Black Hawk SP and the Black Hills

Black Hawk Lake, Lake View IA

Gabe & Melissa
It's been a great week even though the weather has been a bit iffy. After visiting with friends in Omaha (thanks for a great visit Judi, Al, Dixie and Dan) we ventured back into Iowa to visit our oldest son Gabe and his wife Melissa. Seems the summer passes and we never get enough time with them. They recommended a new spot for us to camp at, Black Hawk State Park on Black Hawk Lake in Lake View IA, about 20 miles south of their home in Early.  I reserved a site on the lakefront for a couple nights. The signage into this park is not great but we finally found our way there. The roads are a bit tight and when we found our spot and tried to park, it was going to be a bit tight because of 2 trees and then these crazy posts with the site numbers that made backing in impossible. Called the ranger and explained our dilemma, he said we could pull the problem post out. Really? He could tell I was skeptical and said he was on his way to the campground and he would stop by. Yep, the posts come out relatively easily, who would have thought. We actually talked him into the site next to ours so we didn't have to deal with the trees, so we stayed on site 49. The best site actually is site 50 next to that one and I have already decided to reserve that one next spring for a week. I have to say the kids were right, this is a beautiful place to park. Since they were working we had some time during the day to just relax and enjoy the lake. John also decided we should walk around the lake, he estimated it at 3-4 miles. Well, 6.60 miles later he admitted he had underestimated it a little. Longest hike we have done in awhile.  Beautiful lake, long hike and time with Melissa and Gabe makes for a wonderful day.

Thursday we drove to Mitchell SD for just a one night stay. It was our anniversary (32 years!) so we went to eat at the Whiskey Creek Wood Fired Grill. No lunch today so we went early and had the place almost to ourselves. It was great. We both ordered their baby back ribs and they were fall off the rib yummy. We have been in Mitchell before and already visited the Corn Palace so one night was enough. We stayed at the R & R Campground right behind the Super 8. It's great for a convenient in and out stay.

Friday it was on to Spearfish SD and the Black Hills, where we are currently staying. The park I picked is the Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort. This one is a little pricier than I usually pick but it lives up to its resort status. We have a good WiFi signal, cable tv, there is a pool, tennis courts, basketball court, and horseshoe courts. The WiFi and cable are really the only two we have used but the WiFi has made it worth it. I am doing a photo book for my granddaughter and was able to upload all the photos I needed and I'm getting this blog posted, yippeee!!!! Just before bed I used the bathroom and when I went to flush the cable broke on the pedal. Crap. My first thought was " here we go again, in a beautiful spot and we will spend it fixing something". Luckily John had parts for this, as he had anticipated it happening so by noon Saturday he had it fixed and working better than it had in awhile. The good part about where we are parked is we are right across from the shower house so Friday night and Saturday morning we had easy access to the facilities which I have to say are quite nice.

So Saturday afternoon we took off to discover the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway and take a short hike to Roughlock Falls. This is a stunningly beautiful area, we've been in the Black Hills before and I don't think it will ever get old. The trail to the falls is paved and easy and wonderful. It was a nice break from the driving and fixing things. I had some fun with the camera so I hope you enjoy the photos. Even though the forecast called for rain, we had a beautiful day and the storm held off until evening.

Rain was and is in the forecast for everyday here but Sunday. I wanted to visit Devil's Tower which is a little over an hour away into Wyoming. I checked the weather app and at the Tower it looked like it would clear off in the afternoon so we decided to go. We drove in a drizzel and fog until shortly after we exited I90 and then it gradually cleared. It did cloud up again as we got to our destination, but no rain. We had missed this site on our other trips this way and it was high on my list of things to do. The day was actually perfect for the short hike and viewing this incredible rock. Climbing this rock is a big thing, with my fear of heights just the thought of it makes my head ache. There were several groups of climbers out so fun to watch them. It was late enough in the day we were actually watching their decent. We even did a little video we sent to Evie. She loves rocks and we told her she would love this really, really big rock. :) As we traveled back just before I90 the fog returned. The rain held off long enough for us to get back, stop for groceries and get into the rig, then it let loose again. Our luck is holding out.
Our approach to Devil's Tower

See if you can find the climbers..

A little closer now
A little perspective

Leaving and heading into the fog

Lunch with Laurie and George
Yesterday (Monday) we took a drive to Custer to have lunch with fellow full-timers and blogger friends Laurie and George. We have met them several times along the way but the last time we visited is when were both at Campbellsville to work for Amazon. They have had a year of challenges and it was good to catch up. George had surgery recently and it was particularly good to see him doing well.
We ate at the Buglin' Bull. Great burgers. It only seemed right to have a bison burger since this is where the bison live large. The drive there and back was serene. We made a short stop at Deadwood and checked out the downtown. Interesting and if you like to gamble there are lots of opportunities. The sun was out for a short time when we returned but it wasn't long before the clouds and rain were back. With all the rain in this area this week we feel very lucky to get out to the places we wanted and stay dry. Today we are just hanging out. We will do a little laundry and relax. Tomorrow is a travel day to Gerryowen MT. This is close to the site of the battle of the Little Bighorn and the Cuter museum which should fill the day we have there. Friday we will drive to Gardiner MT, our base for seeing Yellowstone. The weather there has not been good this week but is suppose to improve by the time we get there. They even had snow in the higher elevations. It should be interesting. 

Beyond Yellowstone? Maybe Oregon and Portland, maybe  Idaho & Utah. Suggestions anyone? Sometimes there are so many choices I feel like I can't make a decision. Well I've got another week so what's the rush, right?

Happy Trails.................................


  1. Great tower pictures. The Black Hills is one of our favorite areas.

  2. if you make it to Portland we will be there on the 27th for a week...


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