Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Travelin' the Side Roads in South Dakota

One of the nice things about towing a vehicle, even though it can be a hassle sometimes, is you have a vehicle to take you places once you have parked your RV. We love traveling the side roads in the car, the less traveled ones, the scenic ones, even the hairpin curve ones (the Needles Highway in the Black Hills). While we are sitting in Sioux Falls, S.D., waiting for the wind to wane....(oh, my English teacher would be so proud of me for that alliteration!) we wanted to share some of the things we saw when we traveled to and from the George Mickelson Bike trailhead at the town of Rochford, S. D.

"Iron Star"
We just happened to be traveling from Rochford, when I saw an interesting sculpture in front of a store in Hill City. "STOP THE CAR!" I hollered out. That means Eldy has to quickly and safely pull over so I can get my treasured photo of something that has caught my eye. Bless his heart, he never knows when that command is going to come, (this wasn't the first time), nor does he ever complain as I bark out directions on where I want him to maneuver the car so I can get that photo just right if it's not safe to get out of the car.  "Up a little, no, now back up, stop, OK, just a little more, stop, stop, STOP RIGHT THERE!" He patiently does my bidding, knowing the thought of snapping a cool photo just trips my trigger! He's such a thoughtful guy!  OK, so what caught my fancy the other day? This statue of a horse...not just any horse, mind you, but a hybrid scrap iron and cast bronze statue, called "Iron Star". This statue is by John Lopez...Get a load of this---it's 1400 pounds (o-o-o-o-h, that was a bad pun!), and there are all kinds of smaller sculptures or pieces involved with this horse. There are five smaller bronze limited edition horses within the horse, farm tool implements, a man's face, flowers, and iron feathers.  So cool!

What else captured my fancy on this drive? Just an interesting house, interestingly shaped---loved the metal turtle up high on the side of the chimney!  It made me wonder what kind of person designed this house, what is the significance of the turtle? Is it a Native American thing? I loved the colors of the green roof, the log cabin part, how the house complements the prairie grasses with its colors. It's just something unique to this part of South Dakota, so I took a photo of it. Let's keep going further on our drive. The town of Rochford--population 25, an old gold mining town. Rochford is located on the banks of Rapid Creek in the northern Black Hills. Not as crazy and wild as Deadwood (burial place of Wild Bill Hickcock) or Lead (the mile high town) in its time, but a quieter old gold mining town, slowly dying. Buildings are in a state of disrepair, dilapidated, but there are still a few signs of life. Seen on the side of one of the few buildings remaining standing, was a thank-you to all those who participated in a local fundraiser recently. One of the few buildings left standing and still open for business was the Moonshine Gulch Saloon. We were passing through and didn't have time to stop, but bet it was just as interesting on the inside as it was on the outside. I'll wager that saloon had lots of stories to tell! Check back in with us tomorrow and find out what we MISSED in South Dakota!

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