Thursday, October 15, 2015

We've entered our last week here in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Fortunately, the weather is still holding, no snow in the forecast, although the temperatures are definitely dropping, and at the moment there's a hard and ice-cold wind blowing!

James is finishing up the project he's been working on all summer (the 'caboose') and will probably be done tomorrow, so the plan is for us to play one last round of golf at the club on Saturday and than pack up and leave on Sunday.

I'm doing some last time laundry and cleaning up in general,  bringing the blog, and Facebook, up to date and have been working on finishing the itinerary for our trip south.

We're really going to miss the golf club here in Lead and we're trying to get as much golf in as possible while we can, although last time we might have been pushing it a little by going out in the fog:

It was wet and cold, but we actually worked up a sweat in the end, bundled up as we were!
Needless to say, we were the only ones there, even the clubhouse was closed 'due to the weather'. We're such die-hearts ...


The campground is completely deserted by now, we're the only ones left, and pretty soon they're going to turn off the water for the winter, (they're expecting 28F tonight!) so we can't stay much longer ...

This little squirrel has been entertaining me for the last two weeks or so by running around tirelessly in front of my window, working on his pine-cone stash for the winter. 

Maybe he knows something we don't, it might be a very cold winter?

I hope he's careful, because the other day I noticed this hawk sitting in the pine-tree right above the area where he normally does his running around ....

I think it's a young Red-tail ...


Coming to think of it, most (little) birds seem to have left the hills for warmer places.
This little Lincoln Sparrow better has to start thinking of getting out of here too, winter will be way too cold for him here:

I've been taking some last pictures around the campground, while the leaves are still on the trees.
They're falling fast now, with this wind! 

I'm soooooo going to miss this place!


It's just amazing how mushrooms seem to pop up like crazy, almost overnight it seems!

Some of them look edible, but since I don't really know my 'shrooms', I think it's better I not try ... they sure are pretty though.

I think even these lichen are quite decorative, but I'm weird like that ...

As always, the colder weather makes me think of comfort food, hearty dishes that stick to your ribs, so I couldn't resist making a nice crock-pot of pea-soup ... the first of (many) the season.

And baking of-course. Apple-pie with cranberries and caramel-pecan-chocolate chip cookies!


Well, .... I don't know when I'll have time to blog again, it might be a while, so bye for now, stay warm and check back every now and than!

Monday, October 12, 2015


According to a local website the fall colors were supposed to peak last weekend and the weather to be very nice so we drove into the Spearfish Canyon to do some 'leaf-peeping'.
Famous for its beauty, Spearfish Canyon was the location for several scenes in the movie epic, “Dances With Wolves.”

The entrance to the Canyon, from the south-end, at Cheyenne Crossing, is only a few miles from us, and from there it was only a short drive to Little Spearfish Falls:


A short hike brings you down to the Canyon floor, 80 feet below, through a forest of Spruce and Pondarosa Pine, from where you have a great view of the beautiful falls.

A little farther down the road, we parked the truck at the Iron Creek trail-head, and hiked about 1.5 mile alongside the pretty creek ...


Steep, high Pahasapa limestone walls surround the Canyon , and are a constant and dominant feature on any of the hikes.
(Indians called the Black Hills – Paha Sapa – meaning black hills.)

Back at the road, we drove a few miles to Cleopatra Road and after a little picnic on the banks of Little Spearfish creek, we went on yet another short hike ...


This trail is not an 'official one' and mainly consists of a well worn path through the forest, made by the lots of locals that use this path in the summer, to reach a popular swimming hole at the end of it.

Throughout the hike you will have to cross a small stream several times since the trail exists on both sides of the stream but sometimes is an easier hike on the opposite side.
Often times trees and rocks provide makeshift bridges that you can attempt to cross on.  

James is in this one, somewhere ...
At the end of the trail you come upon the swimming hole, named 'Devils Bathtub'. (I don't have the faintest why?)

Do you see me now?
The last point of interest in the Canyon are the Bridal Falls. No hiking necessary for these, since they're right next to the road:

It turned out that we'd timed it just right, this little Fall-color trip, because at the end of the day the sun disappeared and for the next couple of days it was cold and windy which caused a lot of the leaves starting to fall.

But our Fall adventures weren't quite done and over yet!
A couple of days later we drove, once again, to the pretty little town of Deadwood, to celebrate fall at their yearly Oktoberfest.

Main Street, with it's funky wild-west themed storefronts, lends itself very well for dressing up for fall, and for some Bavarian style fun:

There were Wiener-dog races ....


Beer-barrel games ...

And Beer-Stein holding competitions ....

Again, we lucked out, because although the weekend was quite blistery, overcast and a little rainy, there was a 2 hour sunny 'window' during which all festivities took place.

Maybe a little quirky, these kind of festivities, but fun enough for some cheap entertainment!
Unfortunately, none of the beer was 'Bavarian', or even German, and not very tasty, whatever it was ....