3rd Annual Black Hills Hang- Aug 21-24 2014


It was time for the 3rd Annual Black Hills Hang. We had gone to the 1st, but missed the 2nd because of Vicky's father's passing last year. We love the Black Hills and even though it is 975 miles from our house we still make it a point to go to this event. In addition the event is so well organized by Brian (Boothill) and Susan (SoDakGrrl) that it just a great time for everyone.
This year we had two additional incentives. We purchased a new travel trailer RV before the trip (a big reason to buy it now) and our friend John Merkle had never been to South Dakota and had always expressed an interest in going. Even though this form of travel has not been something he has experienced before, he was game to try it.
The plan was to take the whole week off and leave on a Sunday, travel to South Dakota over 2 days and visit the best places before the hang ( Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Mt Harney, Crazy Horse, etc)

Before we left I had an auxillary transimission cooler installed on the Hummer to help with pulling the RV. Well after 150 miles it ruptured and the transmission was toast. The RV and the Hummer had to be towed home. The Hummer later needed a brand new transmission, so we could keep it, and I came home from the trip and had to buy an new truck to tow the RV.

The next day we re-grouped and started out again in Vicky's car without the RV. We were determined to make it this year.

Arriving in Wall SD, late on Monday night we found a Best Western Hotel and went to dinner at the Cactus Cafe and Lounge. A high class establishment for sure
The next day it was up early and after a continental breakfast at Best Western we let John enter Wall Drug for the first time!

Wall Drug is acres of everything you should expect from a quality tourist trap. In fact Wall Drug is unique in that it is actually a tourist attraction itself and somewhat of an icon in South Dakota

John playing with the locals (above) and below riding a giant Jackalope.

But after a couple of hours of wondering around Wall Drug it was time for the real attraction of the area. Badlands National Park
A lot of people will not be that impressed with the Badlands or not spend much time except a quick drive through the area- but I find the whole area fascinating and could spend days wondering around the formations.

The Sun was bright and it was hot today, so not the best day for photos, but I have taken many from this area before.

The Park Service has used the entrance fee money to tear down and rebuild all the visitor cabins you can rent in the park for overnight stays. I have stayed a couple of times here over the years and always laughed at the slanted floors and very poor plumbing, but now they are all brand new. You can see the old above and the new below. A good use of visitor money

We walked out on one of the scenic loops to give John a better idea of the terrain than just seeing it from the car. Below- "Beyond this point there be dragons"
We had lunch in the park and we did see a big herd of Bison leaving the park by the Sage Creek Rd exit

Vicky got a call from our friends in Rapid City that there was a series of concerts going on this week and one of them a country and western something or other... LOL. So we went directly into Rapid City and used their home as a base for more touristy activities
They have 3 great dogs (Furry Kids) that are really neat to be around.

This being John's first trip to the Black Hills you have to go see Mt Rushmore and we always walk the President's trail around the monument, you can get shots from many different angles

We also drove the scenic loop around the Black Hills Hwy 16 ( The Needles Hwy) to Hwy 87 (Iron Mountain Hwy) and the wildlife loop in Wind Cave National Park

The Highways are very windy with many tunnels too small for RV travel but someone always tries and brings their RV through the tunnels and gets stuck.
We did see a couple of Bison in the Wildlife loop area. 
Of course we also had to stop in at the Crazy Horse Monument.

It was finally time to arrive at the 3rd Annual Black Hills Hang at Sheridan Lake

The forecast was for some rain this weekend but we got all our hammocks up before any real rain came
My DIY purple table cloth hammock, Vicky and her Warbonnet Blackbird
and John got the Warbonnet Ridgerunner bridge hammock, which he seemed to take to right away, as he had no problem taking an immediate nap!

The camp area was very pretty with lots of wildflowers around 

We had great fun just sitting around the fire, Brian kept the fire going the entire time. The first year we came there was a fire ban so no campfires, this year there has been lots of rain

Susan (Sodakgrrl) and Brian (Boothill) brought their dogs and Carol (MomaBoot) brought her little dog as did Paul and Missy (tiny Dexter) who came from Michigan for the hang 

Brian, Susan, and Carol always have this so well organized. Brian brought and cooked ribs Friday night and we pitched in with backed beans and everyone brought something to share.

The crew.

Left to Right
Brian, John, Craig, Dick, Vicky, Frank, Susan, Paul, Missy.
Carol (below) who was taking the picture

Thank you so much for a wonderful time and a great 3rd Annual Black Hills Hang. We look forward to seeing you all again on the 4th.

When in Rapid City:
Que Pasa- Mexican Food
Colonial House- Breakfast
Marco's Pizza- Best Pizza Rapid City
Delmonicos- Fine Dining
Botticelli- Fine Dining
Minervas- Dinner
Uncork'd- Tapas and drinks

The Gaslight Restaurant- Cowboy Bar and Food

Hill City:
Desperado's Cowboy Cafe- Lunch

Let's Go RV'ing

Well most of you will remember the posts concerning the Rolling "Turd" a 1988 Southwind Fleetwood class A RV that we got from our friends the Shaw's in Rapid City South Dakota and restored to a condition that we used it for some really great RV adventures. The Southwind is now sold and in its place a brand new Rockwood 2503S, 25' travel trailer. This is something that can pull and then have our vehicle to move around once we are at the campsite. (it never seemed practical to pull our vehicle with the Southwind- one because it was old but two because then you had two vehicles to fill up!)
we spent the weekend at the RV dealers parking lot test ground and played like we were on an adventure in the asphalt jungle. We will be going west next week toward the Badlands of South Dakota and the Fall Black Hills Hammock Hang near Sheridan Lake, South Dakota. We will visit touristy things like Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument. We will do some hiking as I will want to go up Mt Harney Peak (7242 feet) again. Let's hope the good old Hummer H3 can pull this big thing half way across the country.

Support Our National Parks - Preserve - Protect - Enjoy