Monday, September 12, 2011

Au Revoir Spearfish (Spearfish, SD)

Hello from South Dakota.  We're still here but will be departing in the morning (Tues).  We've been mighty active since we last posted.  We also are still motivated to roughly stick to the guidelines of the South Beach Diet.  Debbie's keeping off about 15 pounds and I'm in the 18-20 range.  We've managed this while still attending the potluck dinners and going out to eat as the occasions arise.  The goal is to rapidly get back to the more healthy eating habits promptly!  Our activities still include lots of hiking, biking and walking.  Debbie consistently walks with the "girls."  During the past week I've completed 3, 25-30 mile rides in the surrounding mountains.

We also did a wonderful 7.5 mile hike to Harney Peak with our great friends and hiking companions, Bill and Rena.

With Bill and Rena on Harney Peak hike
 It's the highest peak east of the Rockies. The hike to the top is not all that demanding and although there is much noticeable damage to the trees by the dreaded pine beetle, the reward is still spectacular!

Brown trees are the ones destroyed by the Pine Beetle
Still the views are awesome

The peak includes a two story, stone look out tower constructed by the history making CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) in 1939.  The tower is built as if it's a part of the existing rock.

The area immediately adjacent to the tower is an enormous expanse of rock.  A great place to ramble about like a kid.

Duane and Bill "rambling about like a kid"

While there we enjoyed a "sweet" little visit from a mighty curious chipmunk.
No Rena was not going to step on the chipmunk!!

Harney Peak is located in the Black Hills, adjacent to Custer State Park. One of the bonuses of the Black Hills is the wildlife.  During the drive to our hike we came upon a small herd of Big Horn Sheep.  They had little concern for our presence, but they did eventually run off.

The trail head  for our Harney Peak hike began at the beautiful Sylvan Lake.

You know we've been here in Spearfish since late May.  We're excited about our future travels but leaving will be bittersweet.  We've developed many great friendships, seen some beautiful scenery, created a more healthy lifestyle and generally fallen in love with the west and especially Spearfish!

During the past week we've also concentrated on getting ready to travel.  Debbie, of course, has invested enormous hours researching destinations, campgrounds and fine tuning our itinerary.  I've been washing the camper/vehicles and completing a 4-page Montana maintenance checklist that needs to be completed every 6 months which happens to be now.

The next several months we'll  be traveling in the Southwest departing around mid-April 2012 when we'll head for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.  We'll keep you posted.

Happy Trails!



  1. Sounds like you guys are really having fun... We are also headed up to Nova Scotia next year but traveling up the east coast from Florida. Who knows perhaps we can meet up and do some hiking together!!!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  2. Donna,

    Hiking together would be great. We need to stay in touch!

    Debbie and Duane

  3. You both look wonderful! I know it is hard for you to leave Spearfish! I'm just glad we got to visit you there!!! Your plans sound so would be fun to meet up with you "somewhere"! Who knows.....! Love and miss you guys bunches!