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The year in photos - 2005
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July-December 2004
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Side salads are made fresh daily and served until gone. A soup of the day is also available until gone.

The Bistro also offers over 20 Italian cream soda flavors and lattes, as well has Pride Dairy ice cream and floats to satisfying your sweet cravings.

The Wynecoops are excited to offer pizzas starting next week. Theresa researched many pizza crusts finding the perfect one for her establishment. The main goal was to be able to offer the community a “fresh take-and-bake pizza” that families can afford.

“These pizzas are amazingly delicious,” stated Theresa.
With the customers’ need in mind, the Wynecoops are working on a phone app for individuals to order and pay online.

Very excited about the app, Theresa said, “The truck drivers waiting in line at the elevator can use the app, and our employees will deliver right to their truck.”

Orders can be placed by calling 701-377-FOOD.


Shawn and Theresa Wynecoop purchased the old Bowbells Hotel and Bunkhouse (built in 1929) back in 2011.

Through the past five years they have gutted and remodeled the entire hotel, from the basement floors all the way to the roof getting a makeover.
“We never stopped seeing the dream,” stated Shawn.

Theresa explained that they needed tunnel vision, doing the tasks, “one step at a time” or the projected would have been too overwhelming.
Demolition took a year and half, with 87 truckloads of industrial containers filled with old plaster and lath, and other debris.

The concrete floor in the basement had to be busted out and carried out in buckets.

All new windows were needed with the first going in on Aug. 28, 2013 and the last (#28) in October of that year.
The roof details wrapped up in the fall of 2014.

June 14, 2015 was a big day as Wynecoops announced all new sewer and water lines had been installed, as well as sheetrock hung, ceilings textured and primer coats painted.

The hotel passed its electrical inspection in December of 2015.
Since then the Wynecoops have been working on the “pretty stuff,” as stated by Theresa, hanging and painting trim, staining doors, installing lighting, bathroom fixtures, hardwood floors and refinishing stairs.

The task of furnishing the suites started in May.

After much blood, sweat and tears the hotel’s grand opening was Wednesday, July 6. It was a joyous occasion especially considering every room in the hotel was booked by a private group.

The hotel houses nine rooms with the following suites: handicapped accessible, king, honeymoon, two-bedroom, master, and businessmen’s (a two room suite). It also offers two bedrooms that use the community bathrooms across the hall.

For reservations, one can go online to or call the office 1-800-403-7035 they can also be reached from 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at 701-377-FOOD.

The main lobby is under construction with the electrical “roughed in” and the sheetrock being installed.

The wine kitchen is also coming along with walls and ceiling complete and the floor receiving its finishing touches.

It’s been a long, long road for the Wynecoops, but the end result leaves customers in awe at the magnificent task they have completed.



The Lignite Community Calendar hanging on the wall in our kitchen tells me that today, July 17, is my birthday.

That calendar tells me a lot of things; birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, the moon phases, and that Doc Stevens is a quilter.

Lounging under the stars on one of Doc’s quilts with a keg of his home brew within arm’s reach sounds about right. Maybe I’ll pencil that in on my calendar...“Q & K Night.”

As far as birthdays go, the calendar tells me the “when” but not the “how many” for each person listed. I suppose the “how many” didn’t seem like a necessary number to post as public knowledge.

This allows for the conversational game surrounding the question of, “how old do you suppose so-and-so is” to be played amongst the curious and bored.

For those who are curious, and/or bored, as of this writing I have managed to log 44 living and breathing calendar years on this earth.
To commemorate this grand achievement I decided to peddle my bike 22 miles up Highway 44 and meet my family at the Sugar Shack for a bacon cheeseburger deluxe and a beer.

A Sugar Shack burger is probably the only burger I would exert that much effort to obtain, as they have been voted “best burger in the hills” for four years running. I was not disappointed.

Why didn’t I peddle the 22 miles back to Rapid City to make it 44 miles on Highway 44?

The thought crossed my mind when I left the house, but 22 miles of uphill, a half-pound of beef, and a pint of beer later, I was convinced otherwise. Besides the roads were thick with “Rent Me” RVs, and age has diminished the brazen stupidity I used to peddle around the hills with.

Action without thought generally guarantees more action will be necessary to remedy the thoughtlessness. I suppose this falls under the “measure twice, cut once” advice I’ve often failed to heed.

I thought twice, and thought it would be enjoyable to ride back to town with my family rather than dodge Mini-Winnies pulling pontoons. Besides there was a second-hand birthday cake waiting for me at home, complete with second-hand candles to blow out.

As I’m sure I’ve blabbed about before, my son’s birthday is the day before mine, so for 17 years a second-hand celebration has been the way of it, and that way is just fine by me.

It was a lovely day in the hills, and the ride gave me some time to do a little birthday pondering. A little birthday pondering between the huffing and puffing, between perusing the ditch for treasures untold, between hoping the driver of the vehicle coming up behind wasn’t texting, between wishing the downhill outnumbered the uphill, between questioning why there was a solitary sock laying on the road, between wondering whether I should have a double bacon cheeseburger or a single.

Between all of that I managed to squeeze in some birthday pondering. Not too much, just enough. Just enough to remind me of how thankful and fortunate I am for all those who let me share in their lives. My family, my friends, my students, my colleagues…an embarrassment of riches that I cherish each and every day and twice on Sunday (whatever that means).

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