After breakfast we headed off out of town and drove down (along with loads of Harley Davidsons) the very scenic Spearfish Canyon Road. A few waterfalls and beautiful rock walls later, we drove on to Deadwood. Once in Deadwood, we discovered in the Visitor Centre that all the shows were'nt on on Mondays, so we drove up to the cemetary to view the graves of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill and decided to come back tomorrow. Now the reason for so many bikes around is that next week is the annual Sturgis Bike Rally. So we drove in to Sturgis to have a look at the town getting ready for the influx of thousands of bikes arriving for one week of fun! The stalls were being set up and there were already plenty of bikes dotted around the many bars and pubs when they weren't roaring up and down the street. It's a shame that we're here a week too early, but if we came next week, we wouldn't be able to find anywhere to stay. Leaving the hussle behind, we drove down the Vanocker Canyon Road, (which wasn't as good as this mornings but it was still very nice) and then onto Rapid City to find a campsite
. We stopped in on the Visitors Centre to get a map of the city and where all the 42 bronze statues of former Presidents were and then drove a mile out of town to Lazy J's campsite via Mcd's for a chocolate fudge sundae. Once at the site, we settled in, checked the batteries and whilst Cat very slowly surfed the net on the snail wi-fi, I had a look at the oil leak on the van to see if I could stop it going on the exhaust. A few hours later and a thunderstorm coming our way, I gave up and then sorted some photos whilst Cat cooked dinner. After dinner, we had a shower and then relaxed until it was time for bed.
Did not want to get up this morning but there is so much to do so we got up around 8am, had breakfast and left the campsite around 10am. As we were already in Rapid city, we decided to get on the trolley and stop off in the centre to do the former presidents tour. Using our guide we walked round some of the statues but found that some of them weren't where they were supposed to be. Luckily there was a shop in the middle that had all about the presidents including the route and were given an up to date map. In the end though, we could only get 41 as one of them was taken down due to works going on around it. We got back on the trolley and finished the circuit just down from the van and part of the Berlin wall
. After looking at the wall and reading the stories told, we had lunch back at the van and then headed back up to Deadwood via a scenic road and the chapel in the hills, which is made of wood and of Norwegan origin. Also on the way we checked out a campsite that used to be free, but now they are charging $19 a night, so we decided to find something else later. We arrived into Deadwood at 2.30pm in time for Calamity Janes performance at 3pm. Well we would have been, but for some reason she only did one show today and this one was substituted for a talk on gold panning. Whilst we were there, we listened to the chap and watched one of the kids pan for gold. After that excitment, we watched one of the gunfighters shows, which was very short but much better run than the one in Cody. Next was the story of how Wild Bill got shot in Saloon no.10 which was still very authentic with sawdust on the floor. We then had a quick look around the Adams Museum and then headed up to the next gunslingers show. After watching some more bad guys getting holes put in 'em, we went and had dinner in the van and then wandered back in to watch the two part final. First we saw Crooked Nosed Jack McCall (killer of Wild Bill) get arested in the street, then we marched him up to the courthouse to watch the trial. It was a strange trial to say the least, whilst we were waiting for 8pm, the gunslingers (and Jack McCall) got on their instruments and played a few songs. The story was told of the trial, which in short had a bribed jury of miners (kids), Jack getting off because of the latter, and then 2 months later retried in another state and getting hanged. The whole afternoon was a lot of fun and was told as true as it is believed to be. After that we drove I-90 back to Rapid City as we'd been told that there was a Walmart there and parked up for the night in yet another 24hr Walmart car park with plenty of others for company.