Day 7 - Mitchell, SD - Deadwood, SD
We started today reasonably early and as we were driving we kept seeing signs for the 1880 Town. So after some deliberation and a need to fill up the tank we stopped for gas and while we were there took a look a round. It was actually very nice. It was a conglomeration of original buildings from all over South Dakota which had been moved to there and restored. There was a 14-sided round barn, a blacksmith, a home, a school, a mercantile, etc. We had breakfast in a real 1950s train. One train car was the kitchen and the other 4 cars were the dining area. There were displays of South Dakota memorabilia. It was a very nice stop.
Then we were off to the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. One of the newest National Historic Sites, it was very interesting to learn about the missile program during the Cold War, and the silos which are all over the South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska area. There was a tour of the Mission Control Center and the above ground areas.
From there it was just a short distance to Badlands National Park. This is one of my favorite areas. It is just amazing and gorgeous in its own way. We stopped at the visitors center and then drove around the park taking pictures and oohing and ahhing.
From there it was off to Wall Drugs, in Wall, SD. Yes, it is the ultimate tourist trap but it was fun walking around this huge souvenier shop. We got our "Free Ice Water" so it was not a lost cause. There were so many people there. They are brought in by the busload. Absolutely amazing.
From there we traveled up the road to Sturgis, SD. Home of the Strugis Motorcyle Rally. It is a quite a motorcycle-centric town. Driving around with 2 bicycles on the back of the truck did draw some wierd stares. We stopped at the Motorcyle Museum and Hall of Fame. Very Interesting. Then we had to stop for the souvenier t-shirt. We stopped at this store and it turns out this lady has been selling shirts for the Sturgis Rally for 45 years, was a close friend of Johnny Cash, and the World's largest man at over 9 feet tall, lives jsut outside of town. Then we went to Rosco's for something to eat. It was very good. Then of course we had to go check out the World's Largest Biker Bar, the Full Throttle Saloon, which is featured in the TV show by the same name. Yes, it is huge!
Then it was time to call it a day so we headed 12 miles over to Deadwood, SD, which got its name from the dead trees in the gultch, but then it was taken illegally from the Lakota Indians and became a profitable enterprise of prostitution and gambling. It is also where Wild Bill Hickok was shot and he and Calamity Jane are buried in the Mount Moriah Cemetery.
We were able to secure lodging at the Super 8 in town, so we are going to stay here an extra day so that we can cycle the Mickelson Trail which runs from Deadwood, SD 109 miles south to Edgemont, SD. It goes through the old mining and wild west territory. Should be fun.
Pictures will be added when I can get a stronger wi-fi signal or I break down and get a new computer.