Black Hills 2013 (part 1)

A Patrol of the Mile Hi Jeep Club

I'll start with a little write up, But most folks were there for another day, and that would increase the fun by One :-)

I was up there in the hills of Dakota shooting photos of the Sturgis Mustang Rally, so I decided to stay an extra week and do some wheeling. John Clark was down from his Canadian perch and we joined up in Sturgis. We drove down to the Palmer gulch campground on Monday, where we met George and Ann, a couple more early arrivals.

After relaxing at the lodge for them, and me setting up my campsite nestled in the trees (not toooo many mosquitoes) we had a nice dinner and planned out the trip to Custer State Park the next day. With the Gallie's in the Libby, and John and I in his Rubi, we headed through Needles and down to feed the donkeys. ("Feeding the Donkeys" #2593 of Things-That-Sound-Dirty-But-Aren't)

Tuesday night, Vic, Rich, Richard and Sherry came be-bopping in and we were ready for Wednesday's trip through a close little trail that George found out about at his dinner in Rapid City with a couple members of the Black Hills Jeepers. (how's that for a single sentence?) Vic had a little issue with his drive shaft on the long drive up, so he took it out and I drove him in to Rapid City to a shop that was recommended by the BH jeepers. Then he rode with me for the day. We swung by again, later that day to pick it up, and Vic installed it and was ready for the next day of Jeeping

This trail was supposed to be a loop, but we must have missed the "loop" part of it, because we stuck to what looked like the main road which eventually dead ended. And it ended in, get this, a trailer park! Just cruising along down a nice forest service road and then, BAM! Redneck city. We did find our way out, but who builds a trailer park in the middle of a FS road?

Keith and Sharon came into the KOA campground/Lodge on Wed evening to join us. On Thursday we all headed North to some trails in the Deadwood area, mainly to check out what the black hills Jeepers refer to as a 5-5+, their highest rating.

The maps in the area leave much to be desired, but we found out way down to the high rated trail that we wanted to check out... Holly Molly, after walking down for half mile or so it was determined that we shouldn't do this trail first, and probably not at all. Maybe Richard in his Sammy, (which he didn't have) could do it, but the rest of us would have probably broke or scratched the daylights out of things. Add to the fact that the previous three trails in the area were dead ends, we really didn't want to have to come back up that boulder infested Creek Bed.

Did I mention Dead ends? the first was just a dead end at a large stack of beetle kill trees, the second was a nice overlook, where Keith had to see from a precarious perch (How often do you read the word "Perch" twice in a single Trip report?) We then headed out to look for a granite quarry, but ended up out on the road and decided seeing more rocks was not top priority, so off we went, back the the trail from Wednesday to run the "loop" backwards to see where it met the other trail. We headed back up the trail to check out another off-shoot, and guess what.... it ended in a (don't get ahead of me here).. Dead End! A gate at the bottom of the road which led into "Private Property". So we turned around again and came back down the trail and it was a different experience and great fun was had by all.

Vic, Keith, Sharon and I stopped for Ice cream on the way back and then we all went to sleep for the Thursday Tour, but it's getting late, so I'm going to bed..... Someone else can jump in and describe the next few days, if I don't get back here soon :-)

Ok, I'm back :-)
Thursday, after a leisurely breakfast, we headed up to another campground to meet up with the Black hills guys. Only one could make it, I forgot his name (sorry, dude) but he was very friendly and helpful on the trail.
The area he took us to was called "camp 5 road" and it was basically a fairly easy jeep trail that crossed a dry river bed several times. the "real" jeep trail here was actually the River bed. Strewn with boulders for miles!. It reminded me of the "rock garden" on Spring Creek, the only difference being that this one didn't stop after a hundred yards, it went on for miles! Literally rocks and bolder climbing the entire way, except at the few areas where it crossed the Camp 5 road. Vic and Richard even took an optional obstacle which had them both doing gigantic wheel stands at the end, but nothing was damaged, and they had large smiles after making it through.

After three or four hours of these non stop boulders, a few of us decided it was time to head back to Palmer Gulch KOA, leaving the hard core guys, Richard and George to continue on. One of them will have to fill in the details of that leg of the trip.

Sadly, I had to go home Saturday, so I missed the run the rest of the gang did that day, but hopefully, someone will add that adventure her too!

So, if you went on this trip. (you know who you are) POST SOME PHOTOS and ADD YOUR OWN TAKE ON THE FUN here in the comment section. DO it NOW!