Monday, August 06, 2007

Not Quite Critical Mass

Sturgis SD. - The thunder creeps in everywhere: through library windows, through the walls of our tent at night, and into the cafe where we eat. Tens of thousands of engines roar in unison at the Sturgis motorcycle rally, where we have come to attend a prayer camp for the protection of Mato Paha, the holy mountain threatened by bars and party venues. We have come to meet with Native Elders, and have joined a prayer camp sponsored by the Northern Cheyenne.

During the rally, Sturgis South Dakota presents a picture of a culture utterly enthralled to the internal combustion engine; some motorcycle rally participants arrive on motorcycles with their tents and bedrolls, while others ride in van homes or rolling palaces towed by semi-trailers. The festival has grayed; the average age of the participants has topped fifty. But even the AARP of motorcycle rallies has plenty of beer, plenty of noise, and a very busy court and jail.

No comments: