Friday, June 3, 2011

Spearfish (Spearfish, SD)

Phew!  The  "river" stopped rising, we didn't have to flee and we survived.  The next day we began our training to serve as volunteers. The training was very informal. The men staff the Fish Car and the Museum.  The ladies man (is that a pun of sorts?) the Booth House and the Gift Shop.  It has quickly become apparent that the men have the much easier duties.  We "trained" M,T,TH,F.  We began our work schedule on Saturday.  Wednesday of that week we went on a familiarization tour sponsored by the Deadwood/Lead Chamber of Commerce.  These two towns are about 15 miles from Spearfish.  Their purpose was to  help people working in the tourism industry of the area be aware of what their towns had to offer.  Deadwood is "famous" for its history of outlaws in the late 1800's.  The whole town  is now a National Historical Landmark. In 1989 gambling was legalized with the stipulation that some portion of  the profits go to restoration of the town.  The result is a historically hip "outlaw" town with lots of historical sites, gambling, entertainment, eateries etc.  Lead's (pronounced LEED) claim to fame is that it's the home of what was the oldest, largest and deepest gold mine in the western hemisphere.  The mine closed in 2002 but there still is a great deal to see. The tour was quite enjoyable.  The day began as rainy and cold but cleared up nicely.  We went to maybe 10 different attractions and had free lunch....PIZZA, too good! Our "work" week is 3, 5 hour days on, 3 days off and so on. We work either 9-2 or 2-7.

So now we're sure enough volunteers at the D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery.


Cross the bridge to the Hatchery

Gift Shop and Information

Restored Fish Railcar
Inside the beautifully restored car

Views of Hatchery grounds from trails above

It's all very pleasant.  We (I more than Debbie) enjoy learning the history of the place and yakking with the visitors.  We greet visitors, provide info and give tours at all locations other than the gift shop.  If no visitors, we can chill, read, maybe sneak a bite to eat or study our material.  It's a pretty setting and really very pleasant!  There are 10 couples here and everyone is very nice.  We had a great potluck dinner this past Tuesday with plenty of wonderful food. (I feel like I'm doing a church newsletter)  Earlier in the day Debbie and I went to Deadwood just to walk the streets and become more familiar with the area.  We also drove to Lead again to look at the Open Cut.  I won't attempt to explain mining but the Open Cut is an ENORMOUS hole dug in the ground to facilitate the mining.  IMPRESSIVE.  The primary mine shaft goes down 8000 feet! 

Wednesday we started our day by taking the boys to a dog park.  Spearfish is such a great community. 

I will sing its praise endlessly.  I've mentioned earlier the impressive paved trail that seems to go on forever along the Spearfish Creek/River and across town.  Great for walking, biking and walking the dogs.  They have this wonderful dog park.  They have an impressive recreation center complete with a sizable water park.  They even have a public horse shoe throwing "arena." There may be a dozen "pits." The World Horse Shoe Tournament was held in 1989 in the exact location where we're currently camping. Now I wouldn't normally stop my day to throw horse shoes, although I do enjoy it, but just the fact that the town provides this resource is just too cool!  OK, I'll be submitting my application to the Chamber of Commerce soon.  Back to our day.  Dog Park and then a scenic drive through Spearfish Canyon.  We stopped to see 3 waterfalls,

Bridal Veil Falls
(right on Spearfish Canyon Drive)  

Spearfish Falls
 (about a 20 minute hike)

Roughlock Falls
(take a 40 minute walk or park in lot and you're there in a few minutes)
hiked a couple short trails and just enjoyed the scenery.  The area is BEAUTIFUL!  We have vacationed a few times in the west and we're always impressed.  I'm  thrilled that we'll be here for the next few months to soak up the bold beauty!  We've been in Spearfish close to 2 weeks.  Until recently the weather has been in the 50's and raining.  But Spring has just arrived here.  The Daffodils and Tulips are in full bloom.  Plus there are magnificent Lilacs in bloom everywhere.  I haven't enjoyed the beauty and fragrance of Lilacs since my days back in Ohio.  The weather has now improved enormously.  Mostly 70-80, blue skies and a great breeze.  Love it!  Have I mentioned that I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that we're retired.  We're grateful!

Adios Amigos,

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are thoroughly enjoying the area. We'll look forward to the follow-ups. You folks take care.