BootsnAll Travel Network

There’s Gold In Them There Hills


Originally uploaded by roupiesontour

September 26th

Up early and on the road to hit Deadwood in the morning. Again the scenery has changed – bright blue skies and tree covered mountains. The roads are windy, steep and fun to drive after yesterday. Sorted accommodation early at the Golden Country Inn. A very old fashioned motel with real keys to open the doors (all rooms have door to car park) and a Laverne on reception.

Deadwood boasts wild living, gambling and it’s famous residents included Wild Bill and Calamity Jane. Today’s story is different – it was like a ghost town. The main strip is casino after casino and the average age of tourist is about 78. They all seem to come in big tourist groups which means the dreaded huge badge with name on it.

We learned about Bill and Jane and the gold mines and then decided Deadwood was just like it’s namesake and took the car to explore the amazing scenery. We found President’s Park ( that has a concrete head statue of each president – George W to George W. Each statue had a biography about the president and his wife so it was good to learn. I warned the kids that they had to read them all as I would be testing them before they could watch telly and the premier of Bionic Woman was on with Zoe from Eastenders (good American accent by the way). It was very interesting to a Brit and tried on the way back to name all the Kings and Queens and then Prime Ministers in reverse order. 2 minutes later we were done – looks like we have some learning to do.

Please look at and search for roupies on tour for all the photos. I think clicking on the link above may take you to them

Ophelie and I took a stroll up to the cemetery where Bill and Calamity Jane are buried. It was a beautiful setting, quiet up a steep hill and surrounded by pine trees. Again the blue rinse brigade were out in force and many were leaving little items on the gravestones – coins, playing cards, cigars all manner of things. It got me pondering: I know gambling in the casinos is v popular with this generation but I guess all the cowboys and gun slinging legends were their icons and idols. I imagine a lot of this generation were bought up on legends of the Wild West and that childhood awe bubbles up when faced with any remnant of the stories. I tried to think of a comparison – my icons/idols are more movie and music era. I’ve never bothered to go to Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris but I might be tempted to leave something there if I did. Going round the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland I was completely in awe and got far too excited over some of the exhibits, definitely a generation thing as the kids just stared at me vacantly a lot of the time.

Strangest sites today:

The Emphysema Cowboy – in the casino, about 80 with cowboy hat and portable oxygen tanks strapped to his back, pulling the handle on the slot machine like his life depended on it.

The wild turkey on the road who then decided to just saunter across in his own sweet time bringing all traffic to a halt. No danger from Bernard Matthew over here

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