Hank – We woke on Saturday morning and discussed our options. Rain was in the forecast and thunderstorms likely on Sunday. We felt we could make some progress and move on to Deadwood and possibly hunker down for a day if the storms were bad. Plus, I wanted to stop by a bike shop and talk about saddle options because mine was becoming a problem on the long, hard days. To his credit, Andy said we could stay as long as we wanted but come August we might have to talk. 🙂 So we made reservations at a hotel in Deadwood and bid Andy and Tamara adieu. We rolled into town to Rushmore Mountain Sports. Jesse, the proprietor, is just the kind of person you want to meet at a bike shop. He listens, offers ideas, lets you try out equipment, and really tries to make sure you are happy with what you have and that it works for you. After trying a saddle and Jesse measuring me for my ideal saddle height, it seems adjusting my saddle forward, tipping the nose down just a smidge, and lowering the height would do the trick. In the meantime, Kathy spotted an iPhone 6-plus case that would mount on her handlebar–she’d been thinking about buying such a case for her 8-plus–and found that the case fit her phone. Until…she tried to take a picture and found the camera hole did not line up exactly with her phone. No worries. Jesse told us to leave the case, told us a great place to eat lunch, and said it’d be fixed by the time we got back. We ate at Antunez, an excellent Mexican restaurant, and brought back orders of salsa, guacamole, and chips for Jesse and his crew. When we returned, we found Jesse had used a power drill to enlarge the camera hole to account for the iPhone 8-plus camera. He had a little touch up to do when Kathy checked it out and it worked great. That’s some customer service. While talking to the mechanic who mounted the phone case for her, Kathy mentioned we were going to Deadfish.
“Deadwood?” he asked. They had a laugh.
We left the town of Spearfish with our stomachs loaded with a hearty meal so the pedaling was not very enthusiastic. We opted for Hwy 85 because it was the shortest route and we didn’t feel like getting caught in the afternoon thunderstorms called for by the weather forecast. It was a long climb followed and fast drop into Deadwood. Near the top of the climb Kathy spotted a fox sitting in a rocky area right next to the road. The fox spotted us and quickly disappeared into the nearby trees. I was okay with the climb but Kathy was having one of those feeling lethargic days. She was happy to be done with it. The Wild Bill Days were going on this weekend in Deadwood, hence the over-the-top hotel rate for the day. We got our room, showered, and headed to town for the party. Deadwood has some trolleys that run back and forth. They cost $1.00 for a ride. We walked through Main Street, which was blocked off for the party. Kathy asked a police officer what was good to see in town. He said the Wild Bill Days was just another event created by the chamber of commerce to have a big party. He pointed us to historical sites and said to just walk into buildings and we’ll find interesting things. We did and enjoyed it very much. But the party was certainly up front. Live music was playing and chairs lined the street where people reserved their spots for the 8:00 pm Nitty Gritty Dirt Band concert. Most of the chairs were covered in plastic or left upside down so the seat would be dry when the owner came back to use it. Signs all over the place announced where you could get you party cup refilled and that the open container ordinance was rescinded during the weekend’s festivities.
We were checking out the historic Bullock Hotel, built by Seth Bullock, an early Deadwood sheriff, after a second great fire destroyed much of downtown Deadwood. The hotel has a lot of haunted folklore. Kathy asked a woman working there where the best place to eat was. She recommend the Social Club above Saloon #10. Saloon #10 is where Wild Bill Hickok was killed but the original site is elsewhere and was burned down in the 1879 fire. Apparently someone saved the chair Hickok was sitting in when he was killed before the fire because it’s on display. Or so it would seem. Throughout the many gift shops there was no shortage of items featuring Wild Bill Hickok. No, I did not buy a Wild Bill Hickok “shot” glass.
We had a great dinner at the Social Club and discovered they had a rooftop area suitable for watching the concert. After our meal we walked around town and checked out more buildings. A little after 8:00 we worked our way back to the Social Club and got a spot on the roof. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band put on a good show. They still have two of their original members in the band. Historical Note – The very first album I ever bought was Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Uncle Charlie and his Dog Teddy”, which featured Mr Bojangles. Yes, they played Mr Bojangles and it was great. The rain started falling about 90 minutes later so we decided to call it a night and catch the trolley back to the hotel before the big rush started.
Kathy – Yes, as Hank stated, today was one of those days where my legs felt like heavy logs while riding. For some reason I was just tired of riding today. Maybe it could be attributed to the few tough rides we had recently, or maybe I was just being lazy. Regardless, I got through the short ride of 20 miles with 1,500 feet of elevation. Now, my quick rant/irritation with the South Dakota Transportation Department today…”Who puts in rumble strips on the ENTIRE shoulder of the road every 20 feet?” Ridiculous!! Typically the rumble strips are only in a very small section of the road shoulder near the white line edge, but someone was apparently overly aggressive and they completely covered the shoulder area. So, not only did we have elevation and headwinds on our travels today, but we had the added in rumble strips the entire 15 miles of travel (every 20 feet) on Highway 85 leading in to Deadwood. So yes, I was happy to be done riding for the day. With the rain forecast we opted for a hotel day rather than a campsite. Checked in, showers, and time to relax and enjoy our evening. Which we did. It was really great just to kick back and enjoy the evening with Hank as we walked around exploring the town, ate a fantastic dinner, had a couple of drinks and listened to some good music. Just what we needed. 🙂