Eating Out Cowboy Style

Trip Start May 17, 2010
Trip End Oct 10, 2010

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Where I stayed
July 29th - on the shores of Orman Reservoir
July 30th to August 1st - Dawn & Wilbur's house in Belle Fourche

Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Sunday, August 1, 2010

As we were hungrily eying the huge pot of simmering buffalo, the family sitting around the wagon and cooking fire were dubiously eying us. Finally a man who had a ten gallon hat on his head, a loaded revolver on his hip and big spurs on his big boots approached us. "who 're you?" he spat out.

We were in Belle Fourche, a tiny town north of the Black Hills where everybody knows everybody and foreigners aren't too common. We were waiting for the chuck wagon supper, an old fashioned (and incredibly tasty) cookout consisting of buffalo meat, corn bread and delicious peach cobbler.

Once Wilbur sized us up and decided we were worth his time, he introduced us to the rest of the family, handed us each a beer and showed us around the small museum which featured most of his family. By the end of the night they must have decided we weren't too bad (or maybe they felt sorry for us), because Wilbur and his wife took us home and looked after us for three days. We were amazed when we walked into their house to see a full size chuck wagon in the kitchen. We also could not believe that we had met yet another incredibly kind and hospitable family, and really started to believe that the Midwest is truly populated by the friendliest people in America.

Besides ensuring that we were extremely well-fed, Wilbur and Dawn took us on a couple of wonderful adventures. Two of Dawn's beautiful black mares pulled us in the Deadwood rodeo parade in a 120 year old buggy. The next day Wilbur took us to Wyoming to see Devil's Tower and the Vore Buffalo Jump, a giant slaughter pit into which the Indians drove herds of buffalo some 1200 years ago. I think the photos can explain the two better than I can.

When we left Dawn & Wilbur's, we had been in South Dakota for eight days (and were still only in the very western part of the state). Not quite the two days we thought it would take us to see Mount Rushmore and get across the state. But I guess that's just what happens when you unexpectedly make new friends. Days become weeks or even months and before you know it, you're running out of time to get through the big list of things you wanted to see and do. But I have definitely learned that the list isn't important, and it doesn't matter how much you get to see and do. What is far more important is the new friends you make along the way and the wonderful experiences you can share with them.

P.S I realized that I forgot to put up the photos of the Black hills that should have gone with my last entry, so I'm including them this time.

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Aunt Jan on

What a neat experience. The pictures are awesome too. Thanks for sharing.

Dawn Newland on

Hey my dear friend it is so good to read of your wanderings...we truely miss you two and think that our paths crossing was a devine event and went by much to quickly...this will always be your home away from home. Love your photos and writings, thanks for sharing. WE MISS you...

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