Sunday, 28 July 2013

Wild West Road Trip - Day 5 & 6

Day 5 - Keystone, Rapid City and Deadwood - 17th July

We were up very early as we had a steam train ride to be on at 8.45am, I love steam trains so wherever we go, if there is a steam train to go on I'm there, so when I saw the 1800 Train advertised in Keystone, I made Mr C go and book it there and then.

Our round trip took 2 hours 15 mins through the scenic Black Hills of South Dakota, we wound our way through the lovely countryside and hills between Keystone and Hill City...and back again. As well as the beautiful countryside, we also saw lots of wildflowers and deers too. 

The Black Hills are a special place, many cultures over the centuries have come to value the region for not only its visible wonders, natural resources, but also for characteristics nearly spiritual in nature. Time has not changed this admiration for the Black Hills.

1800 Train arriving into Keystone 
All Aboard The Choo Choo Train

After our lovely train ride, we found a cowboy girl hat for Ruby to complete her cowboy girl outfit, for some reason Tilly didn't want one, no big deal, so we headed back into Rapid City to check out a Dinosaur Park for Tilly, so armed with our lunch we headed up, to be greeted by an amazing view over Rapid City and a cute free dinosaur park, consisting of only 4 rather huge Dinosaurs, the kids had fun looking at them and playing on them.

Tilly loves dinosaurs so she was pleased when we told her she could choose a little something from the shop there, and she picked a little packet of small dinosaurs in a carry case - it didn't take her long to start playing with these in the car, whilst we then made our way to Deadwood for the afternoon.

Mr C wanted to visit Deadwood, as he's been really getting into the history around the Wild West etc plus he's been watching the TV series here called Deadwood. We had a lovely walk around the town, and saw where Wild Bill Hickok was shot and killed, it was interesting, the town is saturated in history and looks a lot different now to when it did back then at the height of it's popularity, now it is full of saloons and casinos with the odd gift shop and ice cream parlour - it was an afternoon well spent.

Deadwood High Street

All in all we'd had another great day out followed by a swim in the pool and a pizza dinner.

Day 6 - Rapid City, SD - Cody, Wyoming - 18th July

We had a long drive ahead of us today, about 382 miles in total, so after breakfast we hit the road, and it wasn't long before we left South Dakota behind and we were in Wyoming on our way to Cody our next stop for 2 nights.

As we entered Wyoming we stopped at their Tourist Information/Rest Area and it was the best Visitors Centre we had been in throughout our whole trip, it was utterly wonderful and interactive too, so we picked up lots of brochures for Cody and Yellowstone Park and then found out we could take a scenic route to Cody via Devils Tower so we did.

Entering Wyoming our 3rd State
The Spectacular Devils Tower

It didn't take long to get to Devils Tower and it was well worth the detour and going off the beaten track to see it - that's the great thing about road trips, you can detour off as and when you like. We stopped for lunch in Gillette - (the best a man can get ha ha) nothing fancy, just a stop at a supermarket for homemade sandwiches, back on the road our next stop was this lovely little town called Buffalo it was so quaint, we made this our ice cream stop and we had the most delicious ice cream there.

The next bit of our journey to Cody was absolutely beautiful, it was stunning the vastness of the Bighorn National Park was out of this world, no photo would have done it justice, but I wish I had taken more photos, not one really showed the beauty or vastness of the place, but it will be forever implanted in my mind.

It was such a lovely drive and it was wasn't long before we got to Cody where our hotel was just lovely. Cody is a lovely Cowboy town, we ate out at a full on steakhouse, I had a great fillet (the smallest steak on the menu at 10oz which was still too big and Mr C had the buffalo steak, 16 ozs of pure buffalo, I had a taste and it was lovely, I would have loved a buffalo steak too but there was no way I could eat that much meat. it was a great meal in Cowboy town.

Horse Rides, Chuckwagon dinner & show and a Wild West Rodeo to come.

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