Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pierre SD to Fort Thompson SD 3

One day I will call the number and talk to these folks. Just to hear somebody say "Ass kickin ranch, how can I help you?" I really wonder what their brand looks like--how can you tell a cow from the triple U ranch from one that belongs to the Ass Kickin ranch?

One thing that I am becoming aware of is that there was a lot of trade and exploration going on in this area before and during the time Lewis and BClark did their thing. This country was opening up and folks were moving up the Missouri even as L/C were exploring and mapping it. The only question was if it would be under British-French- or American rule.
This particular sign is definitely French flavored because of the 3 fleur de lis at the top.

About 15 miles from Pierre is about the only evident sign of civilization on the entire route. This is a bar, converted from a sort of chicken house, called the Pits Stop that I dropped in on because it was starting to rain again and it was the only cover I could find.
It looked like a pretty rugged place and there were maybe 6 muddy trucks in the lot. As you can see , I was somewhat reassured by the sign on the door that said no pets or firearms allowed. Although it did not look like the first choice a guy would make to take a lady on your first date but how bad could that be.

When I got inside there were 6 guys sitting at the 2 tables and another at a small bar. I now know exactly how somebody new in Versailles feels when they walk into the Sweetshop on a weekday morning around 7 a.m. They are met by the silent stares of all the regulars(with nicknames like Shorty, Pritprat, Zoltan Oliver , Dave the barber, and Lady Godiva) who are all sitting in their same every day seats . There is no sound except for the the wheels turning in the minds of these observers who are figuring out what they will report on the newcomer when they leave the Sweet Shop and go to either the barber shop or hair salon.
Another thought entered my mind involving that scene from Star Wars when Han, Luke and Chewy enter Mos Eisley Cantina http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BVlARaJM74

Anyway, I walk to the bar and there is a 75 year old battleaxe behind it. She just stares at me awhile and then says "What do you want?" and I say in a friendly outreaching tone "What do you got?" There was a strained silence until I realized the ball was in my court so I said "I would like something to eat and drink" and battleaxe says "All I got is a roast beef sandwich--do you want french fries or potato salad with it?"
I say " did you make the potato salad ?" and she says "yes" so i say, trying to break some ice " I bet you make a mean potato salad and I will have some of that"
There is no reaction and she asks what I want to drink., I ask for a diet coke and she says we don't have that here. So I order a regular coke --I thought it best not to inquire as to what Pepsi products they might have.

I get the coke and she disapears into the kitchen (or so I assume that is what it was). The guy at the bar looks me over and asks if that bike outside is mine. I almost thought he was trying to make a joke but he had no expression on his face. He asks where I am heading and I say Chamberlain and he laughs "are you sure a guy your age can handle that trip against that wind because 'there ain't nuthin but open prairie for 70 miles.'" I just said I was going to give it a shot and that was the end of the conversation. It turns out he was right --there ain't nothing but open prairie --no houses -no buildings--nothing but cows , not even any other vehicles --only saw 4 all day.

After a while battleaxe returns with sandwich and french fries , I did not think it worth the while to ask about the potato salad.

I finished food , paid the lady, left her a tip and headed back into the weather. I imagine that conversations started as thye door closed.
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1 comment:

  1. Many of traveled your same routes and hit that bar. Tour de Kota in June up to Gettysburg. Love your pictures and whit.