As we head north we will not only be seeing areas of scenic beauty, but also one of the most historical areas of the American “Old West.” Famous names from history, both Cowboys and Indians, will come to life during your journey. When we approach Deadwood our first stop will be at Tatanka, the story of the Bison, an attraction built by Kevin Costner.
Tatanka is a tribute to the Lakota Indian and the Buffalo. You will see Indian Braves on horseback watching from the nearby hills, hear stories from the grandson of a Lakota War Chief who fought at the “Battle of Little Big Horn.” You will see the centerpiece of Tatanka: “Story of the Bison” is a larger-than-life (125% of life size) bronze sculpture featuring 14 bison being pursued by three Native American riders.
From Tatanka we will proceed to Deadwood where we will join “Alkali Ike” and his Deadwood tour bus. You will see historical areas of the town including Mt. Moriah (boot hill) where such infamous characters as “Wild Bill Hickok” and “Calamity” Jane are interred.
After lunch in Deadwood’s Historic Franklin Hotel we will continuing on to the Homestake Mine’s open pit in Lead. From there we will proceed into Spearfish Canyon which has been designated as one of the ten most scenic drives in the United States. Along the way we will stop at Roughlock Falls and then visit the site used for the Indian encampment in the movie “Dances with Wolves.”
As we leave Spearfish Canyon we will be heading back to Rapid City. On the way we want to stop at Bear Butte a monolith sticking up from the plains. We will see if you can guess how it got it’s name. Bear Butte is a very sacred place to the Lakota Indian. Before his battles, Chief Crazy Horse spent time here for guidance from the spirits. We will view relics from the past at the visitor center and may get a chance to see a small herd of buffalo.
Finally we will cut cross country on gravel roads and pass by an old cavalry cemetery dating back to the mid 1800’s. This cemetery has been designated a national historic site commemorating the American soldiers and their families who died in those bygone days.