The Bag Lady Bash

The LAST Bag Lady Bash

The last and final Bag Lady Bash event was held in in August of 2010.  An annual tradition at The Flying V Lodge (separate from, but during the Sturgis Bike Rally), the Bag Lady Bash was held every year for 18 years.  Then just before next Bash was to be held, the Wyoming Highway Department decided it was time to change Highway 85 going past The Flying V to the other side of the property.  This would cause a major disruption for nearly two years until the highway project was completed.  So we decided it was time to call it for what it was, “Bag Lady Bash – The Last Bash 2010”.

During re-construction of the highway around The Flying V, we had time to think about whether to continue the BLB event after the highway project was completed.  While some may be disappointed, we finally decided that we would no longer continue the Bash.  Yet we will always be open and available to past (and new!) guests during the Sturgis Bike Rally who have, or want to, discover the best kept secret of the Black Hills:  The Flying V Lodge.

We Couldn’t Say It Better…

We found an article on the internet about the Bag Lady Bash from Wayne Thompson at the website Cycle Connections. Though written by Wayne in 2004, we could not have said it better ourselves.  It gives a bit of history of The Flying V, the Bag Lady Bash, and the great time had by all.  Used with permission, we provide Wayne’s article and pictures taken at the time.  We hope you enjoy the write-up and a chance to experience what a Bag Lady Bash event was like!

Bag Lady Bash – 2004

The Flying V & Bag Lady Bash 2004

From Cycle Connections Magazine – September 1, 2004

by Wayne Thompson

This year was the coldest Sturgis rally I have ever experienced, so I chickened out on camping and stayed in a nice heated room in Spearfish.  It was the first year I hadn’t camped, but since I’d dragged all my camera gear, laptop, and other gear with me, I was glad for the change.  The weather was less than hospitable, so it worked out fine.

I have camped or stayed at The Flying V on every one of my other trips to Sturgis for the past seven years.  My riding buddies from California introduced me to this place just as they had been introduced to it in previous years by our mutual friend, Hammer.  From the first visit I was welcomed with open arms and have been in love with this little known secret ever since.  I have been keeping it a secret; but no longer as this isn’t fair to my friends, Larry & Twylla, the owners of The Flying V.

A little Flying V history: In 1923, The Cambria Coal Co.  started construction of a resort/retreat type facility for the town of Cambria and its surrounding area.  With more than 40 laborers, it took five years of construction to complete the facility.  Hand cut sandstone; quarried a mile away by 10 to 12 stone masons was the reason for such long construction time.  When completed in 1928, the facility was first known as Cambria Casino Park.  Unfortunately, that same year the mine closed because the coal had run out.  The mine had numerable land holdings and leased the facility to the Flying V Ranch, which ran the operation as a cattle outfit.

Through the years the landmark operated as a bible camp, casino, dude ranch and cattle ranch.  Today this historic 10 guest room facility still operates with the same intentions of its original builders, and is known as The Flying V Cambria Inn.  The inn currently operates as a bed and breakfast, restaurant, and a wedding/reunion facility.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

[Note from Larry: While true then, it now goes by “The Flying V Lodge” today – or as locals say, “The Flying V” or just “The V”.]

Now that you know a little of the history of The Flying V, let’s talk about Bag Lady Tuesday, in honor of Marla.  Marla was a freelance writer for quite a few biker publications and traveled all over the country on her bike.  She was a frequent visitor to The Flying V.  Approximately tweleve years ago, Larry, the owner of The Flying V and Marla started Bag Lady Tuesday as a party during the Sturgis rally.  The joke was that Marla packed everything she owned on her Harley and considered herself a ‘bag lady’ on a Harley: hence the name, Bag Lady Tuesday.  Unfortunately, Marla was killed in an accident about seven years ago.  Her friends, Larry and Twylla thought it only fitting to honor her with this biker bash.

So every year during rally week, The Flying V has their Bag Lady Tuesday party – on Tuesday, of course.  The rally features an outdoor stage and bar, four to five outstanding bands, hog and beef roasts, and a few local vendors selling their wares.  There’s even a massage therapist for your road weary bones.

The food at the ‘V’ is definitely the best in Wyoming and in South Dakota for that matter.  Fresh beef and all the trimmings are Larry’s specialty, but they also have seafood and a lot of other great entrees.  Bottom line excellent food, great atmosphere and good company – it’s more that you can ask for all in one place.

One year, having partied like a mad man on the last day of Sturgis, my riding companions and I only made it that 60 miles south to the ‘V’ and I was done; I needed to recharge my liver from a week of alcohol abuse.  By recharge, I mean with more hair of the dog.  It was late, so Twylla put us up in rooms and left the kitchen and bar open for our personal use if we got hungry.  But food was not on our menu as our consumption of alcohol was still at the top of the list.  When we got up the next morning there was Twylla in the kitchen making us breakfast and Bloody Marys.  Thank you, God!

During the rally, The Flying V opens daily at 6 a.m.  They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course, cold beer as well as all your favorite drinks ‘til 2 am.  Free camping and hot showers are available to those of us who still like to camp out under the stars.  There’s also a nightly bonfire to warm you up while warming your innards with your favorite poison.  As I previously mentioned, they also have 10 awesome rooms, but since Bag Lady Tuesday is during rally week you’d better book a room early.

So here’s to you Marla, and here’s to Larry and Twylla and The Flying V.  If you don’t make it by on Bag Lady Tuesday, stop in anytime on your next trip to Sturgis or Wyoming as this place is very friendly and so cozy that I always look forward to returning to every year.

Story and photos by Wayne Thompson.

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Band Photos @ BLB

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

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Audience Photos @ BLB

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

Bag Lady Bash 2004

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Photos Inside & Out

Inside The Flying V

Inside The Flying V

Inside The Flying V

Inside The Flying V

Inside The Flying V

Bag Lady Bash 2004

RV Parking & Camping

RV Parking & Camping

The Flying V Lodge

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About The Flying V Lodge

The Flying V is a premier hunting lodge located on the edge of the Black Hills, just 8 miles north of Newcastle, Wyoming and is open during June through November every year.

Originally built in the 1920's, it is truly an authentic lodge built of wood and stone with open hearth fireplaces and decor to match.  It's not a small lodge either, it's huge with all the amenities and old world atmosphere hunters love and appreciate.  We also have onsite game processing and taxidermy.

Weather at The Flying V

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