Black Hills

When we took our Twin Grandsons - Aren and Ryan to the Black Hills this year.  It was their first visit - it was my 51st.   The Black Hills is a favorite place of mine, but considering how big the crowds can be and my love for solitude, you might ask why. I see in this landscape the same sacredness that the Lakota, Cheyenne and other tribes found.  There is a sense of spiritual renewal when I am away from the crowds.

Kate took the boys to Rushmore - I did not go.  It is not why I am here.  I do not find justification of carving up any mountain to honor any people - presidents or Lakota warriors, like Crazy Horse. 

What I love is the open landscape of Wind Cave National Monument and Custer State park.  It is the feeling of the plains Indian, the unconquered beauty of wildlife, rocks, forest, and back country.

The feeling of the rocks beneath our feet, the songs of birds, the color of flowers are the attributes of the Black Hills for me and it is what we wanted the boys to experience.

I have backpacked and climbed here, wandered off the trails and found wonderful hidden places that do not get the visitation of the summer travelers.

The wildlife - mammals, and birds have given me hours of joy, especially when I encounter them away from the roads. 

I am not interested in the tourist spots and I do not want the noise of the motorcycle rally in Sturgis.  I prefer the silent reflection at Bear Butte, the place for vision quests that deserves a sound barrier from the noisy hogs.  I come here to respect the past and the planet.


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