Rapid City to Saskatoon - July 9, 2017
Mt. Rushmore to Sturgis
Clarence "Pappy" Hoel bought an Indian motorcycle franchise in 1936 and founded the Jackpine Gypsies later that same year. Two years later, the first rally was held in Sturgis August 14, 1938. Originally, the event was held to showcase racing and stunts. In 1961, the event expanded to include hillclimb and motorcross and has grown since. Each year the event draws hundreds of thousands of rally-goers. In 2015, an estimated 739,000 people attended the 75th anniversary and helped generate more than $800 million in revenue making it the largest gathering in the events history.
To date, the Jackpine Gypsies still own and operate the tracks, hillclimb and field areas where the event is centered and the rally generates approximately 95% of the city's revenue each year.
Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, located in Keystone, South Dakota, was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln. Construction began in 1927 after a fervent effort was made by Sen. Peter Norbeck to secure federal funding for the memorial. The monument, which faces the southeast for maximum sunlight exposure, features the faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt.
Originally, the sculpture was proposed to completed using the Needles, but due to opposition from Native American groups and Gutzon's claim the the granite was of poor quality, Mount Rushmore was chosen as the alternative location. The faces were completed between 1934 and 1939 and when Gutzon passed in 1941, his son Lincoln took over the task of completing the project. The plan was to sculpt the Presidents from head to waist, but lack of funding forced the project to end in late October of 1941.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial has become a US icon and draws over 2 million visitor's annually.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame opened it's doors in 2001. A non-profit organization that is dedicated to preservation of the history of motorcycling while honoring the heritage of the rally it supports annually, the museum sits in the same building that once served as the community post office for over 60 years. The museum showcases nearly 100 motorcycles that date back to 1905.
Today, we cross the border into Canada. From here, we'll get to experience life north of the border. Passports, check!
Our day ends in Saskatoon. The largest city in the Saskatchewan province of Canada, Saskatoon straddles a bend on South Saskatchewan River and along the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway. Founded in 1882, it has since served as the region's economic and cultural hub.
Today marks the last day in the United States for a while. Though we are headed to Alaska and hope to be there over the next few days, it is a bit awkward leaving the lower 48. We are excited about seeing all the scenery in Canada that neither of us have had the opportunity to experience before, but leaving the comfort of our own backyard is something you really don't get past.
By this point we will have traveled a little over 4,300 miles and will be really close to the 5,000 mile mark by the end of the day. It is expected that we will probably do a oil change prior to crossing the border as we really aren't sure what to expect as far as service goes in Canada. Going to be a long day today, but we're going to be ready for it!