Monday, February 13, 2012

Deadwood, Wall Drugs, Mother Nature, Kansas City and Home.......

Downtown Deadwood.  We Had The Town All to Ourselves
Day six of our winter adventure involved moving from our motel in Gillette, Wyoming to newer digs in Deadwood, South Dakota---a move of only a few miles, but a total upgrade in luxury. 

Aaahhhhh, yes---this was the life I envisioned for myself.....lodging at a downtown casino hotel where the grub was good and plentiful in the all-night restaurant; where scantily clad waitresses and casino workers existed only for the purpose of making moi feel appreciated.

Cindy Shot This Pic Of A Mannequin (I Think?) In The Window Of A Downtown Deadwood Hotel.  I Think It Had Formerly Been  A House Of Ill Repute In Deadwood's Glory Days
Of course, the Cinderoo and I were just about the only people there, seein' as how it was 5 degrees outside and the streets were solid ice. 

"What in the sam hill are you folks doin' here this time of year?, asked the nice lady at the registration desk.

I had my answer down pat by this time, having had to respond to that same query several times over the course of the past week.  "I always wanted to see Devil's Tower".   I always got the same look when I said those words, and I very much enjoyed getting that reaction---loosely translated, that look meant "What mental institution did you escape from?"

Deadwood is an interesting and historic town.  On a memorable evening in 1876, Wild Bill Hickok was shot dead at a poker table at Saloon # 10 in downtown Deadwood.  He was playing five card draw poker at the time, and the hand he held was aces and eights, which has since become known as "the dead man's hand".  If you play poker, you don't wanna be holdin' aces and eights.

Anyhooo, I digress.  We spent two days in Deadwood, roaming the almost deserted streets, prowling through the shops and casinos.  We don't gamble much, but we do enjoy sitting in the gaming halls and people watching.  We ate like kings at the ubiquitous buffets.  We napped.  Our only discomfort was when we ventured out into the streets because we had to contend with the ice.  It's a wonder we didn't fall down. 

Typical Snow Bank
On the morning of day number eight, we checked out of our hotel and set sail for Omaha.  Interstate 90 was clear enough, although it was still around 10 degrees and snow drifts along the roadside were ten feet.  When we got to the tiny burg of Wall, South Dakota, we stopped to visit the legendary Wall Drug Store. 

Me, Getting Ready to Explore the Legendary Wall Drug Store
Now, my friends, I do not have enough space to adequately describe Wall Drug Store.  It's one of those things you must see to believe.  The history of it is rich.  Bottom line is that it is the largest, most unique place of its kind anywhere.  It is a combination drug store, restaurant, art gallery (with hundreds of pieces of western art), chapel, knife shop, clothing store, woodworking display shop, and so much more. 

Me, Chatting With A New Wooden Friend Inside Wall Drugs
I was dumbfounded as I munched on a delicious burger from the restaurant.  And once again we were almost alone because the weather was keeping everyone but us crazy Texans (at the time) at home in front of a fire.  If you have not been to Wall Drugs, please put it on your bucket list.

Inside Wall Drugs
Back on the road to Omaha.  The weather was turning really bad.  Snow was now coming down in dense sheets.  We got to our hotel in Omaha just as darkness fell. 

We Had Several Hundred Miles Of THIS---And Remember, This is an Interstate Highway!

The next morning we were advised by hotel workers not to try to drive on the interstate.  It was still open, but the highway patrol was considering closing it because of the ice and snow.  Other travelers in the hotel lobby were canceling their planned travel in favor of staying another night in the hotel.  Not us.  I spent half an hour cleaning the snow off our trusty chariot, which was now a tried and true veteran of the most severe road wars. 

Windy, Too
We struck out southward at 9:00.  Driving about 30 miles an hour most of the way, we set our sights for Kansas City.  I figured if I could get us that far, we could make it home the following day.  The roads were barely passable because of the ice and snow.  It was pretty scary.  We stopped for gas at a little roadside station and the attendant there was so worried about us that he asked us to please call him when we got home so he could stop fretting over our fate.  Cindy did call him when we arrived alive.

We will never forget that day on the road, with the conditions so bad, with other cars and trucks scattered off the roadway for miles and miles as we slowly plodded southward.

As we neared Kansas City, the weather began to improve.  We stayed overnight there, and awoke the next day to warming weather and clear roads.  We sailed out of the wintry pall and into the sunshine.  North Texas and home lay ahead.  And the best vacation we ever had was planted in our memory forever.


  1. I have really enjoyed your winter's holiday.
    I felt as if I was there as I was reading it.
    But such cold weather????????
    Thanks for a very enjoyable trip.


  2. Hi Clint! How are you! I hope all is well by you

    you have so much snow too, as there in europa, it's a cold wawe in this time...
    the foto with fog are so artistic, I like them a lot

    ps: I leked your last post too very much, there is the mountain from Steven Spielberg film or?

    1. Hi Monika---yes, "Close Encounters of The Third Kind" was filmed around the Devil's Tower. I hope you are doing well, my friend.

  3. It sure sounds like you love adventure! I must say, it would've been fun to see the sights, but I would've been a, a lot...nervous traveling in those conditions! Glad you made it home safely!

  4. Hey Clint, really enjoyed this. My wife just got back from Oregon and said the snow was about that deep! Wanted to invite you and your followers over to my give away as well!

  5. On my bucket list is to visit the Dakotas someday. You took me on a visit there with you and Cindy with this post. Loved it!

  6. you two sure know how to take a trip!

  7. It was the trip of a lifetime. I remember us actually driving to that McDonalds with all the snow drifts. The whiteouts were worse than the photo show. Would not do it again but it was sure fUn! (I don't think I would) :~D

  8. Love your trip! On our family 7 week trip when I was younger, we went through many places. My dad and mom are fans of historical places and some very interesting. I had a blast in Wall Drug Store and remember that there were stuffed animals and back then there was also a very big bear. We also saw "Devil's Tower" with a few climbers. We have so many pictures.

    We finally had snow here in Oklahoma City last night. Have a safe trip home!

    1. Ok so I am late reading posts... forgive me for thinking you were on vacation lol. Hope you have a great day!! *goes back to packing, cleaning or whatever that is occupying my mind*

  9. WOW, thanks for the beautiful pictures (I love to see the much snow) and the very interesting story about Deadwood. Never heard of it.

    The shot of the Mannequin is crazy, no, the Mannequi "herself" is a crazy idea. I wonder how many men are making a crash by their car. :-)))

    Greetings to you an Cindy

  10. This is really interesting as I took pretty much the same trip but minus the snow. So it is really cool to see it covered in white.

  11. Yes I have been to Wall Drugs was in the summer and busy busy!!

  12. Have been catching up on your blog...very interesting and lovely to see the photos...but that snow, oh my! A/C on down here :)

  13. Wow, sounds like summer in Alberta! lol You're braver than I am, I refuse to go out on the highways in the winter time, it's the bus or let someone else drive... not I. Doesn't the blowing snow mesmerize you?

    I'd love to visit the all in one drug store, sounds like quite the place. BTW Clint, most people I know tend to travel to warm places when it's cold out, what were you thinking? lol

    I hope you and Cindy have a fantastic Valentine's Day! Cheers.

  14. I enjoyed your trip -except for the cold and snow. Brrrr. sandie

  15. Hi Clint,
    I am glad you enjoyed your trip, but I think I would die in the cold,:)me being from Arizona. I am not sure when the last time I was in snow was.

  16. Hi Clint and Cindy!

    I think you are very brave driving in that snow..
    Very nice pictures!!