Heading East & Last of The Black Hills, SD

We’ll we’re off East and further “out there” so not sure we’ll have blog access for a few days (we’ll see). In the meantime it’s time to say a last goodbye to the Black Hills of SD and our 2 weeks here. 

The Pahá Sápa, so named by the Sioux Indians for their dark Ponderosa Pines, are a sacred and rich hills wrapped in controversial history. Originally traditional hunting grounds, the hills were assigned to the Lakota at the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. However, peace was not to be. In 1874 General Custer discovered gold in the region and the draw was irresistible. Within 2 years 10,000 prospectors filled the area and a year later the US government seized back the land. It was the beginning of the massive Gold Rush the age of migration to the West. 

All this history is wrapped in the hills and there for you to experience, and we’ve been under, over and across to see it. Jewel Cave, the 2nd longest cave in the world (151 miles) lies ~12 miles West of Custer, and the area is flanked by another monster Wind Cave in the south. Marking the north is Mount Rushmore where the road leads all the way to historical Deadwood. Closer to Custer is the remarkable private undertaking of Crazy Horse, which will eventually be the largest mountain carving in the world and displays a wealth of Indian culture and history. And, of course there’s the hills, the berries, the wildlife and the hiking. 

Well worth a visit. As they say “we be back…” 

Sunrise at Stockade Lake in Custer State Park
Wildflowers in Custer
Hiking Hellhole Canyon w/ Paul & Polly in the East
The stunning Jewel Cave
The Crazy Horse Monument. It will eventually be 563 feet (172 m) high and will depict Crazy Horse on his mount pointing to the land of his people
The Black Hills as seen from the top of Lovers Leap
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