August started with motorcycles roaring and streets crawling with leather and braided facial hair. Rally. Sturgis. Bike Week. For locals it means having a hard time finding a place to park, long lines at the grocery store while the group ahead of you spends $180 in alcohol, and the “purr” of an engine haunting you day and night. For a restaurant employee it means low tippers and idiotic questions like, “Do you have any regular beer?” and “Can all 20 of us get separate checks?” I realize how wonderful Rally is for our local businesses and, of course, for my pockets, but I wouldn’t be from the Hills unless I voiced my irritation with so many of the bikers and how glad I was to “get my town back” after their long drawn-out stay. My largest complaint by far is the fact that I saw very few bikers with helmets. It’s not a state law here in South Dakota to ride with a helmet, and many don’t. There were 6 deaths and 69 injury accidents. Something tells me I would be wearing my helmet knowing the winding roads of Needles Highway and the erratic driving we all know and (don’t) love in Rapid City. Or at least for all the hail storms we got during Rally…
The motorcycle gangs began to thin out some in the week after Sturgis and back came our families on vacation where everyone’s “a homebrewer” and children throw parmesan cheese on the floor. I welcomed them with open arms regardless. Kelly left Custer so she could prepare for Hanson concerts and Husker football games. There was a strange shift after she left. Then one of our cooks didn’t show up, a dishwasher quit, and most recently our other cook didn’t show up. Ayayay!
Hank left this morning for what he’s calling his “honeymoon”– in Omaha. He’ll spend nearly a month there while Aric and I take OUR honeymoon. We leave tomorrow. It’s Denver, then Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park. After exploring Arches and Canyonlands, we’ll take a 4-day river canoe trip down the Green River. We have our “river tripping hats” all ready to go. Each of us enjoys kayaking and canoeing, but do we enjoy canoeing for 4 days? Guess we’ll find out! If you’re imagining us roaring down a river of rapids, that will not be the case. At 730 miles long, this river (known as Seeds-kee-dee) is fairly calm.
After our canoeing adventure, we’ll venture to Bryce Canyon and Zion– then off to Salt Lake City. One day while honeymoon planning Aric said, “You should see if the Octopus Project is touring” and by golly they are going to be in Salt Lake City on the same day we’re going to be there. We haven’t been to a show in ages. That’s what happens when you live in a town of 1,800. Bands don’t come here. At least not the bands you want to see (no offense local music… I’m sure you’re great). I’m excited to get a little city livin’ in on this trip, as well as plenty of outdoors time. Plenty 🙂
With not getting the Chamber job, that meant we could extend our honeymoon. Woo! The so very kind husband I have did a selfless thing. He offered up the idea of circling back to Denver after Salt Lake City…. here it is…. so I can see Hanson in Denver on the 18th. I knew I married him for a reason. I know The Making of Anthem (Hanson’s newest album) DVD we watched sucked him in. Had to, right? Okay, so he’s doing it purely because I want to. I’ll take it. Let’s just hope they have some MmmHops on tap, ehh?
Well folks, the adventure begins bright and early tomorrow morning. I better rest these eyes so I don’t have the terrible burning eye syndrome that is oh-so-typical of early morning departures (for the first day of school, early football games, and yes of course… travel days). I have the nervous butterflies which oftentimes accompany the burning eye syndrome. Aric and I realized we haven’t been on vacation just the two of us in….. almost 4 years. It’s about freakin time. Let’s do this!