Monday, August 25, 2008

Black Hills to Sundance

On our way out of the Black Hills of South Dakota, we made a stop in Deadwood. They were having an antique car show so the town was a zoo, but we managed to find a place to park the RV within walking distance of downtown. We just hoped nobody parked us in before we returned.

There were a lot of interesting buildings in addition to old cars and people. (sorry about shooting into the sun)

We heard the Mt. Moriah Cemetery (established in 1877 and also known as Boot Hill) was only five blocks away so we thought we'd walk to it. Well, it was straight uphill! Quite a workout on a hot day. Wild Bill Hickok is buried there, right next to Calamity Jane. Calamity Jane's last request was to be buried beside Wild Bill.

Out of the 3600 or so graves, only about a third are marked. I found that sad - all those people whose loved ones never knew what happened to them or, worse yet, who had nobody to care what happened to them.

There is quite a view of the town from the cemetery.

And we noticed this cute guy on the way down. Somebody was clever and carved one limb of a standing tree. I'm not too sure about the color of the house though.

Leaving the RV parked, we zipped over to Spearfish Canyon. Our friend Sally had said how beautiful it is, so I had to see it. She was right. There are lots of impressive canyon walls. . .

And we did a short hike to Roughlock Falls which took us by this lovely meadow.

When we arrived back at the RV, Ron was able to wiggle it out and we moved to Spearfish (Walmart) for the night. We haven't done that in awhile and I forgot how noisy it is. I would say that you get what you pay for, but since we also shopped, it was pretty expensive.

The next day we continued west and arrived in Wyoming. Soon after crossing the state line, we saw a sign for Vore Buffalo Jump. Being the curious sort, we followed the signs. It was pretty interesting. Between 1500 and 1800, the ancestors of Plains Indian tribes killed and butchered as many as 20,000 bison by driving them into this large sinkhole. (That's Ron down there with all that red dirt.)

Scouts took days to carefully herd the scattered bison into a large group near the jump site. Other tribe members were positioned along 'drive lines' to funnel the herd toward the 'jump.' When all was in place, the bison were stampeded over the jump. This impressive diorama was in the free museum in Sundance.

I guess this is the brave with the lowest seniority.

There is excavation work being done at the site. They've found thick layers of butchered bone extending to 20 feet below the current ground surface in the bottom of the sinkhole! The excavated hole was covered and locked when we visited, but this poster shows the layers of bones inside the hole. Amazing!

On we went to Sundance, Wyoming - where the Sundance Kid got his name. In 1887, Harry Longabough spent time in the Sundance jail when he stole a horse from a local ranch. This was his first real brush with the law and from this event, he acquired his outlaw name. Here I am with the famous Kid - I don't think he looks much like Robert Redford, though.

I just liked this sculpture. Maybe this is the Sundance Kid in later years.

This jail was built in 1913 and seems a little small even for then. But the kicker is that it was used until 1964!


  1. Beautiful pictures, as always. I agree about Walmart. The same thing happened to me last night. Lots of trucks all over the parking lot. But I guess you do get what you pay for....

  2. Great pictures of your last days in South Dakota.

    I'll be staying in a Wal-Mart lot later hsi week. Maybe I'll find a quiet one. hahahahaha!!