South Dakota Trip Part 8 (last entry of trip)

Part 8

6-25-13 7:48 pm Mountain time

Today, we decided to go back to Deadwood and do some of the things I wanted to do yesterday since we now know how to get around the place. We simply drove there, parked our motorcycle in the Visitor Center parking lot and caught the bus for the Deadwood Tour. It lasted an hour and the driver told of all the history of Deadwood, of the gold mining, Wild Bill Hickok, and Calamity Jane. We even went to Mt. Moraiah cemetery again. But we got to go up that mountain in a bus instead of walk and it was so much better. And the driver told so much more about the people in the cemetery. There’s also a Chinese section, but there were only two bodies left in their section because they believed a Chinese must be buried in their homeland in order to reach Nirvana (or somewhere like that, I can’t remember the exact name). Also if you were a prostitute that was buried there (and there were many, many of them in Deadwood, only outlawed in 1980), in the papers it would say the deceased was a social worker. The tour was interesting.

Deadwood town

After the tour, we ate at one of Kevin Costner’s restaurants/saloons and had a nice, light lunch there. It was delicious.

After lunch we toured the Adams museum where they had many old artifacts from Deadwood. It was a nice little museum. Before I left I bought a Haunted Deadwood book for Stephanie. Both she and I love ghost stories and I try to buy one wherever I go.


We decided that that was all we were going to do in Deadwood so we headed on into Sturgis. That is home of the famous motorcycle rally that is held every August. Nothing much to it until that time though, so we didn’t stop. (We just wanted to say we had been there).

So back to the campground we went and had supper. We were supposed to stay here one more day and leave on Thursday, be home Sun, but we decided that we had done everything and seen everything we had come to see, we were satisfied, tired and ready to go home. The only thing left that I wanted to do that we didn’t get to do is tour the wild mustang ranch. I love horses. But the road leading to the ranch had 3 miles of gravel and we didn’t want to drive the motorcycle on that, so that was out. If we get home Saturday, Allyn will be able to rest on Sunday and he can help me pick up our cat Dagny from my momma’s and Kaitlyn’s cat Gatito from my sister Judy’s. However, these cats have come to love their temporary homes so much; I think it will be hard for them to get use to me again. Dagny has been sitting in my momma’s lap on the couch. He will NEVER do this with me. I have to get on the floor, and if he’s in the mood, he will get in my lap then. Gatito sleeps with Judy and her husband in the bed and Gatitio never spends the whole night in my bed. I think though that he’s worried about Dagny getting in the bed too and aggravating him. Dagny aggravates Gatito because he wants to roughhouse with him. They don’t fight though.

So at this time, we are doing a few things to prepare to leave in the morning. I want to be able to pull out about 6 a.m. so we can get a good start. What a long drive we have! And it won’t be as exciting as the drive here.

To summarize this trip before I go, I’m glad we came. Though I thought about Kaitlyn, every single second of every single day the whole time I was here, I was interested in the whole place. I was miserable, but just at least a little distracted. I would be heartbroken anywhere I went or if I stayed home. I’m quite sure I will never pass this way again, so I am glad we took the chance and just went. I think Kaitlyn would have wanted us to.

Last night, after a particularly hard day for me with much crying, I called my momma (the 2nd time that day, it’s usually only once a day) because I was so upset and distraught about Kaitlyn. I cried on the phone to her for about 45 minutes. I slept, a fitful sleep, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. went back to sleep and had nightmares about Kaitlyn until I got up at 8:00 a.m. The nightmares were of things that could have happened to Kaitlyn that made her want to kill herself, that have no basis in anything I know to be true or could be true. I was just so distraught when I went to bed; I guess my sleep was messed up. Oh how I wish she would come to me in a pleasant dream and let me know she was at peace and happy. I want her to tell me herself, she already told someone else in their dream. But if I don’t get that, I guess that will be enough.

I love you Kaitlyn, oh how I miss you so.

6-28-13 Eastern Time

We arrived home today, Friday at 3:30pm. It only took us from Wed to Fri to get home so we made good time even though every interstate we were on had road construction. It was a long ride though.

So this is the end of our trip, though I feel like I dreamed it all. As I said earlier, I’m glad we went even though I was sad the whole time, but I knew that would be so. Sometimes I wonder how I did it, how I can be so sad and yet go on this trip. Much of it was hard but it was beautiful. It’s like I thought about Kaitlyn, and while I was at it, took a trip. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. She was in my thoughts every second.

For anyone that has made it to the end of my writings of my trip, thank you. If these writings seemed more about Kaitlyn and how I feel than about the trip, that’s because this blog is about my journey through my grief in losing her and my trip was really secondary. If some think my writings are dramatic, well that’s how I feel, but even so I held back the most sorrowful feelings in my heart and not on the computer screen. Believe it or not, some things I still keep inside because it may cause alarm to express the true despair in my heart.

So here is the end of my story.
The End

About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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6 Responses to South Dakota Trip Part 8 (last entry of trip)

  1. My heart goes out to you. I read the entries on your trip for two reasons.
    I knew Kaitlyn through her writing for several years. Se was still in high school when we met on a writing list. Absolutely beautiful soul. She was the same age as my younger daughter…I cannot imagine the pain you are going through.
    I made this same trip last year. Wonderful country and fabulous history.
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us.


  2. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. I’m always interested in anyone that knew Kaitlyn in any way. If you have any memories of her, I’d love to hear them.


  3. Janet says:

    I have tried to read most of your posts since your daughter’s death, and my heart breaks for you. I can not imagine the pain you are in. But I believe you are doing the right thing by sharing your grief, even if it is difficult for you to write or for us to read. Please know that even though we have never met in person, I have thought of you daily and include you and your family in my prayers.

    We also made a trip to South Dakota, all 3200 miles on the Harley during the first week of June. I enjoyed seeing your photos of the same scenery and reading details that we didn’t take the time to find out, but we traveled many of the same roads and had a relaxing and restorative week. It was a trip that we will never forget. I hope one day you will fondly remember your trip and find some peace in your heart.


  4. Jean merritt says:

    Thanks you so much for sharing your journey, the physical as well as the emotional. There’s no way you could separate the two since they were obviously intertwined. I pray that each day your burden will get a little easier. Keep taking baby steps. You can do this with Gods help. You know Kaitlyn would want that for you. As I read someone else commenting, open your heart to God. He can fill that hole in your soul. I promise. After my accident, I read the Bible straight through , starting from genesis to revelation, really opening my heart to Him. Literally changed my life. I know you read a lot. Try it


  5. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Janet. It’s not hard for me to write about Kaitlyn. What is hard is holding back some of the feelings I do have that might just be a little too sad believe it or not.

    My husband wanted to make the SD trip on motorcycle but I told him my body just can’t take that kind of long ride. We went to Key West from NC 2 years ago and that was far enough on a motorcycle.

    Thank you for your kind comments.


  6. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Jean, I’ll try. But it’s kinda hard to do right now.


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