Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cowboy Town

Today's post is a bit different from my typical post, but I have to post it anyway, so bear with me.

A week ago, Mr. Yarnworks was able to come home on a 4 day pass. (Today finds him safely in Afghanistan.) We decided to make the most of our long weekend together and try to make some memories for the kids. One thing we've been meaning to do, is visit the Cowboy Town just a couple miles from where we live. We pass it nearly daily as we drive into Sioux Falls, and have heard and read some tales about it. We knew going in that we were doing it purely for the sake of comedy. (We do a lot for the sake of comedy in the Yarnworks house!)

You see, when we first moved to our little town, we were intrigued by the large billboards that line the road. They advertise a live buffalo heard (not really uncommon here), over 50 buffalo products, and this historical old west cowboy town. The "Gold Mine" sign within the town can also be seen from the interstate.

So we went to our most knowledgeable friend...Google. And we found this RoadSideAmerica article. It's an interesting read and there are more pictures there. Go on, I'll wait.

So we finally found our chance to go blow nearly $20 on what we knew would be a monstrosity of a "tour."

Like the article, we were the only ones in the store other than the guy working the counter. Before we left the store area, we were treated to some kickin' tunes (video link). Then we were the only ones in the cowboy town. Which was good. Our hysterical laughter may have thrown a few people.

First, we really did enjoy our close-up with the buffalo, though we prayed they were friendly. That picture above? That's about how close we were. No telephoto there! And a simple wire fence was all that held back the herd.

Then the comedy began with a series of graves. Then we couldn't tell if this town was meant to be funny or serious. Though it really came across as just pretty sad.

Of course, they have to point out that this is the *Real* West. See?

They had lots of great old farm equipment displayed, but it was a bit of a death trap. Granted, most of it was housed behind caution tape.

And here, my fiberly friends, is where you get your reward for reading. The ever-so-pristine loom. (I decided not to share the picture of the spinning wheel. It wasn't for the faint of heart.)

So then Mr. Yarnworks says, "Hey, take a picture of me next to this Do Not Open sign." Then proceeds to open the trunk. I still don't know if the Do Not Open was meant for real, or for effect.

Okay, so the article talked about some of the racist remarks within the "town." We didn't find them all, but O. M. G. This one?

In case you can't make that out, in the middle there it reads, "The Chinese enjoyed the dangerous work of blasting the mountain passes and tunnels with black powder. With their natural love of fireworks, the Chinese "powder monkeys" learned to cut their fuses so that the entire round of charge would go off at once. The louder the blast, the more likely it was to scare off personal devils & imps."

No, I'm not kidding. That's what it says. Seriously.

Okay, so moving on....

I'll spare you the bit about Abe Lincoln. The other article does a fine job covering that part of the tour and even has a video.

I was a bit horrified by the dentist and doctor depictions. Ouch!

And it appears that bank robbers have long since left this place as a ghost town.

All in all it was....interesting. And we won't be going back anytime soon. But at least the view was pretty nice.

The kids? They preferred the pizza buffet afterwards....

1 comment:

Emily/Knit Addictions said...

wow, you've just saved me from having to make a trip there! sheesh...