Friday, September 21, 2007
The Sturgis Biker Rally was leaving Sturgis and breaking up just as we hit Deadwood. There were signs at every hotel in Deadwood--"Bikers Drink Free". Oh, my. The only one of our party who could have passed for a biker was Paul, who took Libby's leather jacket (a gift from Uncle Pete one Christmas) with him and was proudly wearing it. I have heard that a love of all things motorcycle is something one is either born with, or not. Paul definitely has the biker gene. In Deadwood, he was in Hog Heaven. All he could say was, "Aw! Cool!" every time he saw a different bike. I have a few more years to talk him out of this... The natives of Deadwood have a love-hate relationship with the bikers. While there were welcoming signs everywhere, one shopkeeper, with all the charm of Calamity Jane, called them G--dam- bikers and said she could not wait until they were gone.
Deadwood itself is a fascinating place. We ate at Kevin Costner's restaurant, and found that our waiter was one of many, many college students from eastern Europe who have found work out west. As we don't gamble, we just ate and when we finished, we explored. Trip, who packed for himself, didn't think it might be cool in the west, so we had to pick up a Deadwood sweatshirt for him at one of the 100 or so "gift" shops in town. We even found a bit of history as we strolled down the main street. It seems that many an outlaw had found himself in Deadwood at one time. Even today, the saloon business seems to be the only game in town, until you drive off the main road.
I can't imagine what it might be like to live in Deadwood. It's sort of like a very gritty Disney park. It's sort of like a movie set. It's not the kind of place where one can imagine raising a family. Still, it was a fun place to visit!