(Jan)The weather here in the Black Hills is usually warm with lower humidity during the day and a brief afternoon shower on some days. This year the weather has been pretty rowdy with many thunderstorms, lots or rain and hail in the area but luckily only small hail with lots of rain here at Hart Ranch. It seems we’ve been having thunderstorm and flash flood warnings daily.
The weather hasn’t stopped the fun however. Our Boomer friends Duane & Betty and Bill & Gisela arrived at the Ranch the day after we did. We’ve been gathering for Happy Hours, Dinners, Bocci Ball, Pegs & Jokers and dinners out.
Bill and Gisela took us on a drive through Custer Park on day. We saw lots of Buffalo, drove through the Needles area and then took the beautiful hike around Sylvan Lake. We met Betty & Duane and their friends Barbara & Jerry at The Buglin Bull for a beer followed by burgers at the Black Hills Burger and Bun Company in Custer. Another night we met for some delicious Pizza at Lintz Brother’s Pizza near Hermosa.
Rapid City hosts Summer Nights each Thursday night. There are live bands playing at the block long venue on 7th street and also at Main Street Square. Last week Bill & Gisela and Duane & Betty joined us at the Fire House Brewing Company for dinner and then watched and listened to the Glen Miller Orchestra at Main Street Square and 32 Below over on 7th Street. The drummer for 32 Below was awesome! We also strolled through Art Alley and saw many of the Presidents Bronze statues downtown. I stopped by to say Hi with Jimmy in 2009 and stopped to do it again this year. He’s one of my favorites!
All to soon it was time for Bill & Gisela to travel on east. We had one last Happy Hour and dinner at our house to celebrate our time together. We started the evening with some cell phone fun, grazed through shrimp stir-fry, played 3 very competitive games of Pegs & Jokers and finished the evening laughing and chatting! What a fun time the six of us have had!
During our time here at Hart Ranch, Chuck & I have also done two great hikes. We were very fortunate to be here at the right time for the Crazy Horse Volks March on June 6th. The hike is a 10K up to the arm of the huge Crazy Horse Sculpture near Custer. We walked with thousands of others up and down the hills but mostly up with a serious ascent to the finish. We did it! The views were gorgeous up there!
This week we hiked to the top of Harney Peak. At an elevation of 7242 ft, is the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains and the highest point west of Europe's Pyrenees Mountains. We ascended three and a half miles on Trail #9. Like Crazy Horse, this hike also has a serious ascend at the top and then several flights of stairs to reach the old stone fire tower at the top. After our picnic at the top we descended four miles on trails #3 & #4, and then had an additional 1/2 mile hike to get back from that trail head to where our Jeep was parked. We hiked about 8 miles round trip. My Fitbit registered 23,053 steps. There were such beautiful views at the top and it was an amazing hike. We are so happy that we were able to do it.
Looking east; the rock formation in the center is the back of Mount Rushmore.
|Our route back down took us by Cathedral Spires, at left, and towards Little Devils Tower at right.|