Where to stay when traveling?

I have found there are many variables to this question. I try to put them in order and depending on YOU that order will vary significantly. The important items I try to cover are as follows:

  • Where are we going?
  • Who am I traveling with?
  • What do I want to see?
  • How long will I be staying?

Once I get an idea of the above variables I can try to organize a plan to accomplish my GOALS. Everyone is different so your variables will reflect what you believe to be important.

Short Stays

When we went to Sturgis a few years ago, the GROUP consisted of 5 people traveling together. We decided to trailer the Motorcycles and spend time in a couple of places to get the most out of the trip. This was a TWO-WEEK vacation. Now as we all know YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE! So I spent a great deal of time again researching things to see as well as best places to stay.

It was a diverse group ranging in age and interests so that just added to the complication of finding something for everyone? So I made up a list of places around Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and started digging up information, yes there is a LOT of information out there, most of which had nothing to do with what I was searching for of course?

Since we were trailering the bikes we stayed at a few Hotels on the way to Sturgis Sout Dakota. I looked on online via my trusty IPHONE what was available once we started to get tired. I booked online while traveling before we arrived to attempt to have a smooth transition from being PACKED in a Jeep Wrangler with 5 people towing a trailer with 2- Harley Davidson Touring bikes and a converted Kawasaki Trike, and of course one of my friends found a LARGE bench that she just had to buy and take back for her boyfriend. Now is the time to probably mention you really need to LIKE the people you are traveling with A LOT to do it this way!!!

Extended Stay

I am not a HUGE fan of large crowds and of course the Sturgis Rally is one the largest Rally’s I’ve been to. We decided to stay OUTSIDE of the area. This would allow us the opportunity to SEE the events yet afford us the peace and quiet I would need after the stress. Don’t get me wrong, I love to ride and see new things, I just don’t like LIVING in my rear view mirror trying to make sure everyone is still ALIVE and caught up with the rest of us. Everyone has their own comfort zone as far as how they drive, be that a car or a bike. So it is not always easy to STAY TOGETHER especially in areas you are not familiar with. GPS for Motorcycle

We chose to stay in Lead SD which is about 17 miles away. The place I looked up on AIRBNB was fantastic!! It had Three bedrooms, kitchen, living room, downstairs entertainment area and the reason I booked it a Jacuzzi! My thought was what could be better than riding all day and seeing the sites, then returning to HOME BASE and grabbing a cocktail and relaxing in the Jacuzzi? We stayed here 4 nights at this location.

We went to the rally and saw the events. I had seen on a TV show Full Throttle Saloon many times so had that marked as a must see. It appears my luck back then was questionable to say the least, as the place had burnt down before we could see it in operation. They were however allowing you to walk through and take pictures as well as grab a drink and sit at one of the NOT BURNT tables they posted outside. Again it isn’t always about the destination but the journey and memories!

Destinations

There are many places we all wanted to see, one of these was the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. I really liked the ride to the top of the Grand Tetons in the cable car. The important thing to remember is we are riding MOTORCYCLES in August which is usually the HOTTEST time of the year, so we are wearing boots and Jeans for safety. Before we went to buy the tickets to the Top of the Tetons, I went back to my saddle bag and grabbed my Hoodie. Everyone was looking at me like I had lost my mind, its 103 outside right now. I know I am not a Rocket Scientist but as my Military training had drilled into my head the HIGHER up in elevation the COLDER it is, I tried my best to explain this but of course to no avail. It was breath taking literary and figuratively. Angie and I were nice and warm sitting on TOP of the WORLD, while my traveling companions shivered and shook in the 33 degree temp trying not to let me see their misery! Motorcycle Hoodie

Angie and I decided to walk back down the mountain as we had been riding most of the day and needed to stretch our legs. The trails are well-marked so no real problem following them. There should however be signs letting you know how far away your are from the next lift! This is a mountain you know! So we walked and walked took off our hoodies as it’s getting HOT, walked some more and finally came across the next lift to take you the rest of the way down. It isn’t for the faint of heart just so you know. The trails are for REAL HIKERS who are dressed accordingly! They are not all easy to navigate, some climbing over boulders and such are needed to ascend the MOUTAIN. First Aid  Kit

We decided Jackson Hole was the next stop and proceeded to have a nice ride everywhere BUT there due to my GPS that most have started drinking much earlier? It proceeded to take us down every GOAT trail that apparently Lewis and Clark couldn’t find? We are on Touring bikes and just so you know this is not the best idea in case you wanna try it? By the time we got our bearings straight the converted trike had broken one of the brackets that hold on the HELPER wheels and we had to turn around and go back to HOME BASE. Emergency Beacons

We did make it to Jackson Hole the next day minus the trike as it was now out of commission due to the Goat trails. We did the Snow King coaster it is a single or double person roller coaster type ride that you could slow down or just let it rip depending on your mood? Here is a link you can see for yourself what all there is to do there: Snow King Mountain Resort

Devils Tower

I remember watching Close Encounters of the Third kind when I was younger and I wanted to see it in person. So we packed up our things just like the Beverly Hillbillies and headed of that way. We stopped along the way to do a little horse back riding just on a whim. There was a little shack out in the middle of now where with a sign that read Horse Back Riding. So we dismounted our Iron Horses and went up to the shack. There was another sign that said we are on trail ride please contact office to make reservations.

We all agreed we really didn’t want to wait or come back as we had so much to see. While discussing our options LOW and BEHOLD over the hill comes a group of people on horse back. When they reached us the other visitors departed and I asked about riding. Well our bad luck must have taken its own vacation because they said they had a cancellation and we could ride right now! I have been Riding horses for a long time so this wasn’t a new experience but the views were incredible! On our ride we talked to the guides and each other, then when coming around a trailhead you look up and in the distance was the Devils Tower. I thought to myself, back in the old west days cowboys were out riding headed to the unknown and come across this THING out in the middle of NOWHERE. What would they have thought? Women’s Cowboy Hat  Men’s Cowboy Hat

 

Depending on the destination

So all of this was to try to get you OUT there and enjoy what life has to offer. You can choose anything that interests you and grab some friends and/or family members and hit the road. The World is your oyster. Try not to over think things and spend a lot of time researching as many of those things may or may not happen? Get an idea and swing for the fences, you only live once so why not start the next MEMORY now?

LeeH

Founder of topvacationtravel.com

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