We’ve been counting down to Sturgis 2013 for the past few months, and I can’t believe Sturgis is now less than two weeks away. To rev up your engines down the final stretch, I want to dedicate this blog to some of the can’t-miss attractions in and around Sturgis.
Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame
If you eat, breathe, and sleep motorcycles like I do, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum is your mecca. Founded in 2001, the museum has steadily grown and now occupies that old Sturgis Post Office. Their mission statement is fitting:
The mission of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of motorcycling, honor those who have made a positive and significant impact on the sport and lifestyle, and pay tribute to the heritage of the Sturgis Rally.
The bikers enshrined at the Hall of Fame should be familiar to many of you: “Still” Ray Fitzgerald, Russ Brown, Rick Fairless, Bill Gikling, Marjoe Gortner, and Lonnie Isam, Sr. These guys have all made a huge impact on the biking community, in addition to building Sturgis into the global biking reunion it is today.
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Minuteman Missile National Park
Ever heard of “mutually assured destruction”? Well, many people consider this to be the key principle that prevented an escalation of violence during the Cold War. Essentially, both the U.S. and Russia had enough nuclear weapons (that could be launched in a matter of minutes) to ensure the complete annihilation of the other. Naturally, this ensured that both sides were VERY hesitant about unnecessarily escalating tensions. Thankfully the Cold War came to a peaceful end, but the history of that period lives on.
At the Minuteman Missile National Park in South Dakota, you can visit one of the sites that held some of these “Minuteman Missiles” and learn about the secret arms race between the two countries. Does it have anything to do with motorcycles? Not really, but it’s a must-see stop if you’re looking to take an adventure outside of downtown.
Vore Buffalo Jump
Finally, if you’re looking for something outdoors, consider checking out the Vore Buffalo Jump. Seeking to preserve the deep history of the Dakotas, this archaeological site blends adventure and narrative to tell the story of the Plains Indians and their deep ties with the American Buffalo.
The “Jump” is at the intersection of two great bison pastures in the Northern Great Plains and Black Hills. Indian, and later American, hunters understood the importance of the Vore Jump, and at least 5-6 tribes made their livings off of annual hunting trips to the area. Though most of the buffalo are gone, the bones of the buffalo and hunting equipment used by the hunters still remain in the massive sinkhole. If you want to learn about the fascinating part of American history, consider stopping by the Vore Buffalo Jump when you’re at Sturgis.