One of the things I found was everyone was WONDERFUL!! All the authors, all the readers, and all the folks we met along the way. If there is something to be said about the folks out west, they are the best group of people I've ever run across in my travels! Makes me want to live out there among them!
I can tell you, three or four days is just not enough time to go everywhere and see everything in the beautiful Black Hills and Badlands. I didn't even get to the Badlands last year or this year! But, next year is a definite...even if I have to drive from Indiana to Deadwood just so I can drive through for a day!
What I did do was go for another trail ride at Andy's Trail Rides just outside of Lead, SD. If you ever get to the area, this is a must do! The horses were well trained and the guide we had was very knowledgeable, and Andy Holmes was a straight up guy who invited us all to return for a sleigh ride in the winter as well as a four-hour trail ride next time with a box lunch. Although, my lack of "buttage" or padding in my rear-end gave me a little bit of soreness for a couple days, I wouldn't have missed it for the world! And the wonderful ladies who went along with me were fantastic and interesting authors and readers.
We took a drive through Custer State Park and got to see the herds of bison/buffalo and yes, they mosey right on up to your car. Me, being ever the brave and adventurous, was determined to get out of the car and get some close-up shots on my phone which sent my traveling companion into a frenzy I think! But I made it out without getting attacked! And further down the road I got to take a selfie with a wild donkey. He wasn't so wild when bribed with a granola bar!
Of course, we went to Mount Rushmore. The monument is something every American should take the time to go see because it is a reminder of some of the greatest men in our country. It was my second visit to the monument in the two years I've gone there, only this time I drove rather than riding the bus and got to go around the side and take a wonderful photo of George Washington's profile.
Hill City was our dinner stop on the way back to Deadwood from Custer and Rushmore. Grabbing a bison burger at The Hubcap Diner and taking a walk down the main street of town doing some window shopping. And taking a photo op with one of the metal sculptures of horses.
Saturday morning was breakfast with the authors, where I met a couple more fellow authors I had not yet met and then the book signing. Where I met a bunch of new readers and was able to give away a whole bag of books from my Indiana author peeps to a lucky visitor to my table.
At the end of the day, we were off to a late lunch at Buffalo Bodega with a cold Blue Moon and live entertainment on the patio. Can't go wrong with Yancey de Veer and his side-splitting jokes between his songs. He sure is a colorful fella and I've stopped in to listen to him two years in a row!
Well, I'm going to end it here because I want to save the best for the next post...the rodeo, the acting rodeo clown, my short story for Wild Deadwood Tales, and how you can help us help the Western Sports Foundation...