Greetings and Salutations Brothers of the Mechanized Cavalry Nation! Been a while since I've contributed to the Cracker, mostly because

your Roving Reporter has not had as much time to be "roving" between work and family losses and obligations that required me to

 focus my available time off in directions other than the Mechanized Cavalry and the many events we host and attend each year.

That being said, because of my work expertise in the Harley-Davidson industry I was afforded the opportunity to travel to South Dakota

 to work for Black Hills Harley-Davidson in Rapid City for the 82nd Black Hills Motor Classic, most commonly referred to as the Sturgis Rally!

 This is a gig I have been blessed to be able to do on and off for over 20 years now, traveling to the major Rallies around the country

to assist the host dealerships in these high volume, high stress events. It's a great gig.

I had not been able to work a Sturgis Rally since 2012, after a ten year straight run that started in 2002 and it sure felt

like a sort of homecoming to be able to be back in the Black Hills of South Dakota! It was great reconnecting with dear old South Dakota

friends at both the dealership and outside of work. Met a great bunch of new folks who have picked up where us "old Rally Rats" had left off.

Though it is a work trip I still made time to ride the Hills and enjoy the special beauty of that storied area of the American West,

 steeped not only in motorcycle culture but in the traditions of its Native inhabitants and the spirit

of the pioneers of the Western US and the gold miners of the late 1870's.

The Black Hills of South Dakota are a beautiful place, full of grand vistas and iconic riding in the motorcycle world.

Names like Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road stir the riders imagination with visions of twists and turns, of tight pig

tail bridges and scenic tunnels hewn through the granite edifices, of pristine mountain lakes and cool pine forests. Home to

 some of the largest monuments in the world, Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument are both spectacular visions

 of history in granite. It really is a place like no other and you owe it to yourself to experience

the beauty of the area and the uniqueness of its riding.

While working 12 hour days I still managed to meet up with some Mechanized Cavalry Brothers and their wives and

traveling companions who stopped by to visit. Always a wonderful thing to see Mech Cav faces in far away places! On my final day

 there I got to devote an entire day to riding the Hills and forwarding the Colors of my beloved Mechanized Cavalry.

It was an all around great day to be alive and in the South....South Dakota that is.....

God Bless Dixie, God Bless the Mechanized Cavalry

God Bless all y'all as you uphold the Honor of our Confederate Ancestors!


Duste Craig, Your Roving Reporter, 1st Battalion, Company J, Arkansas Mechanized Cavalry

After leaving Arkansas at 5:00am we hit the South Dakota state line at near 2:00 in the afternoon.

This is only halfway there. 450 miles to go to get to Rapid City. 951 miles in just over 15 hours.

Your Roving Reporter taking in the view from the top of Iron Mountain Road.

You can see the Badlands in the far distance.

Give me a home where the Buffalo roam.....

Looking at these fluffy cows from a safe distance made me hungry for a buffalo steak!

At the "Needles Eye Tunnel" on the Needles Highway.

Brother Ken Handy from 2-B North Carolina and the koolest dog in the SCVMC,

Electra stopped by Black Hills H-D to visit for a spell.

Your Roving Reporter manning his post at Black Hills Harley-Davidson.

On one of my after work rides we rode the Vanocker Canyon Road to

NemoRoad to the Rimrock Scenic Highway and back to Rapid City.

This bunch from 1-A Tennessee SCVMC stopped by to say howdy! L-R Traci "Yank" Spears,

 Lt. Spike Spears, your Roving Reporter and Sgt. Jeff Kelsey.

Another pair of Brothers from 1-A Tennessee SCVMC came by to say howdy! Rumor has it that one of them

actually bought a brand new 2022 CVO while he was there! L-R Rick "Ricker" Watkins, your Roving Reporter

and Tim "Hillbilly" Spears in the house!

My North Carolina Brother and Sister, Shane and Jaimie Elder came by to say howdy as well!

Great seeing y'all!!

Your Roving Reporter at Mount Rushmore advancing the Colors!

Sometimes you gotta get off the beaten track....a short hike up into the hills

on Needles Highway provides this outstanding view!

Wave that flag...Wave it Wide...and High!

After a little climb we got to plant the Battle Flag on the top of what

I affectionately call....Stoner Mountain....It's a long story...LOL

On the trip home to Arkansas we did a ride through the Badlands National Park.

 It was as beautiful as I remembered from the last visit 20 years ago....

Hot too...temperature was 106 degrees by the time I took this picture.

Wake up and roll on the last day of the trip. What a blast it was to be back in South "By God" Dakota!