Sunday 26th May, 2013
Deadwood, South Dakota to Sheridan, Wyoming
After we had breakfast today, we walked up the very steep hill to the Mt Moriah Cemetery (Boot Hill) in Deadwood. It had rained overnight but the day was fine and was quite warm as we walked. We looked at many graves including the famous ones of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane – she had asked as her last wish to be buried next to Wild Bill and her wish was granted. In the Visitor Centre we were amused to read about some of the old death records that stated the cause of death – they included one man who died after eating 14 boiled eggs; another died after being strung up by a mob; and another had the cause as “God Knows”. After viewing the cemetery, we walked back to the town down the steep hill and, after doing some final shopping, we drove to the north west out of South Dakota back into Wyoming through firstly the Black Hills then through open grassland with undulating hills. We turned off to go and visit Devil’s Tower, the first place declared to be an American National Monument (by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906). It was about 30 miles (50km) off the freeway and it was very impressive. The trees around its base are between 80 and 100 feet tall and in total it is over 800 feet high. It is essentially a lava plug where the rest of the volcano has worn away from its outside and it is very impressive from a distance. At its base near where you go into the park there is a campground and a souvenir store (both quite large) so the magic is a bit dissipated by those, but it’s still impressive. We drove on towards Sheridan with snow-capped mountains in the distance and after 4pm we arrived there amid threatening rain, so after we had checked in to our motel, we drove towards the town and had an early dinner. On the way home (only about 2km) it started to pour with rain and there was a violent thunderstorm. Shortly afterwards we arrived at our motel and were OK.