On Sunday (10/8) we had cold weather with rain most of the day. We spent the day inside watching the Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers football game. It was a great game even though the Cowboy lost on a late touchdown throw by Aaron Rogers. Monday continued with cold windy weather so we spent most of the day inside.
Tuesday it warmed up so we decided to take a bike ride on a small portion of the George S. Mickelson Trail. This rails-to-trail pathway was created in 1991 and is named after the South Dakota governor at the time. The trailhead starts in Deadwood and continues for 109 miles south. We rode south for about 45 minutes (all uphill with a grade of 2-3%) and then turned around to have a downhill ride back to our Jeep.
When we got back to our campground we tried throwing our new golf discs after watching a couple of YouTube videos on techniques. We still need lots of practice to get the proper method down.
Wednesday the weather remained nice so we drove into Spearfish and rode the hike/bike trail in town. We decided the "right" way to ride the trail was to start out at the lowest point of the trail in the west end of town and then have a downhill ride on the return trip.
On Thursday we drove north of Spearfish about 18 miles to Belle Fourche (french for "beautiful fork") which is located between the Redwater and Belle Fourche rivers. It is the closest community to the geographical center of the landmass of the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii).
We also visited the Tri-State Museum and Visitor's Center located on the same site. The museum has a nice set of exhibits and history of this ranching area. Belle Fourche was a railhead for shipping of cattle & sheep to meat packing plants in the Chicago area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since it was a major rail head the town had lots of brothels, saloons and hotels to house & entertain the cowboys at end of their cattle drives. One traveling house of "ill repute" floated up and down the river docking at points close to town. All of this ended in 1919 when the town outlawed both prostitution and alcohol.
Calamity Jane returned to the Black Hills in her final stages of raging alcoholism and worked at one of the local brothels in Belle Fourche as a laundress & cook until her death in 1903. She was buried in Deadwood next to Wild Bill Hickok after her death. The Hole-In-The-Wall-Gang including the Sundance Kid robbed the Great Butte County Bank in Belle Fourche during 1897.
Belle Fourche is home to South Dakota's oldest and largest rodeo each year, the Tri-State Roundup, which started in 1917 as a fund raiser during the first World War. The famous bucking horse, Tipperary, was first rode by Yakima Canutt, a cowboy from a ranch near Belle Fourche, in 1920 after bucking off 80 riders. The horse was named after the WWI song "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" sung by a cowboy who was bucked off the horse (thereby losing a $500 bet to the owner of the horse).
|Historical cabin moved to this site a few years ago.|
Saturday morning we had a snow/sleet mix here in the campground. The ground was too warm for it to stick, but it did looked like winter out our windows. There are only a few RV's left in the park as most people have already headed south. Connie worked on her jigsaw puzzle in the afternoon while I watched the Texas/OU football game. With very few people in the park we were able to stream a movie on our Amazon Prime account in the evening.
Sunday we did some last minute grocery shopping here in Spearfish and got the Duchess ready to head south. The wind was blowing so hard that we decided to go ahead and put our satellite dish and TV/WiFi Ranger antenna down to prevent any damage to them. Monday morning we will finish packing up and head to Custer, South Dakota for a few days. Here are a few more pictures of the RV Park we were at for a month. It is a nice park although they close the pool & hot tub after Labor Day.