We're taking a year off to travel! travel blog


Open pit, Homestake Mine

We drove to Deadwood today, something that Don specifically wanted to do on this trip. We took I-90, after a stop at Sams Club for fuel, through Sturgis, then south to Deadwood. From Sturgis to Deadwood, the road was curvy and we gained nearly 1000 feet in elevation. It looked like a really fun road for a motorcycle. In fact, it seems almost obligatory to have a Harley in this part of the country!

Deadwood is larger than Cripple Creek, and with considerably fewer casinos, but otherwise like your typical old mining town. We enjoyed just walking the streets, admiring the old buildings. We particularly enjoyed Old # 10, Wild Bill bar, this being where Wild Bill Hickok was shot. The bar back was just beautiful. Of course we had to have a drink. I especially like wine at 11 in the morning! And get a pic of Don with the floozies.

One place we went into had a really nice, large and detailed model railroad set up. We put money in to make it run. Kinda felt like a couple of kids watching the miniature trains. Even had tiny oil wells pumping.

We had ice cream for lunch, then drove over to Lead (pronounced leed), the next town over, to look at the Homestake Mine. There was a large visitor center which explained the history of the mine and the current uses. Until it closed in 2002, it was the largest and deepest gold mine in North America. The mine is famous in scientific circles for being the site at which the solar neutrino problem was first discovered. In 2007 the mine was selected by the National Science Foundation as the location for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering laboratory. There were pictures explaining the establishment of an underground laboratory shielded by lead bricks. For further shielding they are growing copper on the inside of these walls. They predict about ¼ inch growth in about 14 months. There was a lot of scientific stuff I didn’t understand, but it looked really interesting the way it was presented.

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