Slowing Down

The term “slowing down” can mean many things.  It can mean running at 75 MPH even though the speed limit in South Dakota is 80. Slowing down can apply to physical reflexes and reactions. One of the good implications of the phrase indicates that the hectic pace of life seems somehow more manageable.   Today, all three of these meanings applied to me.

Driving the truck and trailer down the road at 80 MPH, while legal here, can be a little stressful.  I tried it for a while but with a 30 to 35 MPH cross wind pushing on the giant box tied to my bumper it became a challenge to use only 1 lane of I-90.  Slowing down to 75 helped the rig handle more like normal.  It also helped to lower the stress level.

Rolling out of AmericInn in Chamberlain, SD around 7:30, the goal was to get to Deadwood SD in time to stroll down main street before the shops closed.   The breakfast offering at AmericInn was not really what we wanted this morning.  A better option was to drive down the road about an hour and see what we could find.  We found the Star Restaurant in Murdo, SD.  It was pretty average and not worth telling you about.  It was nice to take a break after an hour on I-90.

After breakfast each of us drifted into our own “zone” and not much conversation was happening.  Laura was passing the time reading some of the advertising signage along the way.  She saw one that mentioned that they had a 6 ton prairie dog.  Six tons is a lot of dog, prairie or not.  We followed the directions on the signs and sure enough we found the “dog”.


The 6 ton concrete critter was not the only attraction at the Ranch Store.  They had peanuts available for purchase that could then be used to feed the inhabitants of the conveniently located prairie dog town.  We spent a while admiring the various activities of the little critters who all seemed to move a lot quicker than their 6 ton brother.  The older ones seemed to fully understand the opportunity they had for free food.  The younger ones must have been messing with their little doggie cell phones because they tended to ignore just about everything including the peanuts.


We successfully emptied 3 small bags of unsalted peanuts and moved on.  Our talented trip planner (Spencer) had picked out a spot that interested the “geeks” in the family and we were headed there next.

If you lived through the 1960’s you may remember that the cold war with Russia was at its peak.  We were taught in school to crawl under our desks which I’m sure would have really saved us.  We just knew that any minute, the Russians were going to launch missiles at us.  As a counter measure, the US built secret missile silos scattered across the Great Plains.  In each silo was a Minute Man missile.  (the missiles included some fancy batteries that were made by Delco Remy).  I found it odd that there are now tourist attraction signs pointing out the locations of these silos.  We stopped to get a glimpse at one today.  Fortunately, no one pushed the button to launch global annihilation today although the pit toilets could cause some serious damage just from the smell.


I challenge you to drive westward on I-90 and not get lured in to Wall Drug.  The signs start in Chicago and continue on until you reach Wall, SD.  It was time for another break so in we went (along with thousands of others).  There is not much new at Wall Drug so our stay was short.  I did find a t-shirt I just had to have at Badlands Harley Davidson.

To shorten the route, we bypassed Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monument on this trip.  We’ve seen them before and both look pretty much the same as on our previous visits.  Cutting out these locations put Sturgis in our sights.  I was really proud that I was able to resist another Harley t-shirt.  This town is really quiet on a Sunday afternoon 6 or 7 weeks before the rally.  We did manage to visit the Motorcycle Museum.


We quickly navigated the 13 miles to Deadwood from Sturgis.  Deadwood has turned in to another overpriced tourist trap that is living more off its reputation than actual points of interest.  I will probably skip any future visits to Deadwood.


We are in the Lodge at Deadwood which is a destination casino and conference center.  If all goes well, tomorrow night we’ll be in Sheridan, WY.  We’ve been here in the western part of the country several times.  This is the first time that Jana and I haven’t ridden our motorcycle.  We covered the distance from home to Sturgis on our bike in 3 and a half days.  We took the truck and trailer.  We have 4 drivers.  It took us 4 days to get here.  I must be slowing down.


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