The Adventures of Platy and the Gang


2003 Volume 7
June 21, 2003
The Black Hills
Part 2


prairie pup Prairie Pup Alert !!!
There has been a change regarding the status of adoption. If you haven't got yours yet, you're too late. Because of monkey-pox being spread by the pups, the sale of them has been outlawed. The poor pups can't get new homes.
prairie pup


1880's Train
1880's Train
While Judy has been hiking I have checked the local sights. The 1880's Train runs between Hill City and Keystone. I saw it while trying to find a trailhead where I was to pick her up. As it went by this old car came by. I guess people pay to ride and chase the train. 1880's Train

News Update!! Today there was a big fire in Keystone. Ten businesses in the center of town burnt. It was across the street from the Post Office where we got our mail. The windows in the Post Office were cracked from the heat and the trash cans out front melted. No one was hurt but it will sure mess up their tourist season. Keystone is the major gateway to Mt. Rushmore and is like a mini Gatlinburg, all tourist businesses. I will try to get some pictures when we bike thru the area on the Mickelson Trail next week.

tunnel The hiking in the Black Hills has some nice scenery. This is a tunnel under a road so that the hikers don't have to cross the road. (Is that a joke..Why did the hiker cross the road?) Judy
Dalton Lake

I hiked in to meet her every once in a while. On this day I hiked a mile up the trail to meet her. I do mean up. The campground is way down in the valley behind me.
We dry camped (no electricity or water) at Dalton Lake Campground in the National Forest for 3 days. We have avoided staying at the state or federal campgrounds because the have no hook-ups and are more expensive than the commercial campgrounds if we can use our Passport discount.
You can see in the picture how dirty the car is. The campground was 4 miles back a gravel road but is right on the trail.


We are now staying in Sturgis, SD at the Rush-No-More Campground.
The motorcycle rally is in August so it's quiet here now. The town has 7,000 residents all year but 300,000 people come to town for the rally. The main street reminds us of Main Street in Daytona. There are a lot of bars and empty stores now but they fill up during that week.
These are our neighbors at the campground. They seem friendly.


Judy met several buffalo on the trail. They snuck up on her while she was 'taking a break'. When she saw them she stepped off the trail to let them pass. There was a staring contest for a few minutes but I guess she looked scary so they turned and ran.


Deadwood Moriah One day when rain was forcast we went sightseeing. Of course it didn't rain but we visited a few spots anyway. Deadwood, so named because of the dead timber on the surrounding hills, is not unlike many frontier towns with interesting histories. The discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1875 brought thousands of people to the Deadwood area. Some residents proved to be quite colorful. Many were buried at Mount Moriah or at its predecessor, the Ingleside Cemetery which was down the hill and to the left of the present cemetery. The area of the Ingleside Cemetery is presently a residential section of Deadwood. Many buried in this old cemetery were later exhumed and reburied in Mount Moriah.


Two of the most famous are "Wild Bill" Hickok and Calamity Jane. They estimate that 100,000 people visit them every year. The bottom left picture is "Wild Bill's" grave today. The picture above it is of Calamity Jane in front of it in 1903. She's now permanently planted next door to him.
Wild Bill was shot in the back during a poker game in Deadwood in 1876. You can find out more at


falls We drove through Spearfish Canyon. It's a scenic highway with many fancy log "cabins" along the creek that runs there. This is Birdal Veil Falls. Spearfish

Fort Meade


Judy started hiking the next day within sight of the end of the tail at Bear Butte. It's about 10 miles away in the background. Halfway there I met her and we visited Fort Meade. It was a calvary post but was retired in 1944. Today there is a hospital on the grounds.


Meade1 Meade2

butte2 blank

This is Bear Butte from 2 miles away. It's about 1400 ft high. The Centennial Trail ends at the top. I'm going to climb to the top with her. I'll meet her at the parking lot part way up. The lot is 1.75 miles from the end.

Bear Butte


The path to the top is not too steep but is narrow and rocky. The trees were burnt by a fire in 1996. If you slip it's 1000 feet to the bottom. I concentrated on my feet and ignored the scenery. The top is a platform and there are about 30 feet of steep stairs leading to it. I got up but wondered if I could get down.
The last picture is looking back at where I shot the picture looking up.

Butte4 Butte5

Well I made it down. We are going to spend a couple more days here and then will be starting to bike the Mickelson Trail south from Deadwood.

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