Friday, October 23, 2015

Geezers, Wyoming and South Dakota - Custer State Park to Deadwood, SD

Day 17

When we got up this morning we were shocked to see a blue sky with no clouds in sight.  This was a surprise as the weather report last night said the cloudy weather would continue through today.  Today we had a short drive north to Deadwood which is an old gold mining town with a wild history.  Many of the colorful characters of the west spent time here and in fact Wild Bill Hickok was shot and killed here.  The downtown is registered as a historical sight.

The State Game Lodge in Custer State Park under blue skies.
Today’s drive would be on another scenic highway through the Black Hills.  The road was a twisting drive with many hairpin turns and sometimes even crossing over itself.  There were three, one-lane wide tunnels carved through the granite.  The highlight of the last one was that as you emerged from the tunnel, there was the faces of Mt. Rushmore looking at you.  It was another of the very scenic drives in this area.  We had many views of Mt. Rushmore as we passed, but we passed it by as we have both been there before.

We arrived in Deadwood just after noon and checked into the Deadwood MountainGrand which is a Holiday Inn Hotel.  The building was once a huge Slime Plant, which I think has something to do with mining.  The building does have an industrial look, but it is very nice inside.  It is right downtown and our room overlooks the Main Street area.

Downtown Deadwood from our room (through a window screen).
After getting settled we walked a block over to Main Street to look for a place to eat.  Main Street is the historic center of Deadwood and has many old buildings.  I guess gambling is legal in Deadwood as our hotel has a casino and it seemed like every other building on the street was a casino.  Surprisingly, we had a lot of trouble finding a place to eat.  There were many places inside the casinos, but they seemed a little dark and smoky for us so we finally settled for a hamburger place where we could sit outside and watch the people go by.  Val twisted her knee in Big Horn so the amount she can walk is limited, but we did look around the town a bit and we did have to see where Wild Bill Hickok was shot.  It was pretty quiet today, but we can imagine it must get very crowded during the tourist season particularly during the huge Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Downtown Deadwood.

This is the saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was killed.

And this is the location down the street where his killer was captured.
After our exploring it was back to the room to relax and for me, time to catch up on the blog.  Later we went down to the casino to try our luck and have some dinner.  Although neither one of us was a winner, surprisingly we didn’t lose too much and got a lot of play for our money.  We ate an Italian dinner in the hotel restaurant and called it a night.  Tomorrow we are going to visit the Devil’s Tower.

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