Monday, July 19, 2010

Jenny Gulch, Pactola Lake, SD

One of the most beautiful lakes in the area is Pactola. It's man made and stunning. The pine hills fall into the crisp blue waters. It's truely a gem of the Black Hills. Jenny Gulch is a popular swimming spot for the young adventurous types.

We had been hearing about the Gulch for about a year now and had invites before but nothing ever seemed to pan out. So, we finally got our friends together and headed out there. Tyler led the way, he and Amanda are locals and had been hundreds of times. Josh, Nate, Wu and myself followed.

We parked and began the hike up. There was a little stream to cross and of course the dogs ran right through. Wu wasn't sure about it but went ahead and did it. The path winds up a ricky crest and then down a pine needle covered rocky hillside. It's not an easy trail in flip flops.

The actual spot is a outcropping of rocks. There are a few

different heights that one could jump off into the depths. Not once did I touch the bottom of the lake. Once you were off the rocks you were over your head. It was a little scary but amazing. The water was warm and everyone was in a great mood.

Our friends had brought their dogs and they were giving Wu a lesson in fetch. He wanted to play but is still too much puppy. He swam his little heart out though. It was the first time he had actually been in a large body of water. Josh and I could swim out and Wu would swim at us. He would actually try to climb on us which turned out to be dangerous. By the end of the day I looked like I'd been beat up by alley cats.

We swam for hours. It was amazing. Amanda and I swam to the other side and jumped off the rocks there. The dogs played fetch until Wu, at least, was exhausted. He laid on the rocks watching everyone else for hours.

In the afternoon it started to get really crowded and we packed up. It was the perfect day to get in the water and relax.