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Monday, July 7, 2014

Camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota

If you're a regular reader of this blog then you may have noticed a drastic drop off in my posts last week.  I was camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota with a group of boys and young men from Salvation Army units in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa.  I didn't have regular connection to the internets - and in those few moments when I did, I was busy making sure the boys in my care were safe and not being run over by cars or bison.  We spent the week climbing mountain trails, fishing,looking at snakes and bears and crocodiles and mammoth bones, going down into dark caves, visiting national monuments, playing games, observing the stars, panning for gold, singing songs, and etc...

One afternoon some of the boys hiked up Harney Peak (the highest natural point in South Dakota).  I asked one of them about it afterwards.  "Did you go all the way up to the top?"

To which he answered, "Yeah, we went PAST it.  We didn't know where the top was so we just kept going."  That must have been some hike.

I was with a group of younger boys who didn't think they could manage the hike to the top.  We hiked around Sylvan Lake (the site of much goings on in the movie National Treasure: Book of Secrets).  It was here that my boys caught trout with their bare hands.  True story.  As we were walking along the lake shore, a couple of guys from the DNR pulled up with a big tanker truck full of fish to restock the lake.  They pumped over 1,500 trout into the water.  Some of them didn't immediately get into the water, so my boys asked if they could help. We grabbed the fish and tossed them into the the lake.

The photo below was taken from our campground on Rapid Creek (just outside of Rapid City).

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