Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 5 Deadwood

Ever since I accidentally shut the door on Dalton’s finger he will show me his finger & say “hinger goken” (broken) then shows me his finger so I can kiss it. C’mon little man I feel bad enough, you don’t have to keep reminding me.

Today we were bound for the historic town of Deadwood, but first drove thru downtown Sturgis. There were lots of bars & the town was bigger than I thought it would be, but that about sums it up. I took a photo of the main drag so we can say we have officially been to Sturgis….just not during the big rally. So that was that & we headed on to Deadwood via more twisty roads…ugh another head ache, but first the town of Lead.

Hubby has been on his “pasties” kick & has been talking about them for about a week now. He found a place that made them in the town of Lead. It’s an old mining town & the gigantic hole in the ground where they mined was amazing. The mines under the big hole went done another 8,000 miles which was crazy because that hole alone was waaaayyyy down into the ground. I was afraid the town would sink into that hole because it was so big. There wasn’t much else going on for this town so they have tried to build up tourism & it seems to be working for them. The town was pretty much built around this hole & you could tell where the old houses were because the roads were ridiculous to say the least. We got lost on these one way roads looking for those dang pasties. The road was very skinny & the houses were built on the side of this mountain. It almost seemed like they were built into the mountain & the houses were very small. Hubby said that the roads probably began as the walking trails these guys would go from their house to the mine & it made sense when you looked at how everything was placed. Well the darn gps had us all turned around, but he finally found the store & what do you know? It was closed & the business sold to a gas station the next town over (population 137). It didn’t take long to get there so he jumped out & got the last 5 pasties they had. Good, now I can stop hearing him talk about these darn things. While we were there we went next door to this little pizza joint. It was like a gem found in a mine. All they had was thin crust, the prices were good & the pizza was great. I ate until I was beyond full, but it was so good. Seems like the best places to eat are those little hole in the walls. I’m sure on the weekends the whole town comes to eat there.

The next town over was Deadwood & as we drove down the main street looking for a parking spot I saw a couple guys dressed up in the old western gear walking in the street & as we passed them I saw behind me a gun go up in the air & BANG! They were about to do an old fashioned “draw” in the middle of the street. Maaaaan we missed it. Bummer! Oh well we toured the rest of the main areas & saw where Buffalo Bill was shot at Bar No.10. Since we had already eaten there wasn’t much else to do. I didn’t find any must have souvenirs so we went to the old train depot to get information. I enjoyed reading the history of the town & seeing the old photos. I was never a history buff, especially in school when we had to study history, but now that I’m older I appreciate it more & I’m really wanting to get my nose into some good history books about the old wild west & the prairie living. I’d like to hear it from the women’s point of view & how they survived it.

I spoke to the volunteer there & she gave me directions on where the cemetery was. I asked her if she had lived in Deadwood her whole life, but she said “no only 61 years”. Then she gave me her life story & it was a good one. I was so glad I had asked her about it. She was born in Transylvania then forced to flee to Austria due to WWII. Their family lost their farm, home & everything. They lived in Austria for 8 years & all hope was lost of returning to their home so they got word of a Lutheran church sponsoring families to the U.S. They wanted to go to Ohio to farm like they did in their home country, but the customs lady gathering the information didn’t speak good German & her family got mixed up with their friend’s family & they wound up in Deadwood where her dad got a job in a factory & their friends went to Ohio to work on a farm. The church asked them to stay for a year to see how they liked it then if they still wanted to go to Ohio then they would work it out, but this little old lady said the people in Deadwood were so nice to her family that her dad decided they would stay. She was 16 when she arrived in Deadwood. She still had that Austrian accent & said even after 61 years I can’t get rid of it, but I told her it was nice & I was glad she was there & everything worked out. So listen up people, take the time to talk to someone when given the opportunity because you never know what their story is & how great it could be.

So off to the cemetery we went & again this town was built around the main drag (gulch) & the homes went up onto the side of the mountain & the roads were very steep. Not sure how they maneuver in the winter when the roads are iced over. We saw where Buffalo Bill & Calamity Jane were buried as well as the first sheriff of Deadwood, Seth Bullock. Sheriff Bullock was buried waaaayyyy at the top of the hill & boy it was a steep walk up there. I was not wearing the right shoes & I was also carrying Emry in her Ergo carrier. I was huffing & puffing & holding Dalton’s hand leading him up the steep road (he was on a rock hunting trip so I had to hold his hand or else he would have stopped every 2 feet to pick up rocks). To make it even harder of a walk was hot humid weather. Not sure why they decided to bury him all the way up there, but there were lots of trees & the view was nice so maybe that was the reasoning behind it. There were different sections in this cemetery (Jewish families, Chinese families, & the area for those who were never identified for whatever reason). It was sad to see so many young people buried there. One family broke my heart because the mother & father had to bury all 5 of their children (2 within the same year). The mother outlived them all. We headed out, but didn’t make it to the suv without an injury. Annika & Dalton wanted to walk on the raised curb (like a balance beam in gymnastics) well Annika slipped off & scraped her knee. I told them they could fall, but what do I know I’m just the mom. So I had to wear the doctor hat & clean her up. That concluded our visit to Deadwood. I really wanted to sit & just hang out at one of the outdoor café’s to people watch & listen to music, but hubby gave me that look & said “yeah right they couldn’t even sit for 5 minutes to watch the rodeo”. I guess he was right so we headed back to camp. Guess in 10 years we can sit & chill at a café & not have them bouncing off the walls (or so I hope).

I was so tired from the heat sucking the life out of me & hiking up that hill, but Emry wasn’t sleeping so I didn’t get a nap. Annika was hungry so I forgot about the nap & got up. My head was still hurting from the twisty roads, but I also hadn’t had a lot of water to drink so I chugged some water to see if that would help any. I heated up the chicken n dumplings I made & Emry loved it. I thought she would hyperventilate the way she was breathing so hard because I wasn’t spooning the broth to her fast enough. Annika didn’t like it 2 days ago & said it was gross & yucky, but she liked it today. Weirdo.
Dalton took a long nap (lucky duck) so Kurt & Annika went to hot tub. While they were in there we had a big rain storm come thru, but I’m sure she enjoyed her daddy time. I was glad for that indoor hot tub because when they came back it was my turn. Hubby made his pasties & cinnamon rolls (yummo) then I headed off for some relaxing ALONE…woohoo! The rain had stopped & there was a sprinkle every now, but it didn’t matter because I needed that hot tub. By the time I came back all the kids were awake & Emry was crying. Well the peace & quiet was nice while it lasted, but back to real life. Poor Emry just wanted her mommy, but once I got out of the shower she was asleep. Maybe just seeing me was enough reassurance for her to go to bed. Hey works for me.

Tomorrow is our last day in Sturgis then we leave the good state of South Dakota then head into Wyoming.

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