Sunday, July 26, 2009

South Dakota

South Dakota was a magnificent trip. I always listen intently to the stories that Sam has to tell about growing up and living in South Dakota because it was so different from my childhood in Longview, Texas. He had these amazing stories of camping, hiking, old mining buildings, waterfalls, canyons, etc. Meanwhile Longview offered little outside of boring suburbia.

Entrance to the Ingersoll Mine
One of the places we hiked was up to the Ingersoll Mine in Keystone, SD. Off of Old Hill City Rd, you pulled into a cleared driveway that used to be the entrance to the old mining road. The hike was incredibly steep, made even more treacherous because Sam and I were planning to camp out in the cave that night. We walked through the old mining building in order to get to the cave. We did not get any pictures inside or outside the building but you can find some through a search on flickr.

Unfortunately the cave had been trashed by misuse of proceeding generations and graduated classes. Sam was incredibly disappointed to find the cave in disarray and completely ruined. Needless to say it was not suitable for camping, we did however get the chance to take even more pictures outside the cave though.

The next day we drove through Spearfish Canyon. Again, even more beautiful mountains, hills, and pine trees. Words cannot express the beauty of this place. Sam took some amazing pictures of the falls as we hiked back to the base of it.

I loved standing at the base of the waterfall, the spray splashing my bare arms. Shortly after taking this picture, Sam hopped up on the rock with me and kissed me. He said, "Now you have been kissed under a waterfall." It was a very sweet moment.

Our last day in South Dakota, we hiked down to hippie hole. Hippie hole is a mine shaft that miner's dug to see if they could find any minerals. After not finding anything the reverted the stream back, and the mine shaft filled with water to create hippie hole.
Here I am standing in front of the cliff that I jumped off of. The water was ice cold, especially with the sun going down. Also, I should note that this was not just a mere hike to get here, you drive for a few miles on forest service roads, and then literally climb into the canyon. Yes, climb. I only jumped once because it took a little bit of courage to jump once, and all the strength I had to climb back out and up the side of the cliff from which I had leaped.
A view of the beautiful canyon and the swimming hole beneath us. Our time here was too short, as the sun was going down and the water would only be getting colder.

I know, I am leaving out an important part of our trip. We did go to Mount Rushmore for the fireworks display. However, a fog rolled in about an hour before the fire works were supposed to go off, and so the display was disappointing.

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