C – The night was so quiet and peaceful last night, with the most amazing display of stars I have seen in North America. It was a chilly night though and the thermals stayed on this morning when I jumped on the bike!!
We headed towards Deadwood on some lovely gravel back roads, running parrellel to the interstate for a while. Our excitement was building! Deadwood seemed to us to have some wonderful ‘wild west’ history and we were both itching to learn more.
T – Ooooh yeah! Deadwood baby! Home of outlaws and shootouts! I had built this place way up in my mind. Wooden board walks in front of dusty old saloons with dirt roads and an air of the wild west! Having been to Dawson City in Canada I envisioned it to be of a similar ilk.
C – But my, that was not meant to be. We didn’t realise this area would be getting so busy already, with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally still a good week away. But as we pulled into Deadwood, we both slumped. The town was packed full of tourists. Oh well, we would just battle the crowds today. Then we turned towards Historical Main St. It was then that I was so horrified. The old world beauty of the Main St has gone and all that is left is glittering casinos, fancy steakhouses and modern saloons attempting to recreate the magic of the past. The whole street has a cheap feel and I was saddened at the loss of the authenticity in this historical town. We were originally going to park and wonder around, but there was no free parking to be found and I was not parting with $3 an hour to visit tourist tat stores. So, onto the visitors centre to learn where the history is. Nope, no free parking there either – at the Visitors Centre. Where tourists stop to learn if they want to spend money in the town. Can you tell this really irritated me?????
T – Oh no. Deadwood. What have you done???? There was no real life wild west feel here. Just the feeling of being gouged for my dollars at every turn. Parking meters everywhere. Pay to go here. Pay to go there. What a shame. This place is an amazing piece of history and I felt the town has sold that history off for a bit of glitz and glitter. What a terrible shame.
C – I was keen to visit the Adams Museum and the Adams House, but I was so deeply disappointed by then I decided it was time to hit the old Mt Moriah Cemetry and check out the history there. We ventured up there and checked out the old graves.
T – Well at least we could go and view the old grave of Wild Bill Hickock. That was a pretty cool thing to do! And Calamity Jane laying in the ground next to him too! Still the sour taste was left in my mouth after being asked to fork over another $2 just to stand at the edge of their graves.
C – It was then straight out of town for us. I’m sorry Deadwood, you just were not the stop for me!!!
The rode was clogged all the way to Mt Rushmore. I was surprised how busy it was!! The line for the parking at Mt Rushmore was long and at $11 per motorcycle, we decided not to venture in, but check it out from a distance. It was pretty amazing to see!!!!
T – I had seen so many picture of Mt Rushmore over the years. It’s a very iconic American monument. And it was very well done! Unfortunately I just couldn’t justify the fee of $11 each motorcycle to enter the parking lot. So we grabbed a few pics along the road on the way past. On that note, there is something here that really annoys me. Not just here but also back home in Australia too. It was $11 per motorcycle with 2 people. Or, and this is the annoying bit, $11 for a car/RV with 5 people. I don’t understand it. But anyways. Onwards!!!
C – Then onto Crazy Horse – It was getting late in the afternoon and with a storm quickly coming overhead we decided we wanted to get as far away from the Black Hills as possible, so we had a stop and a look from outside the gate and then set the GPS for south.
T – Thanks to the fast approaching weather we had a quick glimpse of Crazy Horse. Still in its early stages of being carved from a mountain. Nebraska was calling and I had really had enough of South Dakota already. Some places are just like that. In Australia it is Perth. I can handle about 5 minutes of the place and have to get out. Today it was here. Too many tourists, too much money grabbing.
C – We ventured down wonderful backroads, all the while the storm brewing and darkening, getting closer and closer. We stopped and put our wet weather gear as it looked certain to reach us, but by some miracle it went all around us. The sky was so black overhead, but not a single drop fell on us. We were heading for a free camp we had found just over the border in Nebraska and by the time we got there the sky was blue and was the sun was shining.
T – This was more like it! Sweeping roads across gorgeous rolling grasslands! The stormy clouds as the backdrop gave the whole thing a moody feel! I loved it! It was just gorgeous! Like me really!
On the way we passed through a little town, Provo, where there were tons and tons of old cars in paddocks and lined up next to the road. What is this place? Can anyone tell me? I hoped to be able to wander in and take some photos but it seemed all the houses were abandoned and boarded up.
I ended snapping a pic of some old beauties from the side of the road but I am very keen to know more about this place.
Then we were into Nebraska! I am really keen to see some of the old abandoned Cold War missile silos around here. But having done a quick Google search I soon discovered that they were mostly on the east side of the state. Maybe next time when we come back through.
C – Noone else came in the camp that night and it was a quiet night for us!!!