No matter if you’re a long time veteran or a newbie still logging your first 500 miles, chances are right about this time (if not sooner) there’s been some discussion amongst you and your buds about the Sturgis rally. Surrounded by amazing roads, jaw-dropping scenery, and historic sites, as well as being part of the largest two-wheeled party in the world, Sturgis is the opportunity to make dreams come true and lasting memories. As you begin to plan your trip, one of the most important details to nail down is where you’re going to lay your weary head at the end of each night.
Having done it all from spending thousands of dollars on a house rental, dropping a 20 to spread a sleeping bag out on my own plot of land in some local’s front yard, to bartering a case of beer for a couch for the night, one thing that eluded my Sturgis accommodations over the years was staying in a cabin. I had a couple friends that wanted to hit up the 2011 rally, but they were all on tight budgets. They too had gone the low-buck route in the past and just pitched their tents at the cheapest spot they could find. While tent camping is always a super-cheap and easy way to do Sturgis, we figured renting a cabin could be another way to enjoy the rally without dropping a ton of dough. After some research we decided to book a cabin at the Broken Spoke County Line (BSCL). We had all spent time at the BSCL over the years, and with a good crowd always streaming in and out of the venue, continuous live music, 14-day cabin rental with a flat rate of $1,750 (less than $500 per guy), and by far the best pool in the Sturgis area, booking a spot at the BSCL was an easy decision. Actually, no matter if you are tent camping, RV camping, or renting a cabin for one day, three days, or two weeks, BSCL’s rates are all based on a 14-day flat rate. Right off the bat, booking by May 1 saved us some cash. After May 1, the rates go up but are still reasonable. The only problem with booking that early is the anticipation, but soon enough it was rally time.
After four days on the road, mixing it up between roadside camping and the dingiest of “hotel” rooms, pulling into the massive BSCL compound on Sunday afternoon, the sights and sounds of bikes, music, laughter, and cold beer quickly revived our tired souls and aching bones. One thing I really wasn’t looking forward to upon arrival was checking in. Being that it was the beginning of the rally, I expected the check-in area to be total chaos with a huge line of people looking to check-in as well. While there was a line, it moved quickly and the reservations desk had a good handle on things and a smooth system to get people checked in and set up with wristbands quickly—an obvious sign that they had done this several thousand times before.
From the reservations desk it was a short walk to the front of the building and into the store to pick up supplies for the next few days. The onsite store was outfitted with just about all the necessities one could need to stay clean and presentable (depending upon your hygiene habits) as well as being loaded with all the stuff you might not “need” but “want,” like beer and salty snacks. From the store was a short ride through the camp area, which was a mix of cabins, tents, and RVs. Riding the compacted dirt roads to our cabin was like rolling through a typical suburban neighborhood with the residences evenly spaced apart and each one looking just like the next (except for those who took it upon themselves to spruce up their temporary homes with some decorations).
Pulling up to our cabin we were immediately greeted by what we thought was the welcoming committee, but it turned out they were a couple of the beautiful girls working a calendar booth on premise and happened to be our friendly neighbors staying a few cabins down. After our neighbors left, we threw open the door to our digs and gazed upon its opulence. Four walls, a roof, three double beds, fridge, microwave, air conditioning, and real wood flooring. That’s right, wood floors! People pay thousands of dollars to have that laminate, fake wood crap laid throughout their houses, and we had 192 square-feet of real wood to trample upon…Ok, so maybe our pad wasn’t some luxurious multi-story lodge worthy of a spotlight on This Old House, but it’s exactly what we expected, a comfortable, dry, clean (at least it was before we walked in), and safe place to sleep and store our gear.
All of our beds were ready to crawl into, outfitted with clean sheets, pillows, and comforters. After dropping my luggage and sprawling out on my bed, I was pleased to find they hadn’t used the leftover wood flooring as a mattress. Comprised of an actual bed frame, box spring, and mattress, the beds were equal to anything you’d find in a typical hotel room, comfortable enough for the average person—but leaps and bounds better than a foam mat and sleeping bag. To help beat the heat, someone cranked the AC to highest/coldest setting which is exactly where it stayed the rest of the week, keeping our space comfortably cool without an issue. The only thing missing from our cabin was a restroom, but our spot was directly across from one of several bathroom/shower houses spread throughout the camping area.