Meet our Missouri and Southern Illinois attorney Andy Toennies.
He recently rode through the country to Sturgis and recounted his time on the road, some of his stops and challenges along the way, all while capturing some awesome photos to share with us during his days-long journey.
On August 6 at 6 a.m. – bright and early – Andy geared up, saddled in his Harley Ultra Limited, and left St. Louis for his buddies awaiting his arrival in Sturgis the next day.
He charted his route on state roads through Missouri, avoiding Highway 70 and instead taking the 29 at St. Joseph, MO north into Iowa and then South Dakota, going through Sioux Falls to head west on Highway 90.
Eight hundred miles and 14 hours into the journey, he pulled into Chamberlain, South Dekota and lodged at the Bridge Motel.
Day one – complete.
The next morning, Andy drove through Badlands National Park, intersecting with some fellow bikers, and captured some great photos of the moment! About noon, he made his way into the Rapid City Harley-Davidson dealer and took in the sights and sounds.
Andy then rode on to Full Throttle, where a few of his buddies – Todd, Vic, Robert, Wes, David, Ron, and Chass – were saving him a barstool that afternoon.
They journeyed on into Sturgis, having dinner at Iron Horse and walked around the town until finding a good spot under a tent with some cold beverages, soaking in the scenery for hours.
After calling it a night, they rode west through the cool of the night of the beautiful country to a house they had rented in Spearfish, catching a good night’s sleep. They didn’t expect so much wind on the 90 toward Billings, MT, running into 40-mph cross winds with limited visibility. To meet the challenge of the skies, they had to lean their bikes into the wind about 10 degrees to keep themselves up.
Ten miles in, they wrangled the wind, and were able to finish the remaining 35 miles to Billings.
In the morning, Andy and crew went south from Billings through the Beartooth Highway through Beartooth Pass and stopped at Red Lodge to refuel. He hadn’t heard of Beartooth, but it was probably the best part of his trip! The mountain views are extraordinary. Many bikers they met going in and out of Sturgis say the same thing.
They continued south into Yellowstone Park and spent three days riding through Yellowstone and tent camped near the north entrance at Gardiner, MT. There is no better way to see Yellowstone than on a bike!
After 3 breathtaking days in Yellowstone, the crew went out the south entrance to the park and into Grand Teton. They spent a few hours there and continued into Jackson Hole, WY. They said their goodbyes to crew member Todd as he began his trip home to Birmingham, AL.
Vic and Andy continued south through the Green River valley and spent the night at Rock Springs, WY. At that point, Vic parted also, taking a winding path home through Oklahoma and Arkansas back to Cullman, AL.
Todd and Vic were great to travel with, and Andy is thankful for the invite! Andy decided to go further west into Utah through the Flaming Gorge and then into Colorado, stopping at Dinosaur to take a picture for his granddaughter. He continued east into Steamboat, CO through the mountains.
Finally, Andy headed back home on Highway 80 through Wyoming, Nebraska and Missouri. Boy were those bugs big in Wyoming, just about put a hole through his windshield! After 8 days, 3450 miles and some great views, he’ll never forget this trip. But for Andy, the best view of the entire trip was when he walked into the house and saw his beautiful wife Lisa waiting for him after a long journey on the chopper (She’s in the photo on the Indian). Andy hopes that on the next trip, she’ll be out there riding alongside him!