Evicted

Day 33: Monday 4th August 2013Sturgis, SD 

This morning when I was having my morning coffee and uploading photos, this little flying critter came to watch.

From South Dakota, August 2013

As usual, it had taken longer to get the photos uploaded and the blog post done. I was becoming one of those people that come to the Buffalo Chip and pretty much hang out just at the venue. This hadn’t been my original intention, but it was being the defacto reality. It’s lucky that I had ridden most of the Black Hills rides on my last visit.

Tonight’s show was Kid Rock, which most reckoned would be the busiest show of the week. People had been parking bikes up at the front of the stage since I’d come over for my morning coffee and power-up at 8.30am. Around 3pm, I decided I may as well go and park the Trooper near the front as well since I obviously wasn’t riding far today, I’d been invited to have dinner by Mike and Donna and needed to be back at camp by 5pm. If nothing else parking close to the stage would be a good test run for the Rob Zombie show on Wednesday. If it worked well for Kid Rock then I’d definitely be at the front for the RZ gig, and if not then I’d know to park further back.

From South Dakota, August 2013

When I went over to get the Trooper, I noticed something out of the ordinary. Usually there are lots of bikes parked up outside the general store area in the amphitheatre. But today the Trooper was all alone.

It turned out that they had stopped letting vehicles, even bikes, into the arena from 1pm. They knew tonight was going to be a busy show. I was lucky I already had the Trooper inside.

I decided I’d put him up as close to the front as I could get, which was now the second row of bikes. As I parked up, Kyle called over to me. His bike had been further back, but he moved it next to mine. I think we got a pretty good spot.

From South Dakota, August 2013

Kyle mentioned that he thought one of us ought to be with the bikes all the time after about 6pm because people would be all over them when it got busier. He was planning to eat in the arena and then just hang around the bikes drinking a few beers. It seemed like a good plan to me. I had a few things to drop off at the tent, so I went back to camp for that and to give our apologies for missing dinner with Mike and Donna. That’s when I discovered they had stopped letting bikes in.

When I got back Jackyl had somehow managed to evade the Chip staff stopping bikes coming in, and had parked up beside Kyle. He said he had a secret back door. We drank a few beers and waited. The place was filling up quickly and the queue for the VIP area had started at around 5pm. Some people were keen, that was over a 2 hour wait before the doors would open.

From South Dakota, August 2013
From South Dakota, August 2013

When the beer ran low, Jackyl decided he’d go on a re-supply mission back to camp and grab some more cans. He came back with bad news. Apparently, my tent had been moved.

Jackyl told me a little of what had gone on, but I went back to camp to get the full story and on Jackyl’s advice to make sure the tent was properly secured before the rain started.

From South Dakota, August 2013

The full story is this: when I arrived at the gate to Buffalo Chip on Thursday, I’d asked about where I could camp, and I was told anywhere as long as it wasn’t marked with orange spray paint and not near an RV electricity point. I saw several areas that had been marked out with orange spray paint, but not where I camped. When I got to the area I eventually camped in, I spoke to Mike and Donna who were already camped there. They had been coming to Sturgis and the Buffalo Chip for many years, they always arrived early and camped in the same area, as did many others they had met here previously. In fact, most of the neighbouring tents contained old Sturgis friends of Mike and Donna. They had been meeting up with Six Pack, Kyle, Jackyl, Joe and Becky for years. Sometimes people would miss years, others always made it, but all of them headed back to the same area of the Buffalo Chip campground. This is the kind of information that gets conveyed within minutes of meeting people at a place like the Buffalo Chip.

They seemed like a good source of information, so I asked about camping by the hut. Mike said the hut usually got rented out over rally week at something like $1,500 a week, but said that camping there should be OK, as long as I didn’t block the entrance to the shack, which I didn’t. Well the area around the hut sure as hell didn’t have any orange paint, so I pitched my tent and was very pleased with the shady spot I had found, as you may recall from Onto Sturgis and the Chip.

Now it appears that while I was sitting in front of the stage on the Trooper, sharing beers with Kyle, as we waited for the evening’s entertainment, the people who hired the cabin turned up. They didn’t like my tent being in “their” space and caused a bit of a fuss. Apparently they had been promised “parking” with their cabin, but I looked for the description of what came with the cabin on the Buffalo Chip website, and it says no such thing. It says:

Shady-Cabin

The Shady Cabin is surrounded by shade trees. It is a 12 x 12 cabin with an 8 x 9 deck. There are 2 single size sleeping surfaces, air conditioning, and heat. A small table and 2 chairs will be inside, with 2 deck chairs outside.

No mention of parking there. Even if the parking were included with the cabin, then it should have been marked off with orange paint, which it wasn’t. Now there were 5 folk that turned up to use that cabin, 4 girls and a guy, with 5 bikes and a tent who thought they’d have a guaranteed pitch for the tent, as well as parking for 5 bikes, right beside the cabin.

These folks must have kicked up quite a fuss, because the arse-holes from the Buffalo Chip were apparently just beginning to move my tent, when Mike, Joe and Six Pack intervened. Where the Buffalo Chip staff would have moved it, I dread to think because there was no obvious spots anywhere near by. But Mike, Joe and Six Pack took it upon themselves to move it, with consideration and respect for my stuff, and managed to squeeze it into a tight spot between Jackyl’s and Six-Pack’s tent. I’m so grateful that I’d made friends in that neighbourhood and that the guys were there at the time and ready to step to help. A huge thanks to you guys. I owe you big time. If they hadn’t stepped in, I could have could back to camp at 1 or 2am, drunk and in the dark and the rain, only to find my tent had gone and with no idea where it had gone to.

I mean what the fuck Buffalo Chip, what’s worse, even if you had promised parking (which it doesn’t look as if you had), asking those guys to park somewhere else for one night and talking to me in the morning when I could move my tent myself, or having me come back in the dark and not know where my tent is? Buffalo Chip you might put on the best concerts but you are assholes, pure and simple.

I was fuming when I got back to the camp, but I was met by Mike, Six Pack and Donna. My fury couldn’t be sustained when I was so grateful to those guys for what they did. They’d done a pretty good with moving the tent and re-pegging it. There was only a few more that needed pushing in and I was set for the night. Mike was kind enough to give me a lift back to the arena on his quad.

And as this is already a quite long post ending on a pissed off note, I think I’ll just stop and come back and do the rest of the Kid Rock show separately.

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2 thoughts on “Evicted

  1. Sorry about your eviction. I hope that didn’t hinder your experience of the whole event. I was curious to know your take on Kid Rock after seeing him live. Like many of your fellow countrymen I thought he was a clown. Then I went to his concert and saw a guy just having the time of his life and I had a blast as well.
    It is always worrisome when a biker blog goes silent. I hope all is well Trevor. I have really enjoyed reading your take on the American experience.

    • Hey Pat – all is good. Picked the Missus up from Denver yesterday. Now enroute for Glenwood Springs. Kid Rock post almost ready to go, but had some very dodgy internet connections which is hampering blogging. Hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly.

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