The days are starting to blur just a tad, as far as what we saw on our last two days, so here we go...First...SNOW! We are 5 miles from Spearfish, and less than 10 miles from Deadwood and Lead. (rhymes with bead). The area received a healthy dose of snow this week. Lead got 10 inches! We got about one inch which melted quickly. But Sparky was so excited! (She LOVES cold and snow, everybody, in case you didn't know, explains Eldo.) She even got up in the middle of the night and looked outside, like a little kid at Christmas, when you want Santa to come so badly, but feel there HAS to be snow for him to come. It was that kind of feeling, and Sparky is 70 years old! (What can I say, I never grew up! :-) says Sparky.
The next morning there was a dusting on the ground, but Sparky wanted to try riding the Michelson Bike Trail. One of the trail ends is in Lead and that was close, so let's go! she says...Eldo, ever the accommodating guy, drove Sparky to the trailhead and dropped her off so she could ride to her heart's content. (Eldo has bad knees and is gradually getting back to bike riding, so he was the driver today). About two miles in, here is what Sparky had to deal with.
And it didn't get any better. There was at least 4-5" on the bridges, and the trail was sloshy, muddy, and the tires sank in. Ugh...Not fun!
It's a beautiful trail, 109 miles long total, but after slogging thru for awhile, at about 3 miles, Sparky decided to try again another day. Just as she was getting off her bike at the trailhead start, two deer came running through right on the trail! Unfortunately, Sparky was so shocked, she didn't get a photo. If you want to get on the trail, you need to buy a pass for 4.00 every time you ride. There is a good map of the trail that shows you mileage between trailheads and elevation gains between trailheads. The map stinks for drivers who are trying to be the "sag wagon" for riders, picking up or dropping off, but the trail map itself for bike riders and hikers is fine. (Ask me how I know, says Eldo) More about that in another post.
Day 3 and Day 4 at Custer!--wow! what can we say...we saw it all...bison herds, this time far away, but that's ok...they are still beautiful majestic animals...More pronghorn....
A bluebird sitting on the top of the prairie dog mounds...
Bison pairs here and there...Mt. Rushmore thru one of the tunnels using a zoom...Mt. Rushmore's visitor center is under extensive renovations, a multi-million dollar project, so viewing is limited there....we didn't go this time.
And cool tunnels and bridges on our way back thru the Peter Norbeck Scenic byway....a wonderful drive.....don't miss it when you visit the area.