Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monuments and Mountains

My progression west has taken me through the southwest corner of South Dakota where I experienced the magnificence of the Black Hills and the colossal monuments within them.

I also climbed Harney Peak, the highest summit between the Rockies and the Swiss Alps. The summit 7840-ft summit sits atop building-sized boulders, but the park service built a granite stairway to the top and topped it off with an fire-turned-observation tower. What a treat, especially considering the fact that I summited just before the once sunny sky created and unleashed a wicked rain and hail storm on me. I jogged the seven mile round trip, ascending only 1200 ft, at a pace close to the one I hope to maintain in the Bighorn 100 this weekend. The sights along the way were on par the sacred Black Hills.

I stayed two nights in the Blue Bell campground in Custer (spit) State Park. It was peaceful and cozy. If I return, I will also reserve a site at the Sylvan Lake campground due to its proximity to all of the notable sights.

Enough words. Check out these photos and start planning a trip.

Rushmore through a mountain tunnel.
Crazy Horse - All of Rushmore is smaller than his head.
Cathedral Spires along Harney Peak trail.

What storm?

See the climbers near the summit?
See them now? Right of center.

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