Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lead – Deadwood – Sturgis – Rapid City, SD

We spent most of Saturday driving north from our campsite — in air conditioning.  Apparently the excessive heat in Kansas City this summer followed us west because the Black Hills had unusually high temperatures of 100° over the weekend.  Yippee — NOT!  At least it wasn’t very humid and the scenery was awesome!

Lead SD still has a productive gold mine, located at the top of this hill above the town.

Deadwood SD is also a very historic town — I think the first official nationally recognized historic town.  It’s Wild Bill Hickok was shot in the back of the head while holding the deadman’s hand (a pair of aces and eights). Calamity Jane had a serious crush on him, but probably wasn’t more than an acquaintance.  Her only request when she died years later was to be buried next to Wild Bill in this graveyard located high on a hill above town [accessible by foot only!].

Then we drove through Sturgis SD — thankfully a week after the huge bike rally. Not a lot to see.

Finally, we arrived at Rapid City SD where Jeff lived as a child.  One of his fondest memories is of this dinosaur park high on a hill overlooking the city. The thousands steps UP to the park in the mid-day sun at 99º was a serious workout!

We also toured the Air and Space Museum located outside Ellsworth Air Force Base. This B-52 is still a very imposing plane.

We wondered back to our campsite past Sylvan Lake.  Gorgeous!  A beautiful lake was created around these humungous boulders.  It’s become quite busy now, but Jeff remembers family campouts here.

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