Deadwood, SD Felix Wong

“The thing I don’t like about this town,” stated the lovely 40-something blonde hosting the campground in Deadwood I stayed at, “are all of the casinos.”

Deadwood, in fact, was the third place in the nation to legalize gambling (after Atlantic City and the state of Nevada). The sheer number of casinos is rather alarming. Go into a grocery store and there is bound to be a few slot machines there. Go down Main Street and in every other window you will see slot machines. There were virtually no restaurants on Main Street where when you first enter the door, you see dining tables instead of slot machines crowding the front.

That said, this historic town has a lot of charm. First of all, it is located in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, and the scenic Mickelson Trail (where I would run a marathon) runs right through it. It is only about 14 miles from Sturgis, the motorcycle capital of the world. There are no chain stores here, not even a McDonalds.

While I consider that a plus, there are some minuses aside from the rampant gambling. For example, the night before the marathon I was thinking it would be nice to see a movie in this small town, and asked a parking attendant if he knew of a theatre nearby. He just shook his head, laughed, and said, “no, you’d have to go to Spearfish [17 miles away] to find one.” Ah, well.

Then again, one doesn’t come to Deadwood to watch a movie—you can do that in any anonymous town. Instead, you come here to gamble! Or run marathons. In any case, I am glad this beautiful town is only about a five hour drive north from my hometown of Fort Collins, CO.

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Deadwood, SD is only about 5-6 hours north of Fort Collins, CO.  It became the third place in the U.S. to legalize gambling (after Atlantic City and the state of Nevada). Situated in the Black Hills of South Dakota, it is in a really beautiful location.Approaching Main Street in Deadwood.Main Street.On Main Street there are casinos everywhere.  Even virtually all of the restaurants have slot machines.At least there was this "Happy Days" store.This looked interesting -- a car and motorcycle museum.  However, when I looked through the door all I saw were slot machines.Going back to Deadwood from Sturgis was a beautiful drive.I camped out by a creek at the Days of 76 Campground.  It made for a good night's sleep.The sky just after 5:00am featured amazing cloud formations.  What a beautiful area! (June 4, 2006)

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