September 21, 2020
We woke up to a nice sunny morning with beautiful blue skies. It was sure nice after a week of smoke filled skies. After breakfast we drove down the mountain to the town of Deadwood.
We spent the day walking around town, reading the historic stories and stopping in the shops and businesses. We walked back to the van to eat lunch and then hurried back for a re-enactment of the shooting of Wild Bill Hickok in the No. 10 Saloon. It was very interesting as they act it out, according to real history.
After that re-enactment we made our way down the street to watch the shoot-out in front of the Centennial Hotel. It was all fun to watch and hear about the history of this infamous old west town.
We left Deadwood around 2:30 pm and drove to Stugis, SD. I had high expectations of seeing the site of the big motorcycle rally that ended just a couple of weeks before. However, it was a little depressing as most of the stores and shops along Main Street were either closed for the season or boarded up. We talked to one shop owner and she told us all the building fill up for about a month around the rally, then they are closed for the other 11 months of the year. We walked up and down Main Street once and then we were back in the van to continue our trip to Rapid City.
We gassed up the van in Rapid City and then drove to the south end of the city to the Fort Hayes movie set from the movie Dancing with Wolves. They had the old courthouse/office used in the movie and several other old buildings with a rope maker, tinsmith, blacksmith and panning for gold. The grounds were kind of junky and most of the displays were kind of disorganized.
We had tickets to the Chuckwagon Dinner and Country Music show. The dinner was pretty disappointing (especially compared to the meal at the Cody Cattle Company). Very little food and it was not very good. Also the process for serving and cleaning up was not very pleasing. The whole meal was not a good customer experience. However, the musicians were great and they put on a show that was fun to watch.
Since it was late and dark by the time we left Fort Hayes, we decided to drive 15 minutes and camp in the parking lot of Cabelas. This is the first time we have ever camped in a place like this, and is not our first choice. However, the parking area was on the back side of the building, away from the highway, so it was not too noisy. There were about 30 other campers spread out across the parking lot, but every one was quiet and most campers were dark by the time we parked and lifted our top for the night.