under cover for the bikes and dived in here for dinner (this taken after the storm!):

Neat place! Absolutely massive, clearly gearing up for the Sturgis rally in three weeks.

Man did that storm rage while we were having dinner! So glad we stopped. Later the guys told us they barely got a sprinkle back at the campground. Oh well! No way we were going to get in front of that storm, we would've had to run right through it. No thanks! Look what greeted us as we stepped out:

Also a beautiful sunset on the ride home, unfortunately I hadn't put the camera back around my neck as we just had a few exits to go down the interstate. Drat.

Up earlyish again Sunday morning, time for breakfast, pack up and ride home! The day dawned cool and cloudy, what a great surprise!

Had some visitors:

Packed up and ready to go!

Karla even found a spot for 2 camping chairs a couple was leaving behind. Cooler stuffed with "leftovers" people didn't have room for. Score!

John finishing up

Lunch spot in Lusk, WY.

Dang it was good, cheap, fast and friendly! This will be our new scheduled lunch stop for this annual gathering.

Very happy to see one of these signs hanging inside, we saw quite a few of them on the ride and they had me laughing!!

Great trip. It's on the calendar for next year!

Slideshow from the regular camera, 61 pictures

Slideshow from the camera around my neck, 92 pictures