Around here, that means four things:
1) School starts soon, which means the tourist season is winding down.
2) VBS is over for the year! We had a great week last week, but I'm ready to get back to writing :)
3) This is Rally Week - the 73rd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Let's talk about Rally Week for a minute before we go on to #4.
It should really be written RALLY WEEK!!!!!
It's an absolutely CRAZY time of year. I've lived in a lot of different places, but nothing - - nothing - - compares to the Sturgis Rally.
In case you're not familiar with this RALLY I'm talking about, here's a short video that will introduce you: 2012 Sturgis Rally
Last year, the Rally had an estimated attendance of 500,000. All those people lived, ate, slept, partied and biked within 30 miles of my house.
Between 50,000 and 60,000 of them visited Mt. Rushmore each day. There were 43 marriage licenses issued (compared to 197 in 2000 - the 60th Rally), nearly 500 arrests with 451 people jailed, 351 emergency room visits (in Sturgis - many go straight to Rapid City), and 9 Rally related traffic deaths.
And yes, the notorious gangs show up. But so do the police. There hasn't been too much gang related violence in recent years.
Some people complain about the noise, dangerous traffic and (ahem) optional clothing for the female attendees (although that's been restricted to Sturgis in recent years) (and body paint is a big seller, I hear....), but most of us enjoy the craziness for ten days because of all the benefits. Rally Week pays the bills.
And then, next week, they all go home.
And that brings us to #4: FOOTBALL!
I wasn't a football fan until we moved here. Oh, I liked to watch the Super Bowl when I was younger, but football wasn't a big deal. Then this guy came along:
Tim Tebow is so much fun to watch, isn't he? And even though he's wearing a different color jersey these days, I watch him when I can.
But then last year Denver signed on Peyton Manning. I never get tired of watching this guy play.
Last year I realized the reason why I love watching this team play so much - it's leadership. The same reason why I like to watch Gibbs on NCIS. The same reason why I love John Wayne movies. The same reason why I got teary-eyed when my sons earned their Boy Scout Eagle ranks.
We don't see much leadership anymore. People think they don't need leaders, I guess. But we do. And that's why I love a good football game.
But when you watch football, you've got to have snacks, right? And the football pre-season starts THIS WEEK! The Bronco's first pre-season game is against the 49'ers on Thursday, August 8!
I tried this munchie to get ready for the big day:
Cheesy Pull-Apart Party Bread
1 round loaf unsliced Sourdough Bread
8-12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Cut the bread crosswise into 1-inch slices - but not all the way through. Stop about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the loaf. Repeat the cuts in the opposites direction.
Cut the cheese into 1/4" slices and stick them into the cuts in the bread. You can also use shredded cheese, but make sure the cheese gets all the way down to the bottom.
In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, sliced green onions, and garlic powder. Drizzle this over the bread.
Wrap the loaf in foil - I put two pieces of foil together to make a square large enough to wrap the loaf in. Place it on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Pull the top of the foil apart and away from the loaf and bake it for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.
Remove the loaf from the foil, put it on a plate, and enjoy! I had my share for Sunday night supper, and oh! was it good! All cheesy - oniony - melty!
And, of course, what Monday would be complete without a gratuitous puppy picture or two? Thatcher is 18 weeks old now, and learning tons of stuff at puppy preschool.
Before you go, though, be sure to tell us what your favorite game-day treat is!