We departed Wall SD on May 23rd and made a short journey to Spearfish SD to see the sights around Sturgis and Deadwood. Because of the short journey from Wall, we had time on the first afternoon to visit the Western Heritage Center. This was a small, but interesting museum covering the local history as well as general western-themed exhibits.
The following day, CA took a rest day, so I ambled (moseyed?) into Deadwood myself, and started the day at the Days of 76 Museum. This was similar to the Western Heritage Center, but with more focus on the history around Deadwood. After the museum, I wandered the town, inspected the historical plaques for typos, and went up to the cemetery where many of the town’s historical figures are buried. The cemetery is up one of the hills around Deadwood, and I earned my lunch (and sore legs) walking up to it.
The town has a very colorful history, which those of you that have watched the Deadwood TV series by HBO can attest to (warning: the series is not for the faint of heart, but it is mostly historically accurate). Today’s Deadwood is a series of souvenir shops with an occasional historical placard on a post out front on some of the places where the main figures were shot. I was a little let down by the visit.
The next day we headed south to the small town of Hill City SD and booked passage on the 1880 Train, a living steam engine running along the same rail line that has been used for over 100 years. This was a fun experience (who doesn’t like a train ride!), and we rode the train for an hour to the town of Keystone SD, had a brief stay there, then switched seats to the other side of the cabin (for a view out the other side) and returned to Hill City. Here’s a short video of the train and our journey.
We depart South Dakota tomorrow and will start to make our way across Montana, the Big Sky State. We have officially passed the half-way mark on our journey to Alaska!