Saturday, April 17, 2010

Black Hills NF Experimental Forest

While I was at work today I met a couple who told me about their adventures in the Black Hills over the last thirty years. They were a great people and really charming and told me about a cemetery back in Galena. There is supposed to be a razed mining town behind the town of Galena. Galena is one of the original mining towns that was settled in 1876. It's just one road that runs Northeast through a gulch. We had seen a picture taken while the mine was still in operation. It was a beautiful meadow with a church and school and several houses all along one dirt lane. The church was still standing when we found it today. It's nestled up the slope in a setting of evergreens and looked to be completely restored. We attempted to go off of Galena road onto a offshoot but didn't make it very far. Snow and mud were abundant.

We cruised through town to get over to Boulder Canyon and started taking whatever road interested us. We were abble to get this picture of Deadwood Gulch from looking Southwest. Eventually we found a road called Two Bit and I recognized the name. The road we take from work has a Two Bit offshoot. There was a Dead End sign but we went on. We've found that those signs often mean "for the truly devote off-roaders" and end up coming out somewhere. It was a beautiful ride. There were deer everywhere. We'd jump them and then watch as they ran up the cliffside. Mostly Whitetails today, not many Mule Deer.

Eventually we ended up finding an Experimental Road that led us through the Black Hills National Forest. There were more deer here than anywhere. It was relaxing to ride miles of dirt road and never see another person. We've decided to picnic here tomorrow.

To finish our adventure we hit up the Moonshine Saloon in Rochford. The locals had gathered and I almost felt like we were interrupting something but that soon passed and we ended up enjoying our beers and having good conversation.

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