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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gold Mining or Spear Fishing?????

Today, as with all the days of late, is very hot.  Temps are almost 100 now at 5pm.  We have adapted somewhat and attempt to do our outdoor activities in the morning and early afternoon when possible and then come back to the RV where it is nice and cool.  Fortunately, the humidity is about 36% which is quite comfortable.

They have been predicting thunderstorms but we haven’t really seen anything but some cumulus clouds.  Often the sky also has haze from the wildfires.

Today we took an easy drive up into the Black Hills.  We got off of I-90 at Sturgis, about 14 miles north of here.  We didn’t really tour that town but every year it has a nationwide Harley Davidson motorcycle rally with riders coming from all over the county.  Almost every town of any size within miles of here has a Harley Davidson store!

From Sturgis we drove up Highway 14A and into Deadwood.  This town is fairly scenic and has some interesting buildings and small casinos.  At one time this was quite a gold rush town and it is interesting to see the town continue to be prosperous.

From Deadwood, we drove 3 miles to Lead (pronounced Leed).  This town has an interesting history to its name.  Often when gold is discovered, there is an outcropping of the mineral which, when dug up and followed usually leads to a gold vein or lode.  These outcroppings are called “Leads” as they lead you to the gold.


The largest gold mine in the world is the Homestake mine here in Lead.  It closed in 2002 after 130 years of mining and has both the open pit mine and shaft mines.  In fact, this mine is so large, that the open pit goes down 1,200 feet.


We were not able to take the tour or see the shaft mine because there was a collector car show in town that was using the tour parking lot and related facilities.  That was too bad because the mine shaft goes down over 8,000 feet with many levels!

After leaving Lead, we drive further on Highway 14A and went down Spearfish Canyon.  Carol will probably have better and more pictures of this scenic canyon as I was the driver.  Visit her blog at CarolKs Journey.

We did stop along the way at Roughlock falls.


This waterfall is from Spearfish Creek which flows along the base of the canyon.


When we entered the canyon, our altitude was over 5,000 feet.  As we exited the canyon we had dropped over 3,000 feet!  Interestingly enough, near the canyon exit, the water in the creek disappears!



Where did all that water go??????

We did drive through the town of Spearfish which sits on I-90 where highway 14A joins up.  Again, Carol may have some pictures to share of the town.

Not sure yet what the agenda for tomorrow is yet.

If you want to see a brief movie of parts of today’s outing, check it out below…..

Homestake Mine and Spearfish Canyon

1 comment:

Donna K said...

EIGHT THOUSAND FEET??? No way would I go down in that shaft - although it probably would have been cool down there! Glad you left the sound in for the stream and waterfalls. Love the sound of moving water. Now we just need to get you doing some narration!!