Friday, July 1, 2011

Mt Rushmore and More (Spearfish, SD)

We wrapped up 3 more days of "work" with some peculiar weather.  We're currently having temps in the high 80s and mid 90s.  Over the past weekend we had temperatures in the 60s with rain.  Odd!?

But then we returned to soaking up the area and having a blast.  Monday we hiked again with Bill and Rena.  Our destination was the Old Baldy Trail in the Black Hills National Forest.  The Black Hills are all around us so most everything we do is in or near the Black Hills.  The hike was 7.1 miles.  The weather was fantastic and we enjoyed all the satisfaction that comes with a good hike and good companions.

What great hiking companions Bill and Rena are!!!
As often is the case we encountered wonderful wild flowers

and nice views.

We also took a moment to identify the Ponderosa Pine.  A tell tale indication is that they smell like vanilla.  Debbie verified that fact. 

The prize sighting was a fawn hiding his/her tender little self from the noisy humans.  We were 15 - 20 feet from the little creature and he never ran.  We took a few moments for pictures then moved on so our little friend could calm himself.

After our hike we caved in with a stop at Dairy Queen!  So bad!!

Tuesday,  Debbie and I took in one of the top tourist attractions in the country.  We made the trip to Mt Rushmore.

It's mighty impressive!

First glimpse from the road


Very close

We're There!
The carving of  the monument  is a great and varied story.  People said it wasn''t possible.  The American Indians weren't happy.  There was debate about who should be included as part of the monument.  Initially there was to be no dynamite used but shortly into the process it became the dominant method of carving.   I don't know why I didn't know this but the monument is steeped in patriotism related to what each president individually contributed . 




 The walk along the Presidential Trail allowed viewing from many different angles.

It was a great day.  Please notice the perfect  BLUE sky.

After Mt Rushmore we went to Sam's then returned to the Hatchery.  That evening the D.C. Booth Society had a volunteer appreciation dinner for all the volunteers, local and campers.  It was very nice.

One of our fellow volunteers is quite a mountain biker.  He's 62!  So on Wednesday 3 of us guys joined him for our first real mountain bike outing.  For those of you who have followed my nonsense from the beginning, you may recall my "mountain biking" experiences in FL.  I had fun and I recklessly referred to my experiences as being gnarly.  Well sports fans, Wednesday we were nearly spitting up blood.  Our man Tim took us on an "easy" trail but we sure spent a lot of time walking.  We road (or attempted to) over rocks and logs, through mud and water and raced wildly down hill!  The experience brought a full range of emotions.  Lord knows we were humbled, we were glad when it was over, our respect for Tim has sky rocketed, it was a terrific workout and we look forward to doing it again! (after doing a "little" hill climbing conditioning).  But another great experience!

Thursday I did another biking event returning to the wonderful  Mickelson Trail.  It's 109 miles of old railroad bed that has been reconditioned as a non motorized trail (walking, biking, skiing and horse back riding).  Again, it's located within the Black Hills National Forest.  So not surprisingly, not only is the quality of the trail outstanding but the scenery is stupendous (new word)!  There were 7 of us on the ride.  Five went from point A to point B, about 33 miles.  Bill and I needed to be on our posts at 2pm so we rode with the group 10 miles out, all down hill and then rode back 10 miles, all up hill.  Another great workout coupled with a pleasurable event!

Debbie didn't go on either of the biking events.  She stayed home, walked with Rena and did her own thing.  Of course the consequence of her absence is no pictures (and of course missing her company).  I need to break out the small Sony that I'm suppose to use to take pictures.  I will.  They won't be Debbie quality but maybe I'll produce something worth sharing.

I hope you don''t mind all my dribble.



  1. Really enjoyed the Mt Rushmore pix. I can't wait to see it in person. Hike on....and share them with the rest of us.

  2. Great pictures as usual!! And, boy, have you been getting some exercise or what? You are right, Mount Rushmore is impressive. You need to try to get to the Crazy Horse memorial if you can. It helps you see what they probably went through when sculpting Rushmore. We will be in Sturgis late Wednesday so should see you soon. We will be in touch.