Monday, October 9, 2017

Sacora Station Campground, Piedmont SD

We moved 15 miles west of Rapid City next to I-90 to Sacora Station Campground on July 3 for a month. We were only 15 miles east of Sturgis as well as the Black Hills too so we had tons of places to go & things to do.

We took a long motorcycle ride on 4th of July. First stopping at the National Veteran’s Cemetery just east of Sturgis where John found the grave of someone with his same last name.

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Then we continued to Sturgis to eat, shop, & look around. Considering a big thunderstorm was heading toward our campground east of Sturgis, we headed southwest to Deadwood instead. We got to town just in time to get a couple of Dairy Queen blizzards to eat as we sat on the sidewalk & watched their 4th of July parade pass by. The storm had passed by then so we headed home to the campground without issue.


Unfortunately, John started having difficulty breathing way back in April in Pie Town NM (we thought due to high elevation) & it was only getting worse in spite of getting to a much lower elevation eventually. He thought it might be asthma from 20 years before so went to the community health center in Rapid City for a new rescue inhaler. The new inhaler helped a little for a short time but he used it up in less than two weeks. (They’re supposed to last at least 30 days.) After being unable to sleep much for five nights (because laying down made breathing even more difficult), he finally went to the hospital ER on Sunday afternoon. They admitted him & kept him for four nights. He lost 13# of excess fluid buildup (causing the breathing difficulty) & had four stints put in his heart to unblock arteries causing his heart to be too weak to keep the fluid from building up. He had congestive heart failure (his 2nd actually) because the chemo he had six years before deposited calcium in his arteries that allowed plaques to block the arteries. Even tho he is active & eats healthy, there was nothing he could do to prevent the long-lasting effects of chemo. {Yippee} He’s regaining his strength from five days of laying around in the hospital but had several check-up appointments so we stayed at Sacora Station Campground another month, not leaving until after Labor Day.

Partly due to John’s return of congestive heart failure & his difficulties with balance, we started looking for a three-wheel (trike) motorcycle. Ultimately, we found a nice used one we couldn’t resist trading his Honda Shadow in on – a 2014 maroon/black Harley Davidson Tri-Glide. I’m not exactly a biker chick yet, just a mature passenger – but that trike is so comfortable riding on I could practically take a nap on it. We spent hours on many days driving all around the Black Hills on that bike.

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Of course, we also had to check out the largest bike rally in the world in Sturgis – just down the road from us. OMG, even if I was a motorcycle enthusiast before the rally, it’s a major rush seeing thousands of bikes driving around & parked during those 10 days. There were food, clothing, bike accessories, bike services, & tattoo vendor tents set up in every little space available around the small town. Locals even rented tent space for $10/night on their lawns. Numerous churches, groups, businesses, & campgrounds provided breakfasts for the hordes. Extra law enforcement personnel were brought in to keep things civilized. The latest we ever stayed in town was 9 pm – before any serious rowdiness broke out. And John put some new decals on the campground owner’s daughter’s new desert truck to set up at the rally which we visited every time we went thru Sturgis.

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We met some interesting folks during our bike rides thru Sturgis, Deadwood, Hill City, Custer, Keystone, & all around the Black Hills: a couple from Australia, a Sioux native American woman from North Dakota with her children, several retired veterans & their wives, & several men with similar heart problems as John. I almost feel guilty for having a “low” opinion of motorcycle riders before. They’re a brotherhood too, just like fiberglass trailer owners or military veterans. John refuses to teach me how to drive it (or even start it) until we get back to Quartzsite & some open desert so I won’t hit anything while learning to drive the bike. I’ve driven manual shift vehicles most of my life so I’m optimistic about learning to drive a motorcycle. We’ll see. . .

In South Dakota, you can only get a title & license plate for a new vehicle/bike in the county of your official residence (maybe it’s like that in all states) so we made a 5-hr trip (one way) to eastern South Dakota to get the new bike legal. It was a L-O-N-G 14-hour day. Thankfully we took the dogs with us since it was too long a time to leave them shut up in his RV.

For the total eclipse on Aug 21, we rode the bike nearly 3 hours to Lusk WY. We were going to Alliance NE for totality but were concerned they could have some cloud cover. We encountered about 40 miles of slow traffic getting into Lusk but the drivers were all careful & polite. We pulled off the highway south of town onto the grass & watched the eclipse. Wow, what an experience. I got some decent photos with my digital camera since our cell phones just wouldn’t focus correctly. We had a great but another long day. We haven’t figured out why riding the bike really wears us out so much.

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Before leaving the Rapid City area, I got my Tundra serviced & a checkup for diabetic Boots kitty. He had some infected back teeth which were extracted. Also had to replace the Tundra’s windshield as a rock chip 2 months prior was spreading. Also had to replace the two sewer/water vent covers on the Casita as our one intense hail event busted the 9-year old plastic. We even attended the local fair in Rapid City. We decided to extend our stay to a week after Labor Day to finish up our last minute travel chores. We both really like the Rapid City area (town & countryside both) & are talking about returning next summer (not during the winter tho). Regardless, we’re both looking forward to returning to Quartzsite by early November but not sure of the route there. Hopefully I’ll update this blog sooner for the next adventure.


  1. Sounds like you've had a Trying and Enjoyable Summer.
    It's not that you are tired from riding the Motorcycle, it's the fresh air that you breath that makes you relaxed and wanting to sleep. The same as being out in a boat.
    Hope to meet up again in Quartzsite. We'll be in La Posa South.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. Love the Sturgis Rally and glad you got to experience the "motorcycle family" as with the Casita family. Miss my motorcycle and adventures. So sorry to hear of health problem, but glad to see he is an adventurist no matter what!
    See you in Quartzsite! Be safe. Hugs, Sharron


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