DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Rich And Karin At Swede Hollow Park

December 5, 2011 3:00 AM

dyr minn DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Rich And Karin At Swede Hollow Park

“We drove our motorcycle through a buffalo herd this year.”

The Ride
The Drivers: Rich and Karin 
Car in Question: 1999 Damon Intruder Motorhome
Spotted at: Swede Hollow Park, St. Paul, MN 55106
Odometer: 16,200
Car’s Nickname: Prairie Schooner


Q: How long ago did you buy the Intruder a.k.a the Prairie Schooner?

Rich: That was about two or three years ago. We go to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally every year. We drive the motorhome. It stays put for two weeks. We travel around all day on our motorcycle.

Q: What kind of bike do you have?

R: It’s a Yamaha Road Star. It’s a big road bike.

Q: How long have you been going to Sturgis?

Karin: We started in 2000.

Q: Do you have any favorite stories from Sturgis?

R: We rode our motorcycle through a buffalo heard this year. We went to Custer State Park. We had just turned into the wildlife loop. I saw two buffalo heading toward the road and said to Karin jokingly, “Do you think we’ll see any wildlife?” Then we got closer and saw the whole herd. There were buffalo coming and going as far as you could see. It’s probably not the kind of thing you would want to rollerskate through. There were some idiots coming the other way in a great big SUV, thinking they might be able to scare the buffalo, but three of the great biggest bulls stood in front of their car. You couldn’t even see the SUV.

Q: Their way of saying, “Don’t mess.”

R: There was a little baby one. That got me really nervous. If the baby was on one side of me and the mother on the other side, I’d be in trouble. I told Karin, “We have to go.” I started up the motorcycle and idled through, zig-zagging past the three great big bulls.

K: They just looked at us.

R: Yeah, they just looked at us. Then we went slowly up the road. Some bikers said, “Can you do that again?” I said, “No way.” The buffalo were really cool about it though.

Q: Buffalos are chill, it would seem.

R: Then we went down the road and found a burro. When we went over the hill after the single burro, there were a bunch of burros all over the road. They are wild but friendly towards people. They’re not really a herd. They all just hang around together.

Q: Burro party!

R: That same day, we ran into a cattle herd. The cattle bothered me more than the buffalo. They were a little more wily, bumping into each other and snorting. There were lots of calves. This was the week after the rally. The wildlife tend to go up into the hills with all the noise of the motorcycles.

Q: That all sounds so cool. You must look forward to your trip all year long.

R: Yeah, it’s lots of fun.

Q: How much gas does it take to fill up the tank of the motorhome?

K: It’s a 75 gallon gas tank, which lasts somewhere between 300 to 400 miles. We never run it down to empty, so it’s hard to know for sure and we probably don’t want to know!

Photos and interview by Michelle Leon

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