Thursday, July 7, 2011

RV Festivities

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We were camped last summer in Deadwood, South Dakota in a commercial campground. The second day the manager gave us a hospital band ID to wear on our wrist. He said it was going to get very busy and we would need this ID band to leave and enter the campground. He said it was the Sturgis motorcycle rally. We had no idea what to expect. By nightfall the campground was packed to capacity and the partying went on all night long. One woman came over to our site and asked for ice. I thought she was wearing a skimpy halter top but soon discovered she was topless with a tattooed halter top. We left the next morning but my wife thought we deserved a refund. It still bugs her. Should I have demanded my money back or just moved on?
--Harvey in Hog Heaven

Dear Harv:
I think it was worth a night’s fee just to have the story to tell about the woman with the tattoo. You are always going to run into the unexpected while traveling. It is part of the adventure. You will often stumble onto festivals you didn’t know existed. Sturgis is the Mother of all motorcycle rallies. The Black Hills are alive with rally goers and most campgrounds are filled to capacity with people “letting their hair down.” There are so many boomer bikers now (with no hair to let down) so the rally gets bigger each season. I would suggest you go with the flow and move on if you can’t fit in. The campground owners had no idea you weren’t there for the festivities. They probably could have rented your space ten times over. It sounds like they are trying to manage the crowds as best they can with the ID bands. You pay your fees and take your chances. Odds are in your favor that most of the time you are going to get exactly what you are looking for. I’m just curious, how long did it take to figure out it wasn’t a halter top?
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

6 comments:

invmartyc said...

Amazing there are people out there that have not heard about this rally! It has been going on how many years? I think you should pay more attention to the local doings better. You might have a pleasant surprise, other than a tattoo of a halter top. This guy should have asked about the rally when they gave them the arm bands. With the combination of the words motorcycle and rally doesn't that give you the clue that if you are not into an all night party you are in the wrong place?

Anonymous said...

Right on Dr. Shrink. (People who don't know about Sturgis must have been living on another planet.) Surprises while traveling come in all forms; you gotta roll with the blows sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I rode motorcycles for years, and "did" Sturgis, Daytona and others. 95% chance the halter top was body paint, not tattoo.

tom said...

What? No Pictures? Quicker thinking would have come up with at least one picture in exchange for the ice...

Anonymous said...

I knew about Sturgis but didn't know the date a few years back. We went to the Black Hills to camp and saw more Harleys than I had my entire life. We spent the night in a campground there and didn't meet this person but there were plenty of "characters" there. We got absolutely no sleep from the revving all night, but my daughter loved it and still likes to wear her Sturgis t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

We workamped at a Sturgis-area campground during the 70th rally last year (2010). The collection of characters you'll see in Sturgis is unbelievable and well worth the trip. Talk about sightseeing! It's a people-watcher's dream. Most of the campgrounds in the area use a wristband system to indicate to their security that you're registered at their campground and many use color coding of the bands to tell when you're scheduled to leave. This is all because of the size of the crowd-- more than half a million has been the norm in recent years. And there are campgrounds in the area (including the one I worked at) that enforce quiet hours even during the rally from 11 PM to 7 or 8 AM.