Pam Walz of Mount Vernon, Iowa, has been coming to the Sturgis motorcycle rally since her significant other, Larry Covington, brought her to the Black Hills for the first time in 2000.
Her pearlescent white Kawasaki Nomad is adorned with hand-painted and airbrushed tableaus of Black Hills and Wyoming landmarks, including Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, Devils Tower and Lewis River Falls in Yellowstone National Park. There are also images of wildlife, buffalo, coyotes, bobcats, bear and mountain goats.
“I knew what I wanted and this was it,” she said. “I love the area, and I love the animals.”
Her bike was painted in 2005 by a local artist, Travis Allen of Lisbon, Iowa, who has since lost most of his sight because of cone dystrophy, she said.
Walz’ travels are as much a tribute to the artist, as to the natural beauty she enjoys while riding.
“It’s more of a masterpiece because he can’t hardly see anymore,” Walz said of Allen.