I’ve lived and worked in Deadwood for many, many years and I always say the same thing this time of year. “What happened to Summer?” One thing about living in the Black Hills is that you pack absolutely everything you possibly can into the Summer months. I mean EVERYTHING. If it’s outside, and the day is nice you HAVE to do it. You have no choice. Summer is too short in the Black Hills so you are required by some cosmic law to do anything you’re invited to as long as it’s outside and the day is nice.

Horseshoes? I’ve never tried it, but it’s nice outside, let’s give it a try. Fishing? You bet. Riding the Mickelson Trail. Absolutely. Thank God something like surgery isn’t a hobby you can do outside because believe me people would be lining up to give it a try if the weather is nice.
So I’ll quit whining about doing all of the great things Deadwood and the Black Hills have to offer and since I haven’t blogged in a while, I’d like to chat about the Summer I’ve had in historic Deadwood.

The last time we chatted the Days of ’76 was just finishing up and the annual Sturgis Bike Rally was right around the corner. I know I’ve talked before about how much I love that event and even though the numbers were down a bit, it was still a blast. It still baffles me how you can pack a half million people into an area with way less than half that in population and not have more problems. Of all the events, bikers continue to prove that they are some of the nicest people (and best tippers, just ask the front line employees) anywhere.

During the rally I was fortunate enough to be included in the second annual Legend’s Ride that rose over $30,000 for children’s charities. The event ended at the Legendary Buffalo Chip with a concert by Sugarland and ZZ Top. Rod Woodruff and the gang at Buffalo Chip always throw the best party anywhere and this was no exception. I even got to scream “Sharp Dressed Man” next to a topless woman during the ZZ Top show. Seriously people, where else could you do that but at Buffalo Chip.

Just a week after the Sturgis Rally we had three different wagon trains meet on Deadwood’s Main Street. These folks drove covered wagons hundreds of miles from Ft. Pierre, SD, Cheyenne, WY and Sydney, NE following the same route settlers rode over a hundred years ago. I have to say it was very cool seeing all of those wagons and horses meet on Main Street…..although when they cleared off it took the street sweeper four trips to clean up all the crap.

Kool Deadwood Nites was one week after the Trail Ride. What a terrific event that was again this year. We had over 500 cars registered and two nights of unbelievable concerts. Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermit’s really stole the show on Friday and Saturday rocked with the Bay City Rollers. That event really wipes us out as a staff but it really is worth it when you see 15,000 people packed on Main Street singing along to the oldies.

And just two weeks after Kool Deadwood Nites we welcomed the 18th annual Deadwood Jam. The weather couldn’t have been worse for an outdoor concert but the folks who braved the weather were treated to some of the most eclectic music anywhere. The Wallflowers rocked the place, but I expected that. Each year there’s a band that I’ve never heard of that really steals the show and in my opinion this year it was Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. Hillbilly country, rock couldn’t be more fun than these three excellent musicians. I danced so much I was actually sore in the morning. God I’m old. Seriously, when you’re sore from dancing you need to exercise a lot more.

So that was a short synopsis of my Summer in Deadwood. I may whine about being exhausted but where else can you sing “Sharp Dressed Man” next to a topless woman, watch Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers, Herman’s Hermits and the Bay City Rollers and still see pounds of horse crap being washed down Main Street. Only in Deadwood.

Until next time. Keep your boots clean.
George