Tooleing Around: Day 11

* couldn’t get my PC to connect so the post today was all done from iPhone. Lots of typos Im sure I could not get photos from the camera… oh well.

Since I’d missed a couple of locations I wanted to see in Rapid City, I went back to Pure Bean for brekkie.

Grey sheets and towels you could use to smooth wood, more rules than the NFL, but I slept like an infant in the Holy Smoke Cabin in the Woods.


Visited The historic Hotel Alex Johnson , opened in 1928. It has long been known as one of the most haunted hotels in South Dakota. From the “lady in white” to the ghost of Alex Johnson himself.


Stopped in at the store there. Jennifer, the proprietor of five years, told me that I had to see Badlands, that it would be a religious experience. The store is fascinating, full of curios. I bought another book. Jennifer explained that from a business standpoint Prime Tourist season is Memorial to the thundering Buffalo Roundup the end of September.

Jennifer, of Scandinavian descent showed me the wooden chest her grandmother had packed to travel to this country, semi hidden under a display table.

She also showed me the intricate Murder of Crows tattoo on her forearm, she claimed it was her gift to herself for her mid life crises. Felt it was cheaper and safer than some of her other options.

Art alley was right beside the Hotel, a lane where local artists can spay the walls with their works, with a permit.

The dork in me was drawn across the road to The Storyteller comic store. I still have a soft spot for graphic novels. Jordon, the exhuberent manager, a little longer in the tooth than the usual comic store manager, pointed me to the section and I bought something called Nailbiter. I mentioned that I live near Forbidden Planet and Jordon jealously commented , “oh you play with the big boys”. The Storyteller looked like Clarence’s workplace in True Romance .

Terrible song today, that we all secretly like and know the words to Africa – by that most African of bands, Toto.

Thirty miles outside Rapid City I noticed a yellow envelope on my windscreen. My first parking ticket ever. I checked te space and I was only an hour. WT….


Got to use my National Parks Pass for the first time , which I’d purchased last minute on the advice of s well traveled friend.

Badlands have a barren magnificence, one the most beautiful places I’ve seen . The 22 mile drive around the park has been a highlight of the trip so far.

Where not a complete religious experience,I did see a rock that looked like Mother Teresa.

Met Kelley, and Ben the dog, out of Minneapolis , on a Badlands ridge. She recommended I see Buffalo , Wyoming.

Kelley, left her job, bought a van,took a 10 week stint on the road two years ago and has freelanced since in Project Management. She loves seeing this country and wants to hit the road again soon. She’s thinking of getting another van.

Kelley advised I see State Forests a lot, but that the State Parks can get a bit over populated. Observed that myself at Grand Canyon, the Atlantic City of National Parks.

Now, for those of you that have never seen the Terrence Malick masterpiece Badlands, you really should.

I grew up on cowboy movies. Weekends at The Town Hall, Galway there was often a double-bill matinee of a Bond movie feature and a spaghetti western opener.

I couldn’t tell you how often I saw the Eastwood , Man With No Name Trilogy. Shane; The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance; Tomstone; My Darling Valentine; Rio Bravo; The Magnificent Seven; I love them all . Deadwood is one of the greatest series ever made; Lonesome Dove my favorite book and excellent mini series; Godless this year, great; For a Few Dollars More, the best Western ever, the watch chimes give me goosebumps every time.

All this is my, not long winded because I love cowboy films, way of saying I’m psyched to be in Deadwood. Go Bullock !

Checked in at the Hilton , hit the gym, showered then took a walk down Main Street Deadwood . Quickly  learned, its a 24 hour Casino town and lots of people smoke here. I happened on the Deadwood Friday night free outdoor concert event, some country rock band. Lots of people were feeling no pain there at all. I asked 6 different attendees, 3 ushers and the officer in charge at the entrance, the name of the band. No one knew.

If I learned anything in life it’s that every town has a Chinese restaurant and Irish bar. Paddy O Neil’s, a Chinese Restaurant , was still serving food at 10PM.

Took a quick sweep around the Casino back at the hotel. Nothing quite as grim as slot machine jockeys.


Todays Tally:

hotel: $124

gas: $23

dinner: $8.37

2 thoughts on “Tooleing Around: Day 11

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