Campground: Site 314; Full hook-up pull thru; This campground is a meticulous resort in the true sense of the word. Even though most sites are in the typical rows of resort camping, each site was long and had ample space and grass for chairs. Besides a swimming pool, there was a tennis court, full size basketball court, volleyball and horse shoes. The CG is located on the historic 4,750 acre Frawley Ranch, which has 1,000 acres reserved for residential and commercial development. Besides the campground, there is a tremendous golf course on the ranch.
Campsites in resort style parks don't get better than this.
Lots of open sites the week after bike week in nearby Sturgis.
The park is in the middle of this photo on the right. The road goes into the mountains towards Deadwood.
Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club:
The brochure reads “Featuring 285 feet of elevation change with hidden canyons... and broad sloping green[s].” Many holes feature beautiful views of the Centennial Valley. They have a great practice facility. What they don't say in the brochure is that many of the out of bounds are marked with signs.
And not just any snakes. Rattlesnakes.
I enjoyed a beautiful day golfing here. The front nine is on the north side of I-95 (reached via a cart path tunnel). The first few holes rise considerably in elevation providing great views and some interesting drives.
A REALLY high t-box on the front nine with I-90 and the back nine holes on the other side of the highway
On the back 9 I saw a group in front of me dealing with a rattlesnake on the edge of the concrete golf cart path.
I waited for them to move out of range before I hit a pretty long drive for me over a rise in the fairway. I was in my own little world concentrating on the direction my ball went, when I heard something and saw the rattlesnake lunging toward my left calf as I drove passed. I let out an audible, “nya ya ya” as I, and the butterflies in my stomach, drove quickly past.
The snake was in the exact same spot the other one was. They were most likely a mating pair. The ground was churned up spilling earth onto the cart path where he had jumped at me. I drove up to the green and told the man in the group in front of me what happened. He returned to the scene with me and did his part to remove the threat of the snake from harming any future golfers.
I lost several balls on this beautiful round of golf, because I followed the advice of the signs and did not venture into any tall grass.
Shot of the day! After the snake, my second shot was a few feet from the hole on this par 5. I probably missed the easy birdie put
Spearfish Canyon and Roughlock Falls
An employee in a visitor center and a couple I met on the golf course all advised us to take the scenic drive from Spearfish south on US Alt 14 through Spearfish Canyon. We turned the trip into an easy loop drive for the day by going through the canyon, taking the short side road to Roughlock Falls and the Dances with Wolves site, having lunch at the must-do historic stage stop Cheyenne Crossing, and returning north to Deadwood and our park. The nice Bridal Veil Falls and several cars of tourists were visible from the roadside.
I've gone out of my way to see and photograph a lot of falls and cascades, and Roughlock Falls has one of the more idyllic settings we've ever seen. The name comes from the method of lowering wagons down the falls when using the river way as a road! A paved trail takes you from the top of a falls to the bottom of a beautiful cascade. We could see trout in the crystal clear water. While we did a drive by the better sounding Bridal Veil Falls, Roughlock Falls is a place you want to linger and soak in.
Dances With Wolves Site
Driving a few miles past Roughlock Falls is a small turn off with a simple metal sign that marks one location used in the filming of Dances With Wolves. Perhaps not worth the drive on the gravel road for most people, it was still a lovely spot. Interestingly Kevin Coster is the owner/founder of a center established for the story of the bison and Native American History just north of Deadwood called Tatanka Story of the Bison. So this area must be pretty significant to him.
We read in several trip advisors to have lunch here and so we did. This former stagecoach stop servicing Deadwood was built in 1878. They claim to have a great Indian Taco and fresh fruit pies.
Mt. Moriah Cemetery.
The access road through a residential area to this cemetery overlooking Deadwood is as steep a climb as any we took across the entire US! One must pay a small fee to enter and receive a map and historical informational brochure. The map gives a brief bio of several famous and interesting people buried here including the most famous Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.
Items left at the base of Hickok's monument
One of the unusual monuments.
The Cemetery was in a beautiful setting and one end provided an overlook to the town of Deadwood.
The brochure made a peaceful walk through the grounds a peaceful hour or more walk. It was interesting to see the stories the engravings told of people in the 1800's. For example, even though there was a significant Chinese population in Deadwood, only one Chinese person is buried with his name on a stone – signifying his importance.
While I get a queasiness when in touristy towns or sites, Deadwood (like Tombstone), is still worth a walk through. Most of the establishments here are t-shirt houses and bars catering to the biker crowds that must stream in during the annual Sturgis Rally. At least it looked that way when we were there one week after the rally ended.
There is a staged gun fight in the street several times a day which was interesting to watch as well as fun watching the kids and families enjoying the show.
We felt obligated to saddle up to the bar pardner at the saloon where Wild Bill met his end. While the interior may have had little resemblance to the past site, we still enjoyed our beer while looking around and imagining the famous gunfighter / gambler sitting by the door.
When not crowded with tourists, it's kind of a neat western town.
Heading to the Black Hills - our next destination - we stopped at the nice visitor center at the pretty Pactoria Reservoir
On the road again...