After a long day playing tourists, we stopped by the Blue Cactus (I think in an earlier blog I called it the Iron Cactus) for a few cocktails. It's a block from the hotel/inn, so perfect place to end our day. We feel like regulars even though this is only our second time there. And, the drinks are only $2! We sit down at the bar and Janelle (we called her Seattle until we asked her name) served us.
After about 30 minutes, a big guy ordered the bar a whole round of drinks. A little bit later, we reciprocated and ordered him a Gypsy Hooker and Tony a Red-headed Slut. Janelle switched the order, remembering what went into the drinks, but didn't know which was which. The big guy came on over and thanked us. His name is Wayne. Big guy with hair longer than Tony's wearing a cowboy hat and dark sunglasses. He's about 6'5, and a "local." He called me ma'am and Tony sir until we introduced ourselves. Owns a printer in town that prints the Buffalo Chip newspaper (380,000 copies this year), among other pubs. Also owns a ranch out in Montana. Ended up giving us a bunch of info that I wrote down, that now I don't really know what to do with it. Tony and I had a great time talking to him and hearing his stories and opinions (Wayne definitely had opinions about Lead and Sturgis and the current state of the US government and Deadwood and Montana and). Would be the kind of guy you'd want as a friend -- one for life who would help (even defend) you if you needed his help.
Met a couple of guys from New York (one of them kept encroaching on my space at the bar) who liked coming to Lead to avoid the crowds and madness and cops in and around Sturgis. Big talkers and you could tell that Wayne didn't particularly care for them. Wayne invited us to stay at his ranch in Montana next time we came back. That'd be cool -- if I can figure out how to locate him.
A couple more drinks later and we headed back to the Gold Town Inn.