By breakfast I’d started to calm down...that is until the woman at the table next to us declared how impressed she was with all the buffalo she’d seen yesterday. Damn you buffalo!!
Making the most of our early morning we headed over to the old west town of Deadwood, made famous by the likes of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane. We imagined the town was quite the crazy place to be back in the 1800’s, with its saloons and gunslingers, but at 9.30am on a random Tuesday morning Deadwood was…well, dead.
Despite the lack of people, it had no lack of casinos. In fact all it really had were casinos. Now I know I’ve already pledged our love of gambling in this blog, but even for us, a deserted gambling floor that early felt too much. This ain’t Vegas, baby. So, without wasting any money we only went into a casino to check out some random movie memorabilia on display. Hey, nerds are nerds wherever they are.
Much more interesting than the actual town of Deadwood was where it laid its dead: Mount Moriah Cemetery. At the top of a ridiculously big hill (A Boot Hill if you will!), is the resting place of Wild Bill, Calamity Jane and a whole host of Deadwood’s most important residence. For the price of just $1 you get to walk around this graveyard overlooking the town below. I can’t stress how high up this place is, which I couldn’t help but feel was bad town planning on somebody’s part considering that they had to take each body up there for burial. While there we crossed paths with an Australian man who was in America as he’d been babysitting for 8 weeks in Colorado. Wow, that’s a hell of commute!
Leaving the cemetery we passed a tour bus company that was for some reason endorsed by Kevin Costner (South Dakota has real love for this guy apparently!), a wooden bear that I loved but that Joe refused to let me buy (meanie!) and the world’s best garage (I don’t know who Pam is, but she must be real special!). It was time to pass into state number 4: Wyoming.
Our first stop in Wyoming was Devils Tower. An imposing rock formation that became America’s first ever National Monument in 1906. This thing is a rock climbers dream, but unfortunately we were not that ambitious and just managed to graze the visitors centre. It was a cool sight to see, but unless you feel like hiking closer for a couple of miles, there isn’t much else to do there, so we decided to hit the road as we needed to get across most of Wyoming before bedtime.
Driving away from Devils Tower we noticed people pulled over taking photos. Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so we pulled over to see what the hubbub was about. Prairie Dogs! The little nutcases were everywhere, standing on their hind legs!
Excitement over for the day we got ready for our long ride. There was some great scenery and the mountains in the distance looked amazing…oh wait, we’re getting closer to those things…
OH WAIT, we’re going through those things!!!!!!! Yep, before we knew it we were putting the car to the test through the Big Horn Mountains. Knew we named him Grifter for a reason, he could hack it...just! Joe on the other hand could not. He freaked out like a little girl the whole way. Turns out being in the passenger seat for hairpin turns at great heights are a different ballgame for him than driving them!! Although I had trusted him yesterday, he didn’t seem to return the favour and nearly missed the breathtaking beauty while whimpering from fear!!
Sadly the drive through the mountains - while possibly the most gorgeous I’m likely to ever see in this lifetime - was slow and put us way behind schedule. We’ve planned things so we don’t have to search for our hotels in the dark and tonight was our first fail. We arrived at 9pm, pooped from another great day on the road. Time for some much needed sleep as I vaguely heard Joe say something about a 5.30am start...WTF???
So, until tomorrow…
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