Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 3, 2009 Garretson, SD Devil's Gulch and Pipestone National Monument

Yesterday, soon after we arrived in Pipestone, one of the campgrounds residents, Tom Turkey, was skulking around outside our Monty. Just like us, he was just looking for food. After all it was suppertime! Today turned into a very busy day. We started by traveling to Garretson, SD. This is a very small town north of Sioux Falls and just inside the South Dakota border from Minnesota. One of the most famous legends of this town is not the Dizzy Duck Saloon, on Main Street, but the one from 1876. On September 7, 1876, the Jesse James gang forced their way into the First National Bank in Northfield, MN. They killed a bank clerk and two of the gang were killed. The remaining gang fled southwest toward Dakota Territory. They were the Younger brothers, Jim, Rob and Cole along with Charlie Pitts and they separated themselves from the James Brothers, Jesse and Frank, and headed northwest, where they were captured at Lake Hansha, MN. Frank and Jesse went on to Dakota Territory and followed Split Rock Creek. Just north of Garretson, Frank followed the river to the West bank while Jesse rode on the East side. He did not know that Devil's Gulch was just ahead. As he got to the Gulch, the posse closed in. Jesse spurred his horse toward the chasm and, while being watched by the posse, he rode his horse while it jumped the twenty feet across the "narrow" portion of the gulch. As the posse watched from the other side, Jesse rode on and joined his brother, Frank. A pedestrian bridge is now in place where the jump took place and when I paced it, it was about twenty feet across. One can see from the photos, taken from both above and below, that this gulch is rugged, rocky, steep and deep. The stream has been plumbed and found to be over 600 feet deep, leading experts to believe that this is one great crack in the earth's surface. On the way out of the park, we saw this little mouse and wondered if it was the mouse from your computer. Is it? We then traveled to Sioux City, SD and visited with friends from the Montana Owners Club, Bill and Helen Moll. This was a real nice addition to our day. Returning to Pipestone, we looked around the historic downtown. Pipestone's First National Bank was made in 1898 and is now a store. Note the red stone on the building and know that many of the old downtown buildings were made from the Pipestone, which was quarried just down the road from here in, what is now, a National Monument. We then went to the Pipestone National Monument and walked into the area where the red Pipestone is still mined at the quarries by Native Americans. The rocks are beautiful - several shades of pink and red. The Indians have historically made "peace pipes" from the rock. The monument is still revered by Native Americans and protected by the National Park Service. One set of rocks looks like Christopher Columbus. We were expecting him to shout "I name you America" but did not hear a peep. While walking in the quarry area, we came upon a baby rabbit who tried to hide in the tall grass. This trip produced a beautiful purple flower for Carol. It was photographed and left so that others could enjoy its beauty, too. We came on this beautiful waterfall on the Pipestone River. I was able to climb some of the rocks and take shots from the top, too, for a different perspective. We found a rock formation that looked like a Brave guarding the trail. The last shot was just a beautiful shot of the Pipestone River with the prairie grass and some trees.

1 comment:

iffatali said...

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
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