Dear RV Shrink:
One time we were camped in Deadwood, S.D., in a commercial campground. The second day the manager gave us hospital band IDs to wear on our wrists. He said it was going to get very busy and we would need this ID band to leave and enter the campground. He said it was the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. We had no idea what to expect.
By nightfall the campground was packed to capacity and the partying went on all night long. One woman came over to our site and asked for ice. I thought she was wearing a skimpy halter top but soon discovered she was topless with a tattooed halter top. We left the next morning but my wife thought we deserved a refund. It still bugs her. Should I have demanded my money back or just moved on? —Harvey in Hog Heaven
I think it was worth a night’s fee just to have the story to tell about the woman with the tattoo. You are always going to run into the unexpected while traveling. It is part of the adventure. You will often stumble onto festivals you didn’t know existed. Sturgis is the Mother of all motorcycle rallies. The Black Hills are alive with rally-goers and most campgrounds are filled to capacity with people “letting their hair down.” There are so many boomer bikers now (with no hair to let down), so the rally gets bigger each season.
I would suggest you go with the flow and move on if you can’t fit in. The campground owners had no idea you weren’t there for the festivities. They probably could have rented your space ten times over. It sounds like they are trying to manage the crowds as best they can with the ID bands. You pay your fees and take your chances.
Odds are in your favor that most of the time you are going to get exactly what you are looking for. I’m just curious, how long did it take to figure out it wasn’t a halter top? —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
NOTE: 79th Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™, August 2-11, 2019. (500,000 participants)
(Disclaimer: Article previously published in August 2017)
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