The Adventures of Platy and the Gang


2003 Volume 8
June 26, 2003
The Mickelson Trail


Keystone Fire

The fire I wrote about in the last issue destroyed their main downtown corner. In the center of the picture used to be a 3 story resort motel. Next door was a large restaurant and 8 other businesses. The post office is across the street to the right. It got so hot it melted the window frame moldings. The fire department sprayed flame retardant to save it and the train depot next door.


We stayed in Sturgis for another day and visited Devils Tower just across the border in Wyoming. We did the hike around the base of the tower. There were some climbers about half way up. (see arrows) Platy was waiting for them at the top. is their website.


The Mickelson Trail
Mickelson start

We started biking the Mickelson Trail on 6/22. It's 109 miles long. We are trying to do it in 4 days. We are cheating a little by doing the different sections in the direction that is more downhill. The trail is all crushed gravel and is very nice to bike. They have shelters and benches every few miles.

shelter army

We started the first day 15 miles south of Deadwood and went north into town. The trailhead had been occupied by the Army. They were having a 3 week summer training and had equipment all over. They did have a small space for us "civilians" to park. We had left the motorhome in Deadwood. When we reached Deadwood we had to pickup the car and move the motorhome 10 miles further down the trail. Then we drove the car back to the "Army base" and started biking there. When we got to the motorhome we then had to go back and pickup the car. The logistics can get complicated. Because we have only one bike rack we either have to load the bikes inside the MH or Judy waits with the bikes while I get the car and tow it behind the MH. The second day we had to drive about 30 miles on gravel roads. We towed the car the first trip and it was literally covered in dust. We didn't tow after that but the inside of the RV had dust everywhere.


The Trail has 4 tunnels like this one. The second day we biked 28 miles south into Hill City. Hill City is where the 1880's Train Station is. The train was preparing to leave when we got to town. You can see the engine in the center of the picture.
The biking that day was 12 miles uphill. I made it but it was tough. There was a 7 mile and a 5 mile uphill grade with no downhill breaks. Luckily on the third day it rained and we got to rest.

Hill City

Flintstone woodcarving

During the rain day we moved the RV to the Flintstone's Campground in Custer. We had lunch and visited the National Woodcarvers Museum in town . I had a buffalo burger. It tasted like hamburger to me. Judy was talking to the dummy. No, not me, the carved guy.


This is what the brochure says about the museum:

Dr. Harley Nibiack, 1894-1966. A practicing Denver chiropractor who became financially independent by inventing diathermy and weight-reducing machines, He retired to his real love of woodcarving and animation at the age of 42. Over 70,000 hours of his life were spent carving miniature and life-size figures, miniature steam engines, paintings, furniture, etc. During a thirty-year period he developed three-dimensional animation. Three of his animated scenes appeared in the Smithsonian Institute. In 1954-55 he designed and built the animation at Disneyland. The Niblack Collection, a display of top caricatures and carvings, carving studio and gallery of over 85 woodcarvers, has been rated one of the top attractions in the Black Hills.

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