Epic adventures in out-of-the-way Edgemont
Like many, we used to breeze right by the turnoff at Mule Creek Junction — the one that leads to Edgemont, S.D. That changed one year during a trip to Sturgis, when we stopped in the café in Lusk and saw a flyer for a "bikers and bulls rodeo."
Sure — we were game (at least to watch). And we're glad we did! It was rodeo with a few twists — instead of livestock, competitors rode motorcycles, and they ran barrels pulling pieces of hide with some really brave women riding on them. There was a real bull-riding challenge (on bulls), a huge community feast under a big top tent, and good ol' fashioned pig wrestling.
We still talk about that. Nothing better that wallowing in a mud pit trying catch a slippery pig and stuff it in a barrel (tail first — easy on that pig!).
And the fun wasn't over yet. Once the mud was hosed off the next stop was the local watering hole, where we were treated like we'd lived there all our lives. By the time the bar closed, hubbs and handful of locals were ensconced in the back room playing poker. What a great place to return to for long weekends!
One good night in this town led to many more, including the craziest time we ever had there. One early spring afternoon we breezed into town but, to our surprise, couldn't get a room anywhere. So we popped into the bar downtown to wet our whistles and share the gift of gab before heading back home. Unexpectedly, our tale of woe led to one of the locals saying, "Let me make a call."
The nice man came back and said he'd called a friend at the Wishbone Ranch, just south of town. And off we went. Our gracious host put us up in a guest room, and it was HUGE. The furnishings were beautiful pieces made from cedar (more on that later).
The only downside was it was early spring, so it was COLD at night and the heat hadn't been turned on yet. In fact, it was so cold in the morning that we literally had to chip ice off the loo to use it.
The next morning our host asked if we wanted to ride out to see elk and buffalo. Of course we did! We jumped into the back seat of our host's Suburban, with his friend riding shotgun. Talk about spectacular — seeing elk and buffalo up close is really something special.
We were winding our way around the cedar forest when suddenly our host slams on the brakes, leaps out with the truck still rolling, yanks open the back, and a second later ... "Wheeeeneeeeneee... wheeeeneeeeneeeneeee..." He'd fired up a chainsaw!
That split second shaved about 10 years off our lives. Absolutely scared the gollybejeezuz out of us. The first thought was that nobody knew we even left town for the weekend. The second was that they would never find the bodies.
About 10 seconds later, our host shoved practically an entire tree through the back hatch, right between us with branch tips poking into the front seat. That's when we learned he'd made all that fantastic cedar furniture.
By early afternoon we were back in town, and word had gotten around that we'd stayed "out at the Wishbone." Several folks good naturedly — with a wink and a pat — asked how we enjoyed the night.
"Loved it — we had an adventure we'll never forget!"
And we go back for more just as often as we can.