We headed out this morning toward Wyoming.
Driving down the winding roads beneath the numerous mountains is simply breathtaking. Taking in the untouched bluffs and jagged rock where a multitude of tribes and pioneers once built their lives, felt like touching history as we inhaled the essence of another time.
Anticipating the unfolding of pages in history, we stopped in Deadwood, South Dakota. https://www.deadwood.com/
At first glance everything appears reminiscent of the 'Old West', or at least what we believe it must've looked like, thanks to the numerous 'westerns' we watched on television as children. Unfortunately, it is nothing more than a facade designed to pull you in, to an overflowing tourist trap.
Numerous store fronts proclaiming to be restaurants, lure you inside to find casino after casino after casino. I'm not a history expert, yet I'm fairly certain slot machines and roulette wheels were not this significant to the great west. In Deadwood, they are the foundation to their economy. For those keepsake knickknacks one might be in search of to commemorate their trip, other shops offer an endless array of souvenirs and gunslinger toys made in China.
After paying a guy $7 to let us park our own car in a narrow back alley, we happened upon a Stagecoach tour. Agreeing this would be a fun way to learn the local history we quickly boarded along with 5 others. A bumpy ride along cobblestone streets, we struggled to hear a tape-recorded guide point out supposed important facts. I have no idea what they were, or if in fact they were important, as we literally could not hear the muffled voice coming from a tape recorder hanging in a cloth bag, swinging back and forth the entire 20 minutes of the horse drawn ride. Hey, we've spent more on less and the proceeds here help rescued horses and other animals. Check em out and if you can throw some monetary support their way! https://www.facebook.com/theluckyhorseco/
Afterward, we hurried down to the information center to inquire about the 'Trolley Tours', which were widely advertised, only to discover they are not 'tours' at all! The Trolley is nothing more than a hop on, hop off taxi service which requires $1 each time you 'hop on'.
In need of sustenance we wandered into one of the many casino's, looking for food and drink. Mavericks was just the ticket. The agave gods were watching out for us as One of the BEST margarita's ever made, was found right here and it was a MIX!! I suppose stranger things have happened. https://www.deadwood.com/business/bars-and-saloons/mavericks-steaks-and-cocktails/
While walking along the souvenir shops we found a building claiming to be an original Brothel that was in operations until 1980! Climbing the steep narrow staircase, hoping to get a peek into the past, your mind drifts to the lives that were here before and the history they created just trying to survive. Though promising a 'century of prostitution history', the guided tour of rooms left much to be desired. The bland and dull décor felt out of place among the evolution of the sex trade stories, and the demise of the brothel industry. For $15 a person, you can judge for yourself. https://www.deadwoodbrothel.com/#g-container-main
The highlight of Deadwood for us was found inside the 1892 Adams House Mansion. After paying a mere $10 a person, we learned it had been left to its own devices, sitting quietly alone for over 50 years after Adam's death in 1934. The hand-painted wall coverings, stained glass windows and furnishings were found in surprisingly impeccable condition as it waited for a new life. The fully restored house got a second wind as a museum in 2000.
Driving toward Wyoming, we were able to see Devil's Tower from I-90. Landing in Gillette for the night, we enjoyed an amazing meal at the local Rib & Chop. The staff here were tons of fun and the food fantastic. We highly recommend you check them out! https://ribandchophouse.com/locations/gillette-wyoming/
If you find life has been stifling this past pandemic year, we encourage you to hit the winding road and discover the many treasures in lying in wait in your own backyard. Adventure awaits...