USA Adventures of Steve & Bronni 2008 travel blog

Sturgis Motor Cycle Museum

The Red Hunter Ariel I rode as a teenager



Fine woodworking in Sturgis


Sights of Deadwood



Replica of the saloon No 10 where Wild Bill was shot







Wild Bill

Scenic Btway drive






Spearfish River where we camped overnight


Day 203 Saturday 1st November Spearfish Canyon SD pg 93 D2

One thing that we can’t say is that one day is the same as the other. Today has been another day of diversification. The first port of call was Sturgis, famous for its motorcycle festival in August each year. Apparently 4-5 hundred thousand people turn up for the event. I had a short visit to the Sturgis Motor Cycle Museum and Hall of Fame. If you were into Indian Motor cycles then this place is the ultimate. I was able to go back in time and reminisce when I was in my teens and riding motor bikes around Warburton.

The bike that took my fancy was a 1949 Ariel Red Hunter that my friend Fred Smith owned; we had a lot of fun riding it around. A fully restored one in excellent condition will fetch $7,000+. Other bikes I saw that were being ridden in Warby back then also included AJS, Matchless, BSA. I have seen a Jawa yet; if it’s not American, it’s not likely to be here.

The next port of call was Deadwood, boy what a fun town catering for tourists. Since the legalisation of gambling in the state of South Dakota, the town had been transformed into a mini Las Vegas with a Country & Western theme of the 1870’s. We (Bronni) also did a little gambling at the hotel/casino where we had an excellent buffet lunch for $7.95 each. Bronni invested $5 in a slot machine and departed with $9.15, she said she tried for over half an hour to use up here $5, but then she’d win more games, it was only a 1c machine.

One of the major events of 1876 was the slaying of James Butler (Wild Bill) Hickok at Saloon No 10 by Jack McCall. Wild Bill led a colourful life, being an army scout, Sherriff and gambler at one stage or other. The original site where he was shot is now a casino, as is Saloon No 10 which has been rebuilt and relocated. The décor in the No 10 is quit fascinating with lots of memorabilia of the time. Being such a nice day we took strolled down the main street and absorbed the atmosphere of the place.

Continuing along route 14A, Spearfish Scenic Byway was delightful, going up to about 7,000’ and then descending along a narrow canyon with a small creek running beside the road. A short detour to Roughlock Falls was well worth the effort enabling us to get some nice photos of the falls and canyon. We are told that the closing scenes from Dances with Wolves were filmed around the falls.

This canyon follows Spearfish Creek, which apparently gets its name for the angling technique used long ago by local Cheyenne Indians. We really have enjoyed the Black Hills of South Dakota, although driving east to west thru desert type of terrain to get here was long and very dry, we both agree that the these Hills are a rich reward at the end of the journey.

Tonite we are only about 10-20 feet from the Spearfish Creek and we can hear it babbling away, it certainly has a more pleasant ambiance than Uncle Wally’s car park.

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