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Day Two of RoadTrip 2021

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...

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Road Trip 2021

Road Trip 2021 is in full swing, or drive, as the case may be, and so far, we haven't any exciting news or experiences. We left Sioux City Iowa on Tuesday the 6th to embark upon our journey to the west coast. Not being far from South Dakota, we of course rolled in quite quickly after our departure and excitedly headed west for Wyoming.


First unplanned stop on our venture was Sturgis. We needed a comfortable bed and a good meal. Sturgis South Dakota, known for its mass motorcycle rally it hosts every year in August, at first glance doesn't appear to be much of a city. While it boasts several motorcycle shops, its sparse in the hotel, motel & restaurant arena.


Our hotel desk clerk highly recommended we partake in the cuisine at a local spot called The Knuckle Saloon. She stated the beef tips were the best she had ever had. Not knowing her history, or vastness of her experiences, we hesitantly followed her advice.


The Knuckle Saloon was packed with motorcycle enthusiast, taking up one entire side of the place. Applause rang out as raffle tickets were being drawn and prizes were being handed out. Unsure of what was happening, and not wanting to impose, we stuck to the opposite side to observe from a distance. It was quickly clear a poker run of some sort had reached its end, and participants were celebrating and mingling.


We were waited on immediately, by an outgoing young waitress. We ordered our drinks and perused the menu. Recalling the desk clerks verbal yelp-type review, we settled on the beef tips, and decided to share a pound of them. Not wanting fries, the waitress suggested tots with a side of cheese sauce. Well yes! I think we will! *if you're someone that passes on cheese sauce, we just can't be friends.


The tips were phenomenally tender, easily cut with your fork and the flavor superb. The tots were nothing special, seriously they literally come one way right? They were cooked perfectly crisp without dripping in grease, that has to be a culinary skill! The cheese sauce was well, cheesy, what more can you ask for?!


After our meal, we ventured out to explore more of the town. Sturgis, obviously, embraces the biker clan regardless of the time of year and motorcycles are in greater number than cars. Cruising the quiet streets, we happened upon an antique shop, "Unique Antique", that happened to have its door open and lights on. Though not officially open, the owner graciously invited us inside to browse while she assisted a local artist in restocking her hand made jewelry, which she also sold.


Visiting with them, we were soon reminded that while the world seems vast, it is quite small. The jewelry maker told us her mother was from Spirit Lake Iowa! Anyone living in the NorthWest corner of Iowa, KNOWS Okoboji and its surrounding towns. What are the odds?


If you happen to find yourself in the area, don't hesitate to stop in for a bit. Sturgis isn't just for the bikers, and the locals will be happy to see you and will no doubt share a story or two about their life along this ever-winding road.

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