Sturgis, South Dakota
Shyla Cameron lives for the open road. Born and raised in Portland, ME, Shyla has been living the “gypsy life” since she was 18. A snow-sports instructor, wildlife conservationist and owner of an eco-travel company, Gypsys Traveling Caravan, Shyla lives for “amazing people, secret spots on the road and loud motorcycles.” Recently, Shyla discovered all three in attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for the first time. Shyla has attended other motorcycle rallies over the past 14 years. So how did Sturgis compare? Here’s what Shyla had to tell Travel Channel.
I went here to: Experience the biggest biker rally in the country, in the middle of the Wild West! It’s part of the biker soul to be in a place like Sturgis.
I stayed at: The Broken Spoke campground, by far the best campground. I didn’t have to worry about being woken up at 5 a.m.
I traveled here with: By myself, actually. In a borrowed car from Colorado. I travel like a gypsy.
The best way to travel here is: By motorcycle, absolutely. The riding out here is amazing.
My favorite Sturgis motorcycle ride was: Spearfish Canyon -- it’s a great, great ride. Just riding through the mountains, going up and down through the hills -- it’s one of those things you don’t get anywhere else.
When it comes to packing, be sure to bring: Warm clothes! People think that because it’s South Dakota it doesn’t get cold in the summer, but it can drop to 50 degrees at night.
The craziest thing I did at Sturgis was: Swinging on a trapeze in the Broken Spoke saloon with a fire-breather and pouring shots into the crowd.
The craziest thing I saw at Sturgis was: Fire Joe’s fire shows. His fire shows are so unbelievable -- he’s got 30-foot flames coming out of his mouth -- it’s unreal!
The best thing I ate was: The mac ‘n’ cheese made by one of the vendors at the campground -- made with a whole lot of biker love!
I wish I hadn't: Gone to any other place in Sturgis except for the Broken Spoke. It was by far the best place to be at a rally. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with a pool.
Don't miss: The pool parties. That was absolutely one of the best times here. There were so many people just hanging out and having a good time.
Next time I will definitely: Spend 2 weeks at the Broken Spoke, instead of one -- because it definitely wasn’t long enough.
My favorite part of the trip was: Meeting up with old friends at the Spoke and having a job to walk to. It was like getting back to family.
My advice would be: Come prepared and make sure that you leave any bad attitude at home. Sturgis is for fun.