Home' Destinations : Destinations 25Aug2011 Contents THE HERALD
gather round he tells the long history
of Hickok -- his many travels, the
building of his legend, how he came
to be in Deadwood at that particular
time, the truth about his relationship
with Calamity Jane. A handful of
audience members are chosen to
participate in the famous card game
and are kitted up in appropriate gear.
As noted by this sharp-eyed journalist
at the beginning of the story, Jack McCall
has been lurking elsewhere in the saloon the
whole time. At one point there's a confrontation
when Hickok tells McCall to get the hell out of the bar. But
later, unbeknownst to Hickok, McCall makes his way back in
and carries out that woeful deed. And then hightails it outta
History tells us that McCall escaped the murder scene.
He was caught and acquitted of the crime. But he was
called to account later in the Dakota Territory which had a
legal system (Deadwood was an illegal settlement in Indian
country) and became the first man executed in the territory.
There's much fun to be had in this city year-round. The 80-
plus gaming halls have a genuine western feel and the hired
hands are country-friendly.
Mount Moriah cemetery, which overlooks the town from
a ridge to the south, is a fair climb by foot, but bus tours
go there. Hickok and Calamity Jane's headstones are the
main attraction, but Seth Bullock (Deadwood's first sheriff
and another real-life character in TV's Deadwood) is buried
there, too. The walkways in the cemetery are steep, but it's
an authentic attraction with maps and explanatory material -
well worth the trek.
Deadwood is only an hour's drive north of Rapid City, the
main regional centre which has easy flight connections to
Denver, Salt Lake, Los Angeles, Chicago and Minneapolis.
Besides gambling, found only in Deadwood in the Black
Hills, there's plenty of outdoor recreation with trails, lakes,
horseback riding, gold panning and tourist attractions galore.
In the winter there's two respectable ski
resorts (Terry Peak and Deer Mountain) and
hundreds of kilometres of snowmobile trails
close to Deadwood.
Every August is the Sturgis Rally, only 20 minutes from
Deadwood, known as the world's biggest gathering of Harley
About 20 minutes east of Sturgis is Bear Butte, a sacred
Indian site with a tremendous view of the Black Hills. Pencil in
a day for this trip and don't forget, you're on the high prairie
and tire more easily at this altitude.
Drive another hour north and you can visit Devils Tower,
made famous in the movie Close Encounters of the Third
Kind. It's just as impressive up close.
Drive one hour south of Deadwood and you will be able
to visit Mount Rushmore, the legendary granite mountain
carving of four American presidents that will bring a swell of
pride to your heart even if you're not American.
OLD WEST: From left, the interior
of Old Style Saloon No 10, Mount
Rushmore, decorations inside the
saloon including the chair Wild Bill
was sitting on, Wild Bill Hickok,
top, and, bottom, Deadwood in
winter and Devils Tower.
IF YOU GO
Flights from Sydney go to Los Angeles, where flights
are available to Rapid City, only one hour's drive to
More information -- www.saloon10.com; deadwood.
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