Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Counting Down

Hi all,
The countdown is on, only 10 more working days and then we are out of here. 
That only leaves four off days to do stuff here.
 Time to get busy with some last visits and trips to our favorite places one more time. I got in one last trip to Cold Brook Reservoir to get one more limit of crappie. We got a nice sunny 80 degree day and the fish just jumped in the boat.(haha)
Yes the water is that clear

 Wendy and I spent a day bumming around beautiful Lake Sylvan and visiting with Bill the host there.
Sylvan Lake
Another day we hiked the Coolidge Walk In Trail a 3 mile one way trail that includes 15 creek crossings. It was nice to see all the crossings are now fixed with boards which should help with erosion of banks in some areas.

 We had been waiting for some fall color change to take a drive up to Spearfish Canyon Scenic Highway. Monday was the day, Al and Nancy who are hosting at Center Lake joined us. Wow! did we hit it right,  80 degrees and blue skies and the fall colors were popping.
 We made a bunch of pull offs each time just in awe of the beauty. Two required stops along the scenic highway are Roughlock and Bridal Veil Falls. We took a short walk from the Roughlock along the Spearfish Creek.

 We took a break for a nice lunch in Spearfish then decided to tour the DC Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery. We had done this before but was a first for Al and Nancy.
 Established in 1896 between 20,000 and 30,000 rainbow trout are provided from here yearly. The grounds are visitor friendly as you are allowed to purchase and feed the fish. Also on grounds is a replica traincar that was used to transport fish in the early years. We also toured the house of DC Booth the first manager that was built in 1905.

  The next two weeks will go fast as we have training for the buffalo round that takes place on Sept.30. That is a big weekend here as they also have a craft fair in the park and a chili cookoff going on.

Wendy's work for the craft fair

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Buffalo Bits

Hi all,
Wow, down to only one month left here in the Black Hills. This two month stint is actually kinda nice.
Want to give a special shout out to fellow blogger Pam who was staying in the park last week. Pam is a fellow Wisconsinite and writes a nice blog called Nomadic Newfies , she also takes great pics so check it out if you like at http://nomadicnewfies.blogspot.com . Nice meeting you!
 Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend, things here were quite different than normal. This weekend we were filled with many local (Rapid City) campers getting a last big summer weekend in. We had multiple sites where related families were getting together, not that they were bad just seemed all had plenty of other family come down so with no overflow parking cars were parked everywhere. We had to ride around pretty much with blinders on to keep sane.
 We thought it would slow down big time after the weekend but we have been close to full yet. Oh well guess it keeps things interesting.
 We got in our first buffalo jam at the East entrance to the park. Some of these guys were getting pretty agitated as they were trapped between a steep hill and cars. Luckily no damage was done.

 Sunday was a bit sunnier and we headed to Custer for a car show featuring Studebakers. While we like to see the old cars I must admit I didn't know much about these.
 Well one fella was happy to give us a quick history lesson, The start of Studebakers can be traced back to this German family first building Conestoga wagons in 1750. They became the largest producer of horse drawn wagons and carriages. Production of horse drawn wagons ended in 1920 and by then had an electric car but then made the switch to gasoline engines.
 They continued to produce cars in the South Bend, Ind. plant until 1963 and the last Studebaker rolled off the production line in Ontario, Canada in 1966.

On Monday we headed off for a drive and instead found ourselves taking in a nice one mile hike in Wind Cave, the Rankin Ridge Trail meanders up to a fire lookout tower. It offered some fantastic views.

Happily we got one more chance to get together with Laurel and George before they head out next Monday for parts unknown. We decided on catching a breakfast in Custer and a drive through the Black Hills. We then changed it up a bit to include a tour at Wind Cave National Park.
 We opted for the Natural Entrance tour well that was what was free with our VIP cards. We thought it was a good tour and our guide, Hannah did a fantastic job.

Box work
 After that Wendy and I showed them our favorite dirt road drive in Wind Cave N.P. into Custer S.P.
capping it all off with pie and ice cream at the Purple Pie in Custer.
 We had a great time hooking up with these guys and look forward to meeting again.