Today marks our last day in the Black Hills so we took to the trails to explore them closer. We rented a UTV from High Country Ranch in Hill City, SD which is about 15 miles from our campsite.
After the usual paperwork and safety protocols, we were ready to take off!
We’ve never done this as a family!Levi
No, kiddo, we’ve haven’t. This trip has had a whole lot of firsts for us!Mom
One of our first stops was to visit the remains of an old mining town in what is now known as Mystic Creek and Burnt Fork. The boys found a pit (that had a grate over it) and were amazed at how deep it was. You could drop a rock and wait a while before it hit the water in the bottom.
There were historic markers so we were able to learn about the mine itself. The mine was used to mine gold and brought many people to the area. Often business owners arrived as well and charged extreme fees for their products since they were the only source available. The mine was operational until WWII. (Actually, most things we’ve seen on this trip were pre-WWII.)
We took a break for lunch near the mine. We packed sandwiches, chips and plenty of water. After lunch it was mom’s turn to drive!
Overall, the trails were pretty tame compared to some that we have at home and the UTV handled them easily. There was a section with quite a few rocks so the ride was a bit bumpy at times. That wasn’t exactly the boys’ favorite part.
The views from the hill tips were so pretty. Like most places out here you can see a long way. I’m not sure if it is because the mountains are so tall, the sky is so clear or because the horizon isn’t cluttered with buildings but I love it! Did I mention, we all agreed we could live out here?
The weather initially called for 60% chance of rain today so we came prepared with ponchos, long pants and sweatshirts. Thankfully, we didn’t need the ponchos at all and the sweatshirts quickly became too warm. Overall, it was a beautiful sunny day that wasn’t too cool or too hot. And zero (or very, very low humidity.)
After about six hours and over 50 miles of riding the boys were getting antsy. I suggested a snack break to stretch our legs and that seemed to hold them over for a bit longer.
Mid-afternoon, we headed back to Custer for a stop at the candy and ice cream shop. (Yes, we love ice cream!) We called it an early evening and ended up back at the campsite for a relaxing night of books, movies and dinner.
Tomorrow is (hopefully) an early morning as we leave to begin our three day journey home.