Thursday, June 16, 2016

Toasty But Fun

Although temps reached the mid 90's today, we enjoyed another ride through the beautiful Black Hills of SW South Dakota.  (They are called black because the  Ponderosa Pines make them appear black.)  We rode lots of these and    

these lovely curves and hills

past beautiful greens,

reds, and

and blues.

The ride took us through a long narrow canyon first to the gold mining town of Lead.  The town grew around the famous Homestake Mine.  The mine closed in 2002 and was made into a nice park with walkways from a spacious parking lot to the mine buildings at the top of a hill.  The paved path was lined with info boards describing the history of the mine and its impact on the town.

History of the mine.  Paragraph 4 explains that the town was named Lead (leed) after a mining term that means "a vein of ore".

Like Hot Springs and many other historical towns in this area, the size and shape of the town is dictated by the surrounding ridges.  Lead twists and rolls itself through a narrow canyon.  We went about half way through town then turned around and rode to 

the next town down the canyon, about a mile away.

Like Lead, Deadwood is twisty and narrow, but a lot more lively.  It is full of tourist shops and places to gamble.  People come here to see where Wild Bill Hickok was shot in the back holding his "dead man's hand" of aces and eights.

We stopped here for lunch and a wander.

Harley-Davidson boutique with Elks Club above.

This is a saloon called the Midnight Star.  One of our favorite westerns--Silverado-- features a saloon called the Midnight Star.

This is where Hickock was shot.

This place is about 1/2 block up the street.

Next stop was Sturgis, best known as the wild biker town.  Contrast that reputation with the yellow sign at left.

Sturgis actually was founded in 1878 as a supply town for Fort Meade.  It was originally called Scooptown because many residents "scooped up" their pay form the Fort.  It was named Sturgis in honor of the Civil War Union General Samuel D. Sturgis.  Sturgis was also part of the Ellsworth Air Force Base complex.  Now it is a sleepy little town except for the first full week of August.

We came here just to say that we did.  Sea level here is only 3400 feet.  It was very hot.  I can't imagine being here in August!

We rode one street and parked, then walked partway up the other. 

The famous (or infamous) Knuckle Saloon.

We also visited the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, but  we'll get to that tomorrow.

Louise and Duane

1 comment:

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

We did that same ride. It was fun walking around and reading all the historical markers. I don't think I would have survived back then. Beautiful country for sure.