|A couple of weeks back, when family was visiting, we decided to spend an afternoon exploring some of the other things to do in the Black Hills aside from the natural beauty. We took two vehicles so we could 'spread out' a bit, & you just never know when I want/need to stop for a photo opportunity. Larry, Bonnie & I agreed to meet the other traveler's at Boondocks as I wanted to stop & check out Pactola Lake along the way. It was a lovely day with white puffy clouds, my favorite! The plan was to check out Boondocks and then make a quick run into Deadwood.
Perched on the edge of a high Black Hills meadow, Boondocks Diner and Amusement Park is just 9 miles south of Deadwood on US Hwy 385. Some old-timers still call it Brownsville, the sawmill town and railroad stop that once stood there. At the heart of Boondocks is a classic 1945 Valentine diner, an original brought in on the narrow-gauge rail line back in the old days. Owners have surrounded the diner, which still serves hand-pattied burgers, real malts and hand-cut French fries, with a neon-lit menagerie of 1950's attractions.
There's a vintage gas station, garage and Studebaker museum, all circa 1950's. Boondocks collection of antique automobiles emphasizes Studebakers which is why we're here today! The guys wanted to share a 1950 Studemino they discovered here a few years back with Stan & Dave. And it's a pretty drive to get here too!
Boondocks is a delight to shop! Why, this shop's merchandise goes back to the days of Marilyn, Elvis, James Dean, the Three Stooges, Polka-dots and Poodle skirts! Collectible figurines, cards, Monopoly, games, shirts, cans, cups, original posters and so much more. Betty Boop and Betty Page. James Dean and James Cagney. Just about anyone in movies of that romantic era. And don't forget the western favorites -- John Wayne, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Gunsmoke and more....Too fun!
For the young at heart there's a Ferris wheel, a Tilt-A-Whirl & fully restored carnival rides for kids. $3 per ride although I've yet to see anyone on them. Wonder why? The guys found a game to try their hand at called 'Hook-Em'...They were getting pretty good at it after awhile! Just around the corner was a couple of dinosaurs & some interesting metal work. Loved the train :)
After spending an hour or so checking things out we headed on into Deadwood for a bite of lunch upstairs at the Mineral Palace. Good food if you get in the area. Huge chicken fried steak :) Afterward we strolled down the block to check out a few of the items on display at the Celebrity Hotel. Movie memorabilia from stars like Elvis, Robin Williams, Richard Gere etc. It's a lovely hotel, love the deep, rich wood interior. Dave spent a few minutes trying his hand at blackjack & all too soon it was time to head back to the campground. The guys were getting hungry again, time to start preparing dinner :)