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Sturgis 2009 daily blog

August 8th Sight-Seeing! 

Saturday - August 7th

The word(s) of the day is......Tourist

Finally a day of R&R, so to speak. Our good friends Larry & LeeAnn graciously offered to host a tour of the sites of the Bad lands. We met up early and loaded into the truck for day filled with beautiful scenery, shopping & good giggles. First stop brought us up Spearfish Canyon - the waterfalls were spectacular. Just up the road is where dancing with wolves movie scenery was shot.

From there we headed to a dinky little fork in the road with the coolest saloon yet! This bar had stuff hangin' off every surface. If you ever make it there yourself...see if you can spot my business card (j.T. Reno) good luck!

Next stop on the tour was HillCity South Dakota. Great town, we will go back to that place again next year. Very quaint town filled with bikers and great shops. Why we even ran into a JT Reno fan from yesterday....Kent & Terry (see pictures from Aug 7th) Its a small world!

We took the scenic route from there and went onto Crazy Horse Monument in Custer South Dakota. What an impressive site! All of the work done on this work in progress is self-funded. No government involvement and that's the way they want to keep it! The family has even turned down a 10-million dollar grant TWICE to complete the project. The craving is an astounding work in progress. Truly, one of the not to be missed sights, while in South Dakota.

From there we drove onto Mt Rushmore. That was nice. after seeing the Crazy Horse monument couldn't help but remember that the entire Mt Rushmore monument would fit inside Crazy Horses face.

Ended up our day in Keystone and had dinner at the Ruby(?) Good food, great company and the end to a perfect day.

Aug 7 

Friday Auagust 7th

Word of the day is .......SUCCESS

We wrapped up our gig at the Old Stone House Saloon this afternoon.  What a memoriable time it has been.  We have been invited back for next year as well.  The awful dreaded snakes are headin' back to Chattanooga Tennessee this evening.  Hopefully Drew & Keith have made it back safely to Ohio today.  They took off in that yucky rain early yesterday morning.  The big ole ranch house is going to be quiet tonight with just Myself, Tanya, PeeWee & Sarah.

I am looking forward to a couple of downtime days. Tomorrow morning we have a personal tour of the area all lined up with friends (Larry & LeeAnn) we are looking forward to it!  My fingers are looking forward to a little repreive as well my guitar really chewed up the tips of my fingers with all that playing this week. 

PeeWee has inspired me to revamp one of my electric guitars awaiting me back home. I will be bringing it with me for next years show.  We couldnt of asked for a better week mentally, physically & financially - not to mention we got our booking extended due to such an overwhelming response to the shows.

We will keep refining our pictures and video and will be posting those on the site once we return to Tucson around the 15th of August.

Sturgis Rocks! Extended for another day 

Thursday - August 6th

The word(s) of the day is......Talent

The morning greeted us with low hanging clouds and fog, throw in a mix of drizzle and that's the way Thursday morning looked. Fortunately for all of us by noon the sun was burning off the fog & clouds and the drizzle had quit long ago. The traffic at the Old Stone House Saloon was lighter than yesterday. Which to be honest was a good thing. We were all totally wiped out after the overwhelming response we had from everyone on his/ her way to the Ham & Jam.

The crowd was lighter but by no means less enthusiastic. We invited quite a few up from the crowd to join in singing with JT. First off there was Don from St Paul Minnesota. He grabbed JT's gitbox and both played & sung for us all. Great Guy. Then it turns out another on from their group was a real ringer. Allie graced the stage and sung a most beautiful song acapella. This woman could SING!!!! It's always those quiet modest ones you have to keep your eye out for!

Later on in the afternoon a group of gals calling them selves the "Lemon" sisters rose to JT's challenge and took stage to sing Mustang Sally. What a riot they were and true good sports as well.

The clouds never truly went away all day and started to swell again around 6pm. The showers were hit n' miss all around town.

Once again our gig was extended due to overwhelming response for another day. That's always a boost for the ego. One of these days we might get time to do laundry. Until then we just like to think we are being organic and not wasting water. At least that's what we tell ourselves

Wednesday - August 5th 

Wednesday - August 5th

The word(s) of the day is......Eventful

What a ride this has been! Yesterday we got a call that our long awaited European Tour is a GO! That means as soon as we leave Sturgis it's back to Arizona to re-group and hit the practice hard and heavy - do some local bookings then we're off on tour.

The Stone House Saloon was hoppin yesterday. Once again record breaking crowds. Kim & Colleen Kling sure put on a great party at the Old Stone House Saloon. PeeWee Moore & the Awful Dreaded Snakes rocked the house. I didn't do so bad myself, if I must say so!

We all finished up our gigs and broke down the equipment just in time for a storm to roll on through. It was a gully washer for sure. It sure is pretty out today though. In fact the weather couldn't of been any better. Sunny mid 80's. Not too much sun though with all that exposed skin riding toward Hewlett for today's Ham & Jam party that's a good thing!

As I am writing this blog there is a helicopter circling the Old Stone House. There was a film crew out here earlier for reality TV. This place is definitely one of the top ten things to do while in Sturgis and the word is getting out.

After our gig last night we went to see Droopy Drew a comedian friend we meet while staying at the Ranch. He was fantastic to be sure. He has been on Bob & Tom and now I know why! Funny stuff. Check him out on www.droopydrewcomedy.com

After Drew's show we stopped out at the Elkview Campground to see old friends. Steve & Cathy were hustlin' & bustlin at the bar. They have had great traffic there this year. Yippee!. It was nice to see them along with Boyd, TK, Donna, Dean, Didder & finally got to meet Albert in person. Got the cold shoulder from some other old friends. Oh well, their loss - some people are just like that - go figure.

Today our gig was extended due to overwhelming response. That's always a boost for the ego. One of these nights we just might get a full nights sleep....or not. I guess a good way to look at it is- we can sleep in the car on the 24 hours drive home right? So much to do and see and yet no time to sleep.

Tuesday - August 4th 

Tuesday - August 4th

The word(s) of the day is......Pickin & Grinnin'

The "motorsickles" came and went all day long yesterday. The performances by myself & PeeWee went on as scheduled. The big highlight of the day was the people!

Some friends dropped in and surprised me while Tanya was in town doing her computer downloads and phone calls. It was great to see T.K., his wife & Dean! I was just finishing up my set so I got a chance to sit down and visit. That's what is so great about Sturgis....You make friends year after year and when you see one another again it's so great to catch up on how life is treating 'em.

The real party began after our stage time was completed. We all headed back to the Ranch with plans to go our separate ways for the evening. There is ALWAYS somewhere to go; something to do; or someone to see; during Rally week. As it turned out we all kinda ended up at the kitchen table swapping stories, laughing til our sides hurt getting to know one another. Then the guitars came out. Need it say more? Put a group of talented folks in the same room and instant good times commence.

Drew gave us a preview of some of the songs he is going to perform at his comedy show on Tuesday. GOOD STUFF! I learned tv trays have multiple uses in his household. Keith headed upstairs to turn in early, he missed out on a good time. They had been in a mega cycle ride today and visited the buffalos.

Matt & Barabara joined us along with Bryan. I am now on the look out for Bickles Pickles. They shared some of their "road stories" and had us rolling on the floor. Matt, Bryan, Drew & I pounded on the git fiddles for a bit. We ran our new song ideas past one another. Doesn't get any better than that! Two broken chairs later......PeeWee & Sarah arrived and joined in the madness.

Bryan is a great storyteller unless he loses his train of thought and that's all i am gonna say about that. (must be the kool-aid dust) A secret admirer @ the Sinclair station has special eyes for Bryan. He would like nothing more than to unravel the ambiguity we call mystery women.

Now I find it interesting when meeting folks from different areas across the land to experience there personal drink preferences....For instance Bryan is a Tennessee boy through and through. He enjoys "black Kool-aid" Black Velvet & yes you guessed it...Kool-Aid. Now Sarah introduced me to "orange beer" Orange juice mixed with beer. Gotta admit it was quite tasty. Now don't go judging til ya try it!!

PeeWee won hands down for the best story of the night...Let's just say I am never gonna venture into the backwoods of West Virginia if I am ever offered a gig @ the mining construction site trailer!! Yikes he had us rolling on the floor.

Monday August 3 

Monday - August 3rd

The word of the day is......Thunder Pissed

Pee Wee Moore and the Awful Dreaded Snakes showed up just as I was stepping on stage Sunday morning! Yippee; I wasn't looking forward to doing the whole day by myself again. These boys Rock! In only the way a good ole boy from swamp country can! Yeeha! Only true musicians can customize their guitar like he did. Take a look at the pics.

Major traffic going in and out of Stone House Saloon all day long. WE started round bout 10am and finished up our last set near 6pm. Estimates were.....there were thousands of bikers experiencing the Old Stone House Saloon for the first time today. Lots of repeat bikers too.

Got a great gal named Lisa up to sing a tune with me. What a sport with a great voice. Again see the pics.

We are all planning on heading over to Drew's comedy club gig on Tuesday night. He was sharing a little taste of his show while we were shooting the breeze last night at the Ranch house. Have ya ever been so mad at your kids, but you are in a situation that you can't cuss? Let's say Church for instance well here's a saying to relay you are seriously pissed off.....Thunder Pissed. Cant wait to see his show.

I am looking forward to picking and strumming with all the guys one of these nights. Tonight a group of us are heading down to see Molly Hatchet at the Full Throttle Saloon.....it's a freebie Thank you Sturgis!!

Sunday August 2nd 

Sunday - August 2nd

The word of the day is......Hoarse

if you spent your time on your bike and didnt show up at the Old Stone House Saloon you missed out!. There was a steady parade of bikers all day long It seems like I played for a zillion hours. HOPEFULLY the other band that is scheduled will show up by tomorrow. I dont think I can sing 6 sets again day after day.

Tanya beat me in cards last night & doesn't like what I wanted to wear so I had to change a billion times just like a girl. I am whiney.... had a brat and a coke and took a million pictures of the cool bikes then I felt better. I like bikes. I like lamp ( for those of you who are Ron Burgundy fans ..that's funny and you know it!!)

Our friends Larry & LeeAnn showed up, that was a nice surprise. We also meet Drew & Keith. They are staying at the ranch house too. The drove in late last night after being on their hogs for 800+ miles yesterday.

Lots of fun folks at the Stone House ...even met a couple who got married there 7 years ago. Turns out they have had alot of weddings take place during the Rally @ the Old Stone House Saloon. Who knew.? Speaking of weddings it is our anniversary next week at the end of the Rally. Sure hope I don't forget!

Sunday is suppose to be picture perfect weather. I am looking forward to meeting alot more bikers and the other band.

Sun is shining, great day for a ride! 

Saturday - August 1st

The word of the day is......Sunny

The Old Stone House Saloon is open for business! After a rough start with wind & rain yesterday, the Sun is shining and the temperature is near perfect. Bikes have seemed to multiple over night and now they are everywhere!

I am scheduled to play this afternoon. I have been visiting with the folks passing thru the Old Stone House Saloon; they couldn't be more receptive to my music. That always makes a fella at ease before steppin' on stage.

Next to the weather the past couple of days and lack of internet/phone service our stay at the Kling Ranch couldn't be any closer to perfect. Tanya even got a chance to do some laundry and hang it all out on the old farmhouse clothesline yesterday. That is one of her simple pleasures in life.

The other band that will be playing at the Old Stone House Saloon should be showing up at the Ranch anytime now. They are from Tennessee. I'm looking forward to meeting them all. Perhaps we can all do a little pickin' & strummin' after hours.

I have heard from several people about this Wednesday (8/5) coming up.....This is an annual bike ride to the "Ham & Jam". Thousands and thousands of bikes descend on this festival located in Huellete, which is 1/2 way between the Stone House Saloon & Devils Tower Wy. I understand this road - in front of the Ranch, is bumper-to-bumper cycles all day long. That is the least of the features that makes this festival so infamous. Lets just say it is an "adult" Disneyland featuring topless women bull riders and a liberal policy on dress code. Hhmmmm ...I'm curious to hear the stories from those who attend and stop at the Old Stone House Saloon on their ride back to Sturgis.

I am kickin off the music for Stone House Saloon SOLO today.  Just found out the other band will not arrive til tomorrow.  Hope my voice stays strong!  I'll let ya know how it goes!

Friday July 31st Stone House is OPENING! 

Friday - July 31st

The word of the day is.......Chocolate OD

The music store yesterday turned out to be a disappointment. Ended up staying in town (Spearfish) all day checkin' out the shops & sites.

Met up with my old friends for dinner Thursday night. After a nice visit catching up on old times we headed off to the town of Beulah - population 33 - to the Buffalo Jump steakhouse. MMMMMmmmm good food & good company sure makes the time fly!

Larry & Lee Ann Bell (our host & hostess) next took us to an actual buffalo jump site. This is the location where the Indians would chase the buffalo herds and stampede them over a cliff into a big hole for easy pickins'. Who knew a big hole in the ground, in the middle of nowhere, would be so interesting?!.

From there we headed on over to Deadwood, South Dakota. The town was hoppin' with Sturgis Rally riders! Visited the location where Wild Bill was killed. The most flattering part of the evening was getting "CARDED" at the "Old number 10 Saloon" Now by carded.... I don't mean we played a game of craps or even poker. I mean we actually were asked to produce I.D. to prove we were of legal drinking age!! Imagine that, let's just say that hasn't happened in decades and leave it at that!

After a few adult beverages in Deadwood we headed back to their house where Lee Ann shared some of her world famous homemade candy. I have dreamt of those sugary confections since I saw her last - 30 years ago!! She even sent me back to the ranch house with a full box of her chocolates. Now I have had my share of chocolate the worldwide but NONE compares to her homemade chocolates.

So every famous singer has their own personal weakness....For Elvis it was pills & peanut butter & banana sandwiches. For Dean Martin it was obviously his Martinis. As for me;... Tanya found me passed out on the kitchen floor last night - after I Overdosed on those fantastic buckeye chocolates. (See the photos from yesterday) So I am ready to publicly admit my personal downfall......LeeAnns chocolate candies - there I have said it out loud. They say admitting it is the first step. Now after I get over this chocolate hangover I think I will work on her butterscotch candies next.

Today the sun is shining and it should be a relaxing day at the Kling Ranch. The motorcycle traffic is picking up everyday just in time for the opening of The Old Stone House Saloon - How exciting. The Old Stone House Saloon is open for business.....I'm ready to rock n roll...after all it's STURGIS BABY!!!!!!

July 30th - AaHhhhhhh 

Thursday - July 30th

The word of the day is.......AaHhhhhhh

As mentioned yesterday; we were relocating to Belle Fourche. The owners of the Old Stone House Saloon are graciously putting us up at an old ranch house for the duration of the Sturgis event...Well we arrived.

What a rich blessing this home is!! Not knowing what to expect, the "old" ranch house conjured up visions of a rustic bunkhouse, summer camp, drafty log cabins & dirt floors! Nothing could be further from the truth. THIS HOME IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!

This was an old family homestead. This farmhouse is over 120 years old and kept in immaculate condition. All the old original woodwork through out the house, antique lighting fixtures, even a stone cellar - it is GREAT. People pay mega bucks to stay in bed & breakfasts of this caliber all across the country. We are so grateful and blessed! Speaking of country...did I mention how beautiful and unspoiled this countryside is? Take a look at the pictures-Tanya went overboard taking pics of the scenery!

Today the sun is shining and the temperature is supposed to back into the "normal" range today. Can't wait for this day to begin! This farmhouse has such a peaceful happy feeling to it. Who knows I may even breakout the "Git-fiddle" and do some songwriting this afternoon! First we are heading into town (Spearfish) and checking out the local music store. I need to buy some extra strings and naturally I have to check out all the other goodies while I'm there. For some men its all about the hardware store, for me I'm torn... its guns, hardware AND the music stores! Today the music store wins out...Oh boy can't wait!