Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dead Presidents

After checking into the Iron Horse and cleaning up a bit, we headed out into the cobblestone streets to rustle us up some vittles.  We ate dinner in an old whorehouse, and ended up cashing in our chips pretty early.

The weather is still terriffic; the only time rain even threatened was the two evenings we pulled into the hotel in Wheat Ridge, CO.  Monday, (after writing the previous post) we headed into the Black Hils with a light load and a sense of adventure.  We found a neat outpost just outside town, full of old cars, Hollywood memorbilia, and collectible kitch of all kinds.  From there, we went to see the Crazy Horse monument, and spent a lot longer in the visitor's center than planned (this is one of the foundations of Klinger Time.)

As we headed down Needles Highway (amazing) and realized we wouldn't have time for the wildlife loop, we noticed the puffy clouds above were starting to get a little dark on the bottom, and they were starting to get together and circle the wagons.  Within a few minutes, the roads became wet.  Then, I got pelted in the thigh by a stray hailstone.  Things were looking pretty bleak in the direction we were headed, and sure enough at the next intersection, a park ranger in a truck leaned out to us at the stop sign, and said, "might want to head south - big hail up that way." 
Of course, "light load" meant our rainsuits were about 75 miles away.  What resulted was one of those unplanned discoveries that so often happen on the road.  The shelter we sought was 1/2 mile to the south in the form of a camp store / cafe / gift shop.  It was there, with hail pinging off the metal porch roof, that we lucked into an indescribably good peach cobbler ala mode and a cup of coffee while waiting for said hailstorm to pass.  I also got a nifty shirt.

After a bit, we took off up Iron Mountain Road for Mount Rushmore.  This was an awesome ride, wet and treacherous but with very little rain actually falling on us.  We stopped for a picture, declined another park admission fee (would have been the third of the day and it was getting late) and headed back to Deadwood.

By now, it had been mostly black everywhere, but looked to be clearing to the west as we headed northwest for Deadwood - still 50+ miles away.  Here, we did get rained on moderately, but our legs were soaked through from the tires, and we were actually cold most of the time.

We got back to town just as the sun came out to dry the streets.  Tonight, we hit the buffet at the Silverado, drank our way to Saloon No. 10, and escaped with $50 from their blackjack table.  That's good shootin', pardner.

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