Back when our friend Laura first got the role in Fiddler on the Roof I (Lindsay) joked with her about coming up to see her… well, it was partially a joke since I figured hubby would be home for both of the weekends. But then around the end of March/first of April 2008, I was talking to Stephanie on the phone and I mentioned the idea and that since hubby would be gone away by then AND that since it was my birthday weekend I was seriously thinking about doing it.
Stephanie replied ‘Dude! Rightious Idea! I want to go too!’
Lindsay: ‘Dude! Let’s go together! We could meet at the Rapid City Airport!”
Stephanie: “No Dude, You fly to Sioux Falls and I’ll pick you up and we’ll DRIVE to Deadwood!”
Lindsay: “That’s brilliant, rightious and awesome!”
What followed was each of us getting our ducks in a row; Lindsay getting plane ticket, Stephanie making sure her hubby was going to be in town; etc. Both of them emailing Dustin The Wind (Laura’s hubby) for hotel ideas, arranging for him to take her to lunch that Friday at Diamond Lil’s to find a table all ready occupied with 2 of her fellow DSW nerds. :p
For a month they each squirmed in eager anticipation of their brilliantly rightous surprise plan and finally the week arrived!
And guess what? Mother Nature decided to make it more interesting…..
Lindsay: “Dude! It’s supposed to start snowing up there Thursday night!”
Stephanie: “No probl-em-o! My car is all wheel drive and I’ll put the ‘snow box’ in the back! And we can check with Dustin from the Corn Palace and elsewhere along the way to see how bad it is there. If we get as far as Wall Drug that’s over half-way so if it’s okay that far we should be able to make it the rest of the way, if not, we can always get a hotel room and get up early the next morning for the last part of the drive and still make it in time for lunch!”
Lindsay: “Sounds Awesome! Then let’s play it by ear. Worse comes to worse we have to turn around and go to your house and we’ll just have a good visit and do some fun stuff there.”
Stephanie: “Yeah, or one night in a hotel on the road and then on to Deadwood!”
Mother Nature wasn’t the only adverse condition the two adventurer’s would face. Mechanical problems next ensued.
Phone Conversation Wednesday afternoon (4/30)
Stephanie: Hi, It’s me. I’m in a rental. I took my car in to be checked and the brakes, calipers and pads have to be replaced and it won’t be ready for a couple of days! Good news is I have the rental which I’ll leave with Marc and we can take his SUV, but it’s front wheel drive, but we should be okay.
Lindsay: Alrighty then! See you tomorrow afternoon!
And so the adventure began…………
Stephanie picked Lindsay up at the Sioux Falls Airport Thursday (5/1) and the two were quickly on their way westward on I-90.
Seventy-Two miles later they stopped at the Corn Palace to let Zoom II have some fun, take some pics, stretch their own legs and grab a Subway sandwich/wrap. Zoom tried to eat some of the corn off the palace but Stephanie prudently restrained him.
Lindsay: Dustin? Lindsay. We’ just left the Corn Palace….How’s the weather there?
Dustin: It’s bad, but not stopping anyone. You should be fine.
Lindsay: Awesome! We’ll check back when we get near Wall, SD.
about a hundred miles later…….
Lindsay: You want me to drive? I don’t mind the rain….
Stephanie: That’s snow too.
Lindsay: No way!
Stephanie: Yes way. See? It’s just melting right before it hits the windshield. See how it’s different?
Lindsay: Should we turn around and go to Jasper?
Stephanie: I think we’ll be okay, but I better drive since it’s getting on the roads and you aren’t used to driving in snow/ice.
….. about 80 miles later our two adventurers arrive at Wall Drug, famous for it’s free Ice Water (not to mention it’s world-wide weird signs…..)
(this pic taken saturday may 3 on return trip cuz it was snowing so bad on thursday that zoom wouldn’t get out of the car to pose)
While inside the store picking up a couple of souvenirs Stephanie calls Laura…
Stephanie: Hey Laura! You guys okay? I’ve been watching the weather channel and you’re getting snow! Are they still having the play?
Laura: As far as I know! We’ve got rehersal still tonight, so we’ll see what happens.
Stephanie: You still have power?
Laura: We didn’t this morning, but we do now. Thanks for checking on me!
Stephanie: No problem. We’re having tornado warnings here in Jasper!
(Stephanie, of course, already knows there was a loss of power. Dustin told her. She just wanted to know if it had come back on. And her hubby, Marc, had already told her about the tornado warnings at home so she was reasonably well0-informed about the weather where she was *supposed* to be)
and at the same time Lindsay calls Dustin for a weather update…….
Lindsay: Dustin? Lindsay…. it’s snowing pretty bad here, what’s it like there?
Dustin: It’s still bad, but you should be fine.
After filling up the SUV the two resume the rapidly deteriorating journey with one thought in mind: Getting to Deadwood!
Nearly 100 miles later they are making excellent time considering the snow and ice and sail through Rapid City and on to the exit for Deadwood. This is when it really becomes fun… it’s a two-lane highway and all up hill………….. and curvey…
this last 10 miles took nearly an hour, our valiant driver (Stephanie) battling the icy road and the continual precipitation………
Finally a successful arrival IN Deadwood, about 7:30pm mountain time, and check in at the hotel. Next bit of a pitfall is that the room is across the road from the main hotel and the parking lot is full. No problem, the guy at the front desk says to park behind the hotel (up a steep hill) next to the public library (the lot entry takes you back down an incline….), which Stephanie does. Then with the help of the front desk guy they move their stuff from the main lobby to their room across the street. An ‘okay’ room, nothing to write home about.
By this point and nearly faint with hunger (despite ‘puppy chow’ and beef jerky nibbled on in the car…) the two bundle up in coats and snow boots (which Stephanie brilliantly brought along) and make their way on foot the block or so to the Martini Bar and Restaurant above the No. 10 Saloon.
Stephanie: I’ll have the Dirty Bitch.
Lindsay: A Warm Apple Crisp for me!
The martoonies half gone and their Buffalo Burgers in front of them , they chow down. Next is the walk back, but wait! The martoonies have our adventurers feeling quite fine, so, they stop at the corner and make a cell call (they have forgotten they are in mountain time zone by this point… and even if they had remembered they wouldn’t have cared….)
Teri (who is in Eastern Time Zone): Hellllo????
Lindsay: Teri! Hi! Google South Dakota Webcams *right now* and view the ‘Deadwood’ one! *wild giggling*
Lindsay: See us? We’re waving at you!
Teri: All I see is a car.
Lindsay: Go to the other Deadwood Cam! We’re waving!
Teri: I don’t see you!
Lindsay hands phone to Stephanie and takes off up the middle of Main Street in the swirling and building snow wildly waving her arms and doing a jig…
Lindsay: Can she see me now?????
Stephanie chats with Teri, disconnects the call, recaptures Lindsay to the sidewalk and they return to their room and beds.
About 5:30am local time Lindsay gets up to go to the bathroom and hears weird ‘beeping’. Silently and what she thought was with great stealth she parted the drapes to see……..
Lindsay: HOLY SHIT!
Stephanie: What time is it?! It’s so bright!
TO BE CONTINUED……………