2010 Living in the Black Hills wk 2

Posted: August 26, 2010 in GREEN, NEW FRIENDS, TRAVEL / Gatherings
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8/15/2010 Monday



Spent the day hanging with the Swap Meet crew. I reported for work at 9am.

The owner of the swap meet warehouse is Randy and Shirley White of southwest Kansas. Randy made his money by founding a switch grass operation. He has sat down from daily operations and only performs shareholder tasks so he wanted something new and exciting to do. The swap meet includes the warehouse and two adjoining residential properties.

My mission was to stack all the parts neatly by hand into the warehouse. My teammates included Randy’s childhood friend Steve (spends most time in Texas) and Silver Roblas of Platonia Texas. Then we had our runner named Friday or Geo. Friday had done way too many drugs and was a bit slow, thus Shirley called him Friday.

The guys were great fun to work with and we shared tons of stories during our frequent drink brakes ordered by foreman Steve.

Silver was a travelling volunteer with the Federal Lineman Electricians group who helps people in need so I am pursuing some joint efforts with them.

Silver had done projects in Antarctica!

Steve was in the back of a truck when his drunk driver swerved off the road and hit a rock creek. Steve survived his superman flight with only stitches to his chin and sandal covered feet. He also survived a 100 mph roll in his camaro after walking half a day to a highway where someone could find him.

Shirley compared my life and charity founding to the people featured on the show “101 things to do before I die.” She and Randy took us all out to lunch at a local Pepsi dinner and we got to know each other really well. They were pleased to support my cause and anxious to have me visit in KS and do another project.

Back at the warehouse we were using a red wagon, a wheel burro, a stack cart and a dolly to move thousands of bike parts around. It was going to take us 2 days.

Silver introduced me to the MS state oil recovery director named ( ). We talked just briefly so she knew I would be following up with her when I was looking to come down and help.

Shirley brought us Tai food for dinner.

After they were done for the night I went to Deadwood to check out the night life and met Tara Hixson. Tara was bartending the Mineral casino by night and teaching by day.

She studied in London and did Peace Core for 2.5 years in Thailand and southeast Asia! She was very exciting so we swapped facebook ids and then after I was done checking my messages I went to Saloon 10.

At Saloon 10 I watched a kid steal a leather jacket and an Australian biker chased him down until he dropped it. Then I turned my focus to the waitress Leah to talk about local fun. She was very attractive and very friendly. Whenever things were slow she would come over and talk to me about my adventures. She recommended I spend time hiking the Iron creek and lake.

Towards the end of the night there was another attractive lady talking to me about Black Jack so I sat down at a table with her. She kept making mistakes against my advice and the guys at the table where making rude comments to her but I could not defend her drunken errors and noxious attitude. I soon had to get up casually and sneak away from her and take my nightly 7 minute cold ride up the mountain to my tent.

8/16 Monday

I woke up excited to hang out with the swap meet crew in Sturgis again for the day. When I stopped at McDs to get a yogurt parfait and cherry pies there was a traveler chilling out by the drive thru. I stopped to talk to him and asked if I could buy him breakfast. Thomas turned out to have more character then I anticipated. He was a magician and used his little dog Sparky in his activities. He had been doing a gig at one of the bars and had spent most the money he earned so he was looking for a ride west. He did a couple tricks for me and another feller who pulled up to give him a bucks. It was very entertaining when I hid the card and showed it to Sparky and the other guy and then Thomas used my card in mid sentence when talking to his pup. I then had to get on my way to work.

Work was just as great as the previous day. Steve called even more drink breaks but we eventually got the tent empty and the warehouse stocked. We went out to lunch at a biker memorabilia saloon called the Knuckle. After work we all sat around and partied at the house until about 10 and then I headed off to Saloon 10. Randy told me to come back in the am to check with his tent connection for some work.

At the end of the night I was getting gas and met Tasha who was working at Saloon 10. She was real friendly and I told her I would see her at work then we went our separate ways. I put another $10 in gas at $2.89/gal.

8/17 Tuesday

I started my day by checking in with Randy and his tent connection. It turned out that the company in charge of subcontracting spent all their deposit money from the city and they were making workers wait for a possible check in the mail. I decided I did not need to work bad enough to gamble on getting paid so I went with Silver and Steve to Spearfish.

Steve’s speedometer was broke so he waved me beside him to set his cruise at 70. When we pulled into WalMart, Thomas the trickster was sitting out front charging his phone. I introduced him to the guys and we chatted a few times as we went in and out. Thomas showed his sense of humor by putting a for sale sign on my bike parked in front of him.

The guys went to Subway and I told them good bye one last time before heading for the salvation army. I met Laurel here as she was shopping. I would meet Laurel again later in the day. I also found some nice army pants to wear hiking but now boots so I went to another thrift stored.

When I was leaving the thrift store this elderly lady lost her footing on the curb and I and another lady helped her into the Doctors office.

I went back to Walmart to buy some $21 hiking boots and then stopped at the Subway. It was here that I met Laurel again and talked about renewable energy. I gave her my info and then moved on to cruise Spearfish Canyon road to do some recon for the next day’s hiking. The road was full of trails and cliff views and I was anxious to hike it the next day.

I ended the night at Cadillac Jacks and Saloon 10 again. At Jacks I can get my email and at the 10 I have a nice place to sit with a plug-in to type my journal.

8/18 Wed

Today I felt like playing some poker since I earned a pocket of cash. There is a 10:30a $9 entry $10 re-buy tourney at the 10 every morning with usually only 10 people and it pays $110 for first and $70 for second. It is a great tourney to play to build up your money roll without high stakes. Today I finished sixth.

At 1p there is a $12 entry $5 re-buy tourney at Cadillac jacks with free pizza. Again it is a great low risk tourney. I just missed cashing by finishing 6th out of 17.

The rest of the afternoon I went to Spearfish canyon’s Roughlock falls trail. It was near a resort and restaurant so there were a lot of people and resources available in the area except gas. Of course I was running on my reserve tank about that point but luckily I made it the 14 miles back to Lead.

8/19 Thursday

I did my usual Yoga and rock lifting then I went to Lead’s grocery store to get some fruit for breakfast the next two days and spent $5.

The rest of the day I just cruised Spearfish Canyon to scope out the gravel 133 road. I just barely made it to Spearfish before dark. It was a much slower and longer road then expected at about 30 miles.

It was a cold ride back to saloon 10.

8/20 Friday

I woke up pumped to hike Spearfish Canyon today. I did a short session of yoga and quick pushups and then was off to the trails.

I took some fruit and sub sandwiches in my pack along with an extra layer of clothes to the “Dance with Wolves” trail head. It was a beautiful hike along the stream and then up a crevasse in the canyon full of berry bushes.

When I came to the 3 mile turn to retreat to the entrance I decided I wanted to explore some more so I took the extended trail. It was suppose to loop 8 miles but once I made it that far and realized there were no other trails I had to start watching the sun light.

After 4 hours I reached a point of no return and had to start considering a cross trail heading towards the highway. At this point I reached a summit overlooking the waterfall trail so I knew I had hiked to the next canyon to the east. I realized I had at least 8 miles back to my road so I took the next trail heading west and then reached an ATV trail. I followed that trail and then turned each direction that represented the most traffic signaling the sure route to the main road.

Once I reached the main road I realized I was about 6 miles down the road from where my bike was parked and it was getting dark.

After about 2 miles and a bunch of deer and turkey companions, a white car came by and stopped to pick me up. The driver was another hiker from Germany named Rainer Grueterich (@hotmail.de).

Rainer was looking for a good place to tent up for the night and I was grateful for him stopping so I told him directions to my camp. Rainer was a very spiritual man with native American friends so we got along very well.

After he dropped me off I was hoping to see him at the base when I got in later in the night. I did my normal routine of checking email at a casino and then closed the night at Saloon 10 around 2am.

When I got to camp I was pleased to see Rainer all set up. My location is a bit tricky but he figured it out.

8/21 Saturday

When I got out of my tent at 8:30, Rainer was just getting back from hiking to the tower. He thanked me for sharing the location and offered to share breakfast with me.

We went to the picnic table and he fried up some veggie burger, beans, cucumber, tomato and humus on wheat. It was the best breakfast I have had since leaving my mom’s three weeks earlier.

We talked about how in Germany they are trying step back from the system and divert the money from programs into just paying the citizens a flat $1500 a month each in benefits. The US could afford about the same figure but our private healthcare and corporate biomed industry destroy any politician who campaigns for it.

After breakfast I thanked him and explained I would be hiking little Spearfish creek if he wanted to join. He didn’t have a cell phone so we just had to rely on crossing paths again.

I stopped at the library to read about Gold mining and berry picking and then hit the trail. The little spearfish creek trail is 2 miles from hwy 14a to a back road up hill. Then you turn away from the creek and hike the canyon wall. Before leaving the creek I cleaned up and filled my water and had a sandwich. As I turned up the canyon wall it took me through a back forest with a gradual slope.

The trail followed the slope about 3 miles and then turned back towards 133 to the canyon top. From there it was another 3 miles back down. The trail came out of the forest about 2 miles down the road from the trailhead where I parked and then follows the road back. The trail came to a campground and a bunch of college kids that I had briefly introduced myself to when I passed by the day before.

Jim, Alyssa and ( ) where all friends from South Dakota State Univ and they were getting their last summer trip in before classes started. They invited me over for a drink to relax after my hike and then shared some food with me. We talked about the Devils Bath trail and our life accidents and then started a drinking game they liked to call Butt Sex.

Alyssa and friend were just in a bad wreck in 2009 and she had to have her head stitched up. Friend cruised the Bahamas and Jim went to Hawaii when he was 12 or third grade but he swore it was both.

After 1 Bacardi, 1 Mikes and 3 beers I had succeeded in burning my shoes and the cooler and also sprained my ankle. The next thing I know, I am waking up to the sunrise in the chair with a nice warm blanket over me.

As everyone started moving around, I helped clean up the campsite and we took some pictures before going our separate ways. We all are now connected on facebook.

8/22 Sunday

After pulling an all nighter I needed to go swimming so I went over to the Iron Creek trail. It was 9 miles up hill from 14a to 133 and the whole hike was beautiful. There are numerous spots to wade in the water and bask on big boulders in the sun.

I took several naps and got a lot of writing done along this trail. I met the parents and sister of CrystalGeise.com on this trail.

I then went on a quest to find the Devils Bath trail where Jim scrapped his arm sliding down a water rock slide. After going from Savoy towards Lead I learned the trail head was the other direction. I eventually found Cleopatra road about 7 miles before Spearfish.

The trail was an 8 on degree of difficulty. It was about a mile up to the pools and you had to climb over/under several trees and walk several wood and rock stepping bridges back and forth across the creek. You also had to walk thin ledges along the canyon walls. It was a blast and definitely one of my favorite places to go back too.

Once I reached the pools I jumped off the 6ft ledges and lost my shades then wasted a few minutes of my life trying to find them on the pool bottom.

For the evening I wanted to find a good sports bar to watch the Niners play the Vikings so I went to Mustang Sally’s. It was here that I met a very cool waitress named Kayla. She wanted to play darts with me so I accepted and we got to know each other pretty well.

Kayla was going to Cosmo school in Rapid and had just moved into her first place away from the parents. She was 20 so she could not tell me much about night clubs in RC but she gave me great info on some trails and a swimming hole to cliff dive called Jenny Gulch.

The other waitress named Shelby told me that her boyfriend’s family sold the land by my camp site for $6million after buying it for around $50k around 1990.

As midnight neared I gave them my contact info and told them goodnight. I went to the 10 to listen to this group from Minnesota and then headed for camp at 1 because a rain front was moving in. I dodged a bullet and stayed dry all the way up the mountain.

Rainer was gone when I got back but he left me a nice note and some sage showing he was well accustomed to the plains natives. I would have left him with some buffalo medicine if I had a chance to say good bye.

8/23 Monday

The wind storm went on through the night and my little tent barely budged. In the morning the sun came out and all the critters were running around. I had a bunch of turkeys by my tent and a couple bucks by my bike.

I did my workout then got some fruit from the store and stopped into the Lead library to post a blog entry.

Kayla texted me directions to Jenny Gulch and I was on my way. I took a wrong turn through east Jenny Gulch Road and went through a forest back road and came out in the valley. I asked a local at the fish farm and got back on course. I was only about 4 miles away.


When I found the right spot it turned out to be everything Kayla described. The cliffs were right off the parking lot and it was plenty deep to dive from heights up to a 26ft. Cliff. You can also hike up to a 100ft. spot and layout nude with no one to care or even notice.

I got a nice tan while typing a bunch more and then headed back to the saloon as it got dark. I spent a few more hours playing darts with Kayla and showed her how use bit torrent before ending the night.

  1. […] (p.2 Black Hill’s 2017 blog coming soon!) […]

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