With September we blessed with our third group of visitors. My Aunt Jill and Missy came in for a few days and we dove head first into the local tourist attractions.
This time at Rushmore I packed a picnic. Green Bean Tahini Salad, Goat Cheese & Spinach Quinoa Cakes a fresh cookies, complements of Husband.
And we went to Crazy Horse (numero dos for myself).
I took them to my favorite place in Custer, Sylvan Lake, where we walked the loop around the lake. Jill needed a warm up for the impending hike to Harney I had planned 🙂
With our legs now loose, we needed to relax our minds for the treacherous hike, and what better way than drinking wine as you coast through the Black Hills?
Once a year the 1880 Train hosts the Wine Express Into The West. Basically it’s a two hour train ride through the Black Hills, highlighted by a four course meal and wine pairings, with wine by Prairie Berry.
Quite honestly the wines were all FAR too sweet for our tastes, but the scenery was breathtaking, and we even caught a short glimpse of Harney Peak, which we planned to tackle the next day.
Harney Peak is the highest natural point in the South Dakota, as well as the highest point east of the Rockies (<–according to Wikipedia). It’s a 3 mile trek to the top, where you reach an old stone tower fire lookout.
On the way up, far in the distance, we could see the tower. If Jill wasn’t nervous about the distance to begin with, this little realization did the trick. I zoomed in to capture a pic.
until we realized that we had only gone 1.5 miles haha!
Before reaching the top we came to a similar sign that said Sylvan Lake 3.5 miles. At this point Jill grew a little perturbed 🙂 I had promised her the total hike was only 6 miles, but unbeknownst to me, it was actually 7.
Jean made it the whole way all by herself!
Jim has managed to chase every chipmunk in our path, and a few that sent him leaping into piles of broken branches, on the way up. By the top he was kaput.
Definitely a hike worth taking. Great exercise, beautiful views, and plenty of good stories to tell.
My once nervous Aunt informed me on her last night that of everything we did the wine train and Harney Peak were the highlights.
And with that their inaugural trip to the midwest ended.