Dirty Work, But…

So, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is officially on.

I’m not sure how to feel about that. Initially, I was opposed; the last thing we need is 500,000 bikers descending upon the Black Hills, because you know they’re the last people in the world to bother with face masks and socially distancing themselves. But the issue isn’t so black-and-white. For one thing, it was made clear that regardless of whether or not there was an official Rally, the Harley-Davidson set were still planning on coming. Short of fencing off the entire town, there was no way of stopping them. Making the Rally official allows the city to budget for and enact safety precautions, at least to a certain extent. Second, the Black Hills depends on tourism for its lifeblood. If the Rally were canceled, an awful lot of businesses would be in danger of going under for good. I know, I know: the economy takes a backseat to public health and safety. But it’s a complicated issue, and like many others, I’m suffering from COVID fatigue.

We’ll just avoid it this year, which is too bad. We had a surprisingly good time when we went in 2018 (and again last year).

Unfortunately, Trump is still planning a visit to Mount Rushmore on July 3 for the fireworks ceremony, which he is taking full credit for. This tradition was halted in 2009 due to environmental concerns, but our idiot president said, “What can burn? It’s all stone.” Umm, how about the thousands of acres of ponderosa pine surrounding the national monument? In a dry year where precipitation is below normal, no less. Ugh. What a tool.

We will celebrate the holiday drinking and playing corn hole in our backyard.

I live in an area where there are no longer any COVID restrictions. Rapid City voted on Monday to officially end all mandated restrictions, leaving it up to businesses and the public. I’m in favor of this. By now, we all know what we are supposed to do: face masks, six feet apart, hand sanitizer, yadda yadda. There are no capacity restrictions in restaurants and bars and businesses are free to remove their one-way arrows if they want, but nothing had changed during my trip to Safeway this morning, so maybe the common-sense approach will actually work.


With our family reunion less than three months away and the world still in a state of flux, I sent out an email this afternoon. Basically told everybody since they’re the ones traveling, I would leave the decision up to them. My parents bought tickets and will definitely be here. My aunt is a lot more skittish. Everybody’s got their own comfort level, and I have to respect that. I just fear that if it doesn’t happen this year, it never will.

Stupid COVID-19.

My half-home/half-in-the-office work schedule has been nice. I’ve gotten to the point where going into work feels natural, while staying home is a bit odd. The exact opposite of what it felt like a month ago. Tomorrow, a bunch of us are headed into Keystone for an all-day blitz. We’ll be visiting Chamber of Commerce members and I am tasked with taking photos. Hmm…a day spent out of the office, with a visit to the wax museum, a coffeeshop, a bar, and a company-sponsored lunch? It’s dirty work, but somebody’s gotta do it! I won’t be home, but I also won’t be at the office, which feels even weirder.

Here’s a random picture of our backyard patio. Have I mentioned how impressed I am with Tara’s outdoor decor? She’s done a great job making our backyard cozy and inviting. So much so that, despite a 96º day on Tuesday, I still wanted nothing more than to sit outside after work with a glass of wine.

Take care, friends.

21 thoughts on “Dirty Work, But…

  1. ” There are no capacity restrictions in restaurants and bars and businesses are free to remove their one-way arrows if they want…”

    That’s awesome, Mark! Here in Philly restaurants are beginning to open, but for outside seating only. We are one of the last cities (kind of like NY) to open. But so far, so good. Everyone is abiding by the rules and everyone is so happy. You can feel the joy in the air that people are finally able to get outside and mingle. Our parks are filled every weekend with peeps; socially distancing, of course.

    Still, as you said, everyone has got their own comfort level because there are some people here who are still skittish, dressed head to toe in protection gear. They’re walking around looking like condoms. LOL!

    I cannot believe that you had a 96 degree day already. I didn’t think it got that hot there. We’ve had really nice, coolish weather for the past nine days, however, this weekend it’s going up to 90. Yikes!

    Have a great rest of your weekend, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dressed like condoms…ha! Does that mean they’re ribbed for each others’ pleasure?!

      It definitely gets hot here, and because of our elevation, 96º feels even warmer. When we first arrived two summers ago, it was hot for a pretty long stretch. Last year was the exception, much cooler, but we’re back to the heat this year. At least the humidity hasn’t been as bad.

      Stay cool, buddy!


  2. Sturgis! That’s one rally we never made. Most likely because my aging and rapidly spreading posterior parts couldn’t handle the cross country bike trip.
    We love the rallies but mostly because we can go home to peace and quiet afterwards. Living near one must be hell.
    Lovely backyard area. Kudos to the wife.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For about two weeks in August, it’s noisy and crowded around here. We took a drive through the Hills last summer during Rally and couldn’t believe all the bikers who were out and about: it was constant. But the rest of the year is pretty peaceful, so I consider that a fair trade-off.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Sturgis Rally would make me nervous, too. Our area is still not fully opened. Libraries still closed, which has been a bummer for my daughter. I hope your reunion is a success. We had to cancel my son and dil’s wedding reception in August.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a shame! A lot of people have had to postpone their weddings, or move them up. I have a friend who ditched the big ceremony for a date with the justice of the peace. Not a lot of choice given the state of the country these days.


  4. There’s a famous motorcycle week in Laconia, NH, too. They moved it from April to August this year. My family there hates it, but the majority of the economy needs the tourist dollars. So they put up with the traffic, the noise, the drinking, the fights, and the occasional murders.

    Everyone usually stays home, but that’s easier to do in muddy April than in gorgeous August.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sturgis used to have a reputation for violence and gang fights during the Rally, but it’s gotten a lot more family-friendly (relatively speaking) as of late. They say that’s because many of the riders are now pushing well into their 70s, and the sport isn’t as popular with younger folks. Still, half a million people every year is no small number.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point, and now that you mention it, the folks at Harley-Davidson would be idiots for not getting in on the mask game. I’m sure they’ve got leather ones (hopefully without “breathability holes”) emblazoned with their logo that all the coolest bikers wear.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. We have friends who went to Sturgis, religiously. Then they decided to go live in the middle of nowhere Montana and seem to no longer care for socializing of any sort. Go figure, self-quarantining before it was popular. Best of luck with your family reunion. All the reunions we anticipated for this summer have been cancelled. Stupid virus…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think after a certain point, you just tire of the crowds in Sturgis. It’s great to see a couple of times, but after that…ehh.

      I think this is one of the safest places in the country to have a reunion. Unfortunately, it’s the getting-here that could prove problematic.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. * One of the flamingos! 🙂

      And, thank you. She’s definitely done a great job. I will take credit for yanking out all those pesky dandelions every day for a few weeks to make sure they didn’t take over, too.

      Liked by 2 people

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