It isn’t very often I get free travel days to ride my motorcycle wherever I want. All of my travels are going to charity events or to motorcycle industry trade shows. At rallies I am usually sharing my story of living with MS or delivering a seminar on what to carry in your saddlebags to stay away from tow trucks. All of the miles on my motorcycle are commuting and business related.
Every year I get to hang out with my sponsor Yamaha at the Sturgis Rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is always a great event, not just because of the people I get to talk to, but because the area has some of the best roads and scenery in the entire country. I usually try to sneak away very early one morning to get some great photos for my annual calendar. The Badlands at daybreak is one of my favorite places to be and never disappoints. Needles highway and Mount Rushmore are right around the corner as well. Although I usually work each of the ten days, I always find a few hours before or after to get some great shots!
This year was a fabulous exception. The charity I have been raising money for, MS Views and News, was putting on a MS patient educational event in Rapid City, SD the weekend before this year’s Sturgis Rally. Of course, when they asked me to give a presentation, I agreed! Getting to South Dakota is a 2000 mile ride from my home in New Hampshire and despite the speeds I tend to travel, still takes me two full days. There was no way I could ride to Rapid City, speak, go home and then ride right back to Sturgis in less than a week, so…….
I would have THREE full days to play around in the wild west!
The MS event in Rapid City was great, I met a few local riders and shared my story to a brand new audience. After the event, I hurried to my hotel room to route out the next three days. I knew I was heading to the Badlands National Park, but I also wanted to ride through Custer State Park, Needles Highway, Mount Rushmore, Thunder Basin, The Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I also thought I would revisit some of the great mountain passes in Idaho like Lolo Pass and if I had time, possibly head up to Glacier National Park and the famous Going to the Sun Road. It was a large amount of back road miles for three days, but I will never regret the 2200 miles I spent this year getting lost riding out west!
My accountant will see I spent three long hot days taking photos for social media. I certainly took enough amazing shots to fill all 12 months of the 2023 Chasing the Cure calendar, so technically it was still work related but…..
If they ever hooked me up to a lie detector, I would have a hard time admitting it wasn’t fun!
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