S&W .50 Magnum
After leaving Sioux Falls we stopped in Mitchell, SD to visit Cabela’s Sports Store. Having been out of hunting and fishing for many years I had not heard of Cabela’s. There are about 20 of these stores around the nation. They are a huge sports equipment store. The one in Mitchell also has several huge outdoor diorama type displays with full size bears, elk, deer, moose, etc. They’ve also got some aquariums with several species of fish found in the U.S. We wondered around the store for about an hour mostly looking at the displays.
We had apparently driven by a few other Cabelas’ on our trip. They were located in Kearney, NE, Owatonna, MN, Lehi, UT, Prairie Du Chien, WI, and Sidney, NE, which were all less than 50 miles out of our way.
Some interesting items we found were the .50 caliber revolvers. These pistols are huge. They dwarf Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum. I asked the sales clerk what people would use them for. He replied, “To break your hand.” I suppose they might be used in the wilds where you might run into bear but these guns would not be pleasant to shoot.
After Cabela’s we caught SR 37 south to SR 44 and headed west on the back roads. It’s a pretty good two lane with little traffic and lots of farms. It’s still pretty flat, a bit boring, and not as fast as I-90 but a good change of pace. Plus, we wanted to visit Wounded Knee, SD.
We both had GPSs. Norm had his Garmin handheld mounted on his handlebar. Mine was borrowed so stayed in the tank bag most of the time. I had wondered how significant the GPSs would be in traveling. There were a few times the GPS came in handy. After leaving Cabela’s it was handy in that I took a right onto a two lane county road when we should have taken a left then a right onto SR 37. We would have ended up in the same place but who knows? That road could have petered out and we would have had to back track.
The jury is still out on GPS as a necessity for me. We used the GPS about four times on the trip where we actually saved ourselves some time or better located where we were. Mostly we used maps with GPS verification. There were a couple of times that Norm took us the wrong way using the GPS. But, hey, you can read a map wrong too. I guess I’m just not convinced it’s worth the $300. Are they crucial? No. Are they handy? Very.
We stopped in Platte, SD about 1130 for gas and lunch at Smitty’s. The door said Betty’s but the sign said Smitty’s. Confusing. Either way, the burgers were old fashioned and good.
We noticed a lot of farmer types hanging out. Each was carrying some sort of pliers in a leather holster. Norm and I discussed what they might be used for and why it was such an important tool that everyone was carrying them in a holster. I asked the waitress and she replied, “Honey, a farmer can fix anything with a pair of pliers.”
After Platte we stopped at another scenic overlook before crossing the Missouri River. It was 5 days ago, when going from Omaha, NE to Council Bluffs, IA, about 200 miles southeast of our current position we had previously crossed the Missouri. It was when I irritated the sports car drivers by hindering their speeds. I still feeling bad about it.
In the Rosebud Indian Reservation just outside of Mission we were told to turn back and catch 183 north then 44 west again to detour around road construction. For some reason the guy was waiting about 2 miles after the 44 turn off. He wasn’t parked near any other intersections. It seemed he had arbitrarily picked the spot. It would have made more sense to park at the 44/ 183 intersection where he could have just had us take a right. Instead we had to back track a couple of miles.
Rather than detour Norm was willing to take on the mud and gravel with his Triumph but I was not inclined to ride the hog over that kind of terrain. I think he was just giving me the business about his bike being able to go places the hog couldn’t. I gotta give him that. His bike is probably aces in mud and gravel. But, on I-80 through Nebraska passing semis in the wind, it wasn’t the Hog we had to slow down for.
It was during the detour that a couple of memorable things occurred. The first was when Norm was stung by a wasp, twice, on the neck. I saw him flinch and he did a good job of getting pulled over without injury. The wasp left a couple of small welts which turned into much bigger but less painful welts the next day. I told him he was going to look like the bug bite guy in T-Mobile’s commercial.
The other interesting thing during the detour was where we stopped after the wasp sting incident. It was a gravel road which intersected SR 44 in the middle of no where, but, at this intersection was a regular city-style street sign showing 302nd Ave and 271st St. We had to scratch our heads over that. I discovered later that the gravel road (302nd Ave) was actually an unpaved SR 53 which intersects I-90 about 30 miles north of the intersection.