Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sturgis and Deadwood South Dakota

Harley BearAfter a rain delayed start, we opted for a quick trip between showers.  We were misted on all the way to Sturgis, which wasn’t that far… probably 20 miles from Rapid City.

Harley (Bear) wanted to get to Sturgis.  Of couse we were a couple weeks after the big 67th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  Harley has been on several rides this year.  He was buckled in ready to ride early.

We got to Sturgis and did some souviner shopping.   (I didn’t take any pictures in Sturgis.)  But it was larger than I was expecting.   I remember people talking about how small a town it is.   I was expecting a town of just a few blocks long.  but it’s a big little city.

Every summer, Sturgis hosts one of the largest gatherings of motorcycle enthusiasts in the world - the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Beginning the first full week in August, Sturgis comes alive with more than half a million people. We become the largest community in the state, bringing in concerts by famous recording artists, national motorcycle races and the biggest names in custom bikes.

Then we headed on to Deadwood South Dakota, which was another 15 miles or so down the road. 

Riding into the town of Deadwood.

The city of Deadwood, seat of Lawrence County, in the Black Hills of Western South Dakota was incorporated 1876. The city was named for the dead trees that were found in the narrow canyon (Deadwood Gulch) where you'll find the historic Main and Sherman streets, with many streets built up its steep sides.

Deadwood had the first telephone exchange in the state of South Dakota. Established by Paul Rewman in March of 1878, calls between Deadwood and Lead were 50 cents at the time, 25 cents cheaper than a stage ride between the cities, and much faster. The completion of the line was promptly celebrated as reported by the Pioneer with a large bonfire, gathering, and a grand ball at the Grand Central Hotel.

Hickok Jane Earp
Wild Bill Hickok        Calamity Jane            Wyatt Earp

Industries include gold mining and lumbering; tourism is also important to the economy. Of interest are an old gold mine where you can try "panning for gold", several historical museums, a cemetery containing the graves of Wild Bill Hickok (who was killed here) and Calamity Jane, and many historic hotels and saloons. The city was founded following the discovery of gold here in 1876. Reached by railroad in 1891, the city developed as a trading center for the northern Black Hills region. In 1989, limited-wage gambling was legalized in Deadwood to rejuvenate tourism. Population (1980) 2035; (1990) 1830.

Lunchtime in Deadwood
Ugly Horse pub
We only had an hour and a half to spend in Deadwood (we wanted to get back before the rain was supposed to start up again at 5 pm).  We ran across the Ugly Horse Pub.  I’t’s a pizza place in the basement under the Iron Horse Inn.  The pizza was excellent and the wings were good.  We tried the hot wings, didn’t try the “ugly wings” which were the hottest they serve.

The highlight of our lunch/dinner was our new friend Scorch (shown above with our ladies Pat, Janet and Pat).  Scorch (or Jack …. he had another nickname too, but I can’t remember what it was) has been blown up twice.  Once in a propane explosion and another time with some kind of electrical explosion.   He sufferred burns over 85% of his body,  hence the nickname Scorch..  What a remarkable character he is. He has just done some commercials for a hotel in Deadwood.  Scorch has such a wonderful outlook on life.  He was so much fun to be around.   If you’re ever in Deadwood, I highly recommend the Ugly Horse Pub and Jack’s great pizza.

Tomorrow we’re off to Spearfish Canyon and then onto Cody Wyoming.  We’re planning on doing the Beartooth Highway Thursday.  We’re trying to decide if we’re going to go onto Yellowstone after that. 



NNadiv said...

i love your updates!
they are very informative and extremely interesting...

Chris From Winnipeg said...

If you get a chance, you should try going up to "The Devil's Tower".

It is where they filmed some of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". When we went, it seemed like once we saw it in the distance, we would be there in about 5 minutes. A halh hour later, it was still just 5 minutes away. It's a very interesting drive up to it. Once there it was well worth the time it took.

Quite a spectacular sight all-in-all.