Day 13: Deadwood and Devil’s Tower

Thursday morning we got up early, had coffee with our extremely kind hosts, Brenda and Kelly, and said “goodbye and see you in Denmark”, before continuing on our road trip. First stop in the wild west town of Deadwood, which really was wild back in the 1870s. We had watched a few episodes of the Deadwood TV-series before coming here which gives you a good impression of how tough and lawless this town was then. Until recently it was rather dilapidated, but after gambling was made legal here the town has been restored and revived. We visited a small museum about the town and went for a walk in the churchyard where Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane are buried.

Then we went onto the neighbouring town of Lead, which was less well restored but seemed more authentic. A quick lunch and then north through the beautiful Spearfish Canyon

and west into Wyoming to the Devil’s Tower, 1267 feet. According to the legend told by the Kiowa people, seven sisters and one brother were playing in this area when suddenly the brother started walking on all fours and grew fur and claws till he had turned into a bear. The sisters became scared and ran, but the bear had almost caught up with them when the rock rose in the air under them and saved them. The bear tried to climb the rock and left big grooves in it after its claws, which can still be seen on the rock. The sisters continued to the sky and became the Pleiades. The Devil’s Tower also played a big role in the 70s film Close Encounter. Ole went for a walk round the rock and saw one of the 5000 climbers who climb it every year. Near the rock there was a large colony of prairie dogs who were running in and out there little holes and were fun to watch.

The next stretch of road went northwest over large desolate plains with only few isolated farms , and Ole passed the time by wondering how far the children here would have to travel to school, and what it must be like to live in such an isolated location. The landscape was sometimes rather open and flat, sometimes rather hilly. Much of it was rather dry with occasional patches of green where there must be a creek or something.

Just before eight in the evening we reach Sheridan where there was a festival in the main street, the Third Thursday Street Festival. We were rather hungry by now so we quickly checked into our motel went out to find some dinner. There were lots of stalls in the street selling everything from beer and junk to the local politicians and Jesus! There was also a band playing, but as Ole said: I don’t know if it’s good but at least it’s loud!

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