Sunday, August 29, 2010

A trip to the Black Hills

Last weekend, Stacy and I  traveled down to South Dakota where I had been asked to help judge the leather craft at the Central States Fair with my good friend Kathy Flanagan. We arrived in Rapid City a little early so I got to do a little shopping at the Tandy store there and met the new manager. Then when Kathy and her daughter Sheena arrived, we headed straight over to the fair grounds for the judging. Just a couple years ago, there were 3 leather entries in the fair, this year there were 53. We spent the next several hours going over each item, trying to point out what was done well,  what could use improvement, and deciding what ribbons each entry should receive.  Sheena was a big help writing down all our comments. By the time we had finished, we were the only ones left in the room. It must be easier to judge wine and food :o)   There was a lot of really nice leather work displayed in this show. The Dakota Territory Leather Guild should be proud of the job they did with this show.

We got to spend the rest of the weekend wandering around the Black Hills. Saturday morning we took a trip to Bear Country. Bear Country is always a fun place to go. I'm not sure there is anyplace you can see so many animals up close. It was close to 100 degrees there, even early in the morning so the animals weren't doing much but laying around and panting, but it was still fun to see them all.

In the afternoon, we ran back over to the fair for a little bit, then went to Hill City and took a ride on the 1880's train. The train runs from Hill City to Keystone and back and is a relaxing way to spend a few hours enjoying the scenery.

After the train ride, we made a quick trip through Needles Highway and Custer State Park. On our way through the park, we got to see a herd of big horn rams right beside the road.
We wanted to get to tunnels on Iron Mountain Road  before dark. This is a really cool road with 3 tunnels and several cools bridges. The tunnels are located so that when you are driving through them, you can see Mt Rushmore through the tunnel.

We barely made it to the tunnels before dark, so we didn't get a chance to take any good pictures, but here's one from a previous trip. From here, we continued on to Mt Rushmore to see the faces on the mountain lighted up.

Then it was back to Rapid for a late supper. On Sunday, we drove the Nemo road through more of the beautiful Black Hills to Deadwood. We've been wanting to see Kevin Costner's Tatanka center for a couple years but never got through there when it was open. We spent a couple hours there learning about bison and the Lakota indians. They've got a HUGE statue of indians on horses chasing bison over a buffalo jump that is pretty awesome.
By the time we were through there, it was early afternoon and time for all of us to head for home. It was a fun trip just like all our trips to SD have been.

No comments: