Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16, 2009 Spearfish Canyon SD and area

Last night, we looked out our rear picture window and saw a beautiful sunset into the mountains in the distance. The perfect ending to a wonderful day! Today we wondered what new adventures we would come across in our travels. We took the travel advice that we got yesterday from the owners of Peggy's Place Café in Keystone and traveled to Spearfish Canyon by scenic back-roads. We started in Keystone, went through Hill City and then north to Spearfish Canyon. This was off the regular routes and was absolutely breathtaking at times. We found homes built into and onto the mountains. There was even a garage that was squeezed between two gigantic boulders. There were beautiful mountain lakes and streams. Between Keystone and Hill City, we followed an old railroad line from the 1880s. The tracks and road crossed 13 times in the roughly 15 miles. Then a mountain stream followed us and crossed back and forth under our roadway a dozen times or so. When we were getting into Spearfish Canyon, we came to a side road with a sign that reported Roughlock Falls - so we took the dirt road. Was it ever worth it! We were in a canyon with ultra tall rock walls. The falls are actually a couple of falls, one after the other. Moving on, we came to a sign stating Terry Peak and an arrow pointing up a mountain dirt road. "Why not see where this takes us" and off we went. We had seen a tall mountain as we approached this area and this was it. We rose to 7064 feet over sea level, high over the entire area. There was still snow as we approached the top. When we reached the top, we saw two ski-boarders walking up the side of the mountain to their truck which was parked next to us. They said that this may be their last run for the year. When asked if there was enough snow to ski on, they said that there was but that it was somewhat patchy. We saw a bluff far in the misty distance and they identified it as Bear Bluff - lore having it that a bear fell asleep on that spot. After descending the mountain, we came to another large falls coming out of the side of the mountain wall along side the road. We are constantly reminded that there is a power out there much bigger than us and He has certainly created extremely rugged beauty out of rock, trees and water. We found another pretty nice restaurant. A clerk in a convenience store in Spearfish, SD said that, if he were going to have a steak and didn't want to break his bank doing it, he would go to the Shoot The Bull Steakhouse in Downtown Spearfish. Not wishing to argue with him, we went there and had a really nice meal and our bank was not broken either. We would go back there if we were ever to return to Spearfish.

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