Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota

September 13, 2012   (Posted 2 days afterward)

Our old hotel in Deadwood was very cold in the night. There was a frost here. Some of the leaves are turning yellow, and it just makes this fabulous scenery all the more beautiful. I am in love with South Dakota.

We did another footwalk through Deadwood before we left. I actually figure that I won about $20 in slot machines, and promptly lost it all back to them. My favorite machine is right inside the door of Kevin Costner's casino, The Midnight Star. It pays off periodically, so the people on the street will see it, I think. It gave and it took. Addictive.

We visited the #10 Saloon which claims to be, “The only museum in the world with a bar in it.” And it did. That's where we saw Bill Hickok's last hand of poker cards and lost a few quarters.

We also went to the Adams Museum which the tour book says is the attic of Deadwood. The Adams Family (not the TV one........) lived in an old Victorian house near the cemetery. Within 48 hours, Mr. Adams lost his wife, his daughter, and a newborn grandbaby. He was desolate. Eventually, he remarried, a woman 40 years younger than he. When he passed on, the new wife closed up the house, moved out of town, and never returned. She claimed that the house was haunted, and many of the belongings from the house are now in the museum.

We learned that there had been an underground, literally underground, Chinese population. They had an opium trade and some shops down there under the streets of Deadwood. Tours used to go there, but I heard that they were not very interesting.

Whenever people would ask, “Why South Dakota?” when I would tell them where I wanted to go to celebrate my retirement, I would answer, “To eat an Indian flatbread breakfast in Spearfish Canyon at Cheyenne Crossing.”

Today was the day I got my wish. I've never forgotten the breakfast in 2007 that I had there. I've tried to recreate it in my own kitchen, quite successfully, I think. Perhaps being the one of the most gorgeous places in our country helps the flavor.

Spearfish Canyon is so named due to the Indians using spears long ago to catch their fish. It has high mountains of stone and rock, tall pines, rushing creeks. Blue skies contribute to the beauty. The Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway is worth going up and back and up and back again..............

We stopped at Cheyenne Crossing at the junction of 14A and 85. There is a store and restaurant there, where now twice I have literally swooned over the Broken Arrow Ranch Breakfast. This consists of either Indian flatbread or hash browns covered with a layer of chili covered with green chilies, black olives, red onions, chopped tomatoes, two eggs cooked your way, shredded cheddar cheese over this all, and topped with sour cream. OMG. I ate the whole thing.

We traveled Spearfish Canyon as slowly as we could get away with it, and some road construction helped us to slow down. At the intersection of two roads sits the Spearfish Canyon Lodge and The Latchstring Restaurant. Randy surprised me with a gift of staying at the Lodge tonight!

First we took a mile ride into the woods to see the Roughlock Falls which were Randy's favorite thing today, I think. A yellow jacket stung my hand while I was oooing and ahhhing, but it didn't spoil my visit here.

We are in a suite with a king bed, a fireplace, sofa, and amenities beyond anything we've seen on this trip. We spent some time at the bar in the lobby, then enjoyed wine on the porch while we sat in the rocking chairs just watching the scenery.

A long hot dip in the hot tub finished our evening. Tomorrow we will stay in the lodge until checkout time, and visit the Spearfish Falls near the Latchstring Restaurant across the street, after breakfast.

Almost Heaven.

It will break my heart to drive out of Spearfish Canyon.............