Observant is getting veerrrry tired of smoking her cigarettes while leaning against the side of a building (our hotel) and will be glad to have my porch back with its comfortable bench and some shade. The fire hazard here is Very High, according to Smokey the Bear, so people are giving me suspicious looks – looks not unlike those saved for potential terrorists and child molesters. Yes, I should quit and I will (again), but not now. Just wait until I get to Ken’s family reunion, because honey, me and my cigarettes and my booze will mark me permanently as “that wild person Ken’s living in sin with.” (Did you see? She was smoking. AND drinking liquor. And I could swear she doesn’t bow her head during prayer time). If they only knew.
Today we drove up to the town of Lead and toured the gold mine that is no longer in operation. It was pretty interesting. I like big giant machinery anyway so that was way cool. Here’s a picture of Ken, being very miner-like. The tour guide remarked that the town of Lead receives 200-300 inches of snow per year. We’ve been somewhat skeptical about that information all day (That’s a lot of snow. It can’t possibly snow that much, could it?), and an internet check puts it at about 150 inches per year. Still, that’s a lot of snow to us Midwesterners, but it’s probably just a drop in the bucket for Poseidon.
Miner Ken makes a surprise inspection
Next, we drove over to Deadwood for lunch. Eh, not so much. A very busy, crowded town full of casinos. As I remarked to Ken, the people in casinos kind of freak me out. So many of them look like soul-sucked zombies, numbly pushing buttons and hoping for the big win that rarely comes. Being a natural miser, I don’t frequent casinos. You’re not going to pry one thin dime out of my death grip unless I know for sure I’m getting something out of it. It’s just the way I am.
Next, we drove up through Spearfish canyon, which was beautiful. I love the way the mountains have that warm resin-y smell of pine. Once we got to Spearfish, we toured the Historic Fish Hatchery, which won my Weirdest Place of the Day award. Admittedly, I’ve never given much though to fish. Unlike most people, I don’t eat fish. Maybe it’s because I’m a Taurus and an earth sign but fish just doesn’t taste right to me. Anyway, I don’t think about fish, so it really was a surprise to know that fish hatcheries are such a big deal. We saw lots of trout, as well as something called the Fish Culture Hall of Fame which led, naturally, to the question: Who is the most cultured fish? I say Charlie the Tuna. Ken said Nemo. We’re still debating that one.
Tomorrow we leave this little oasis in the Black Hills and travel to Devil’s Tower where we will likely encounter alien life forms.