Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A Family of Trees Wanting to be Haunted.

 Remember when I talked about how hard it was to find the entrances to certain trails? Here's a perfect example. This is the entrance to 11th Hour Gulch.

And here is what it looks like after you go through the trees. You'd never know how amazing it was once you hiked further in.

 Tuesday was our last full day in the Black Hills. We woke up to a little rain and decided to hike in the morning and hope that it would stop raining by the afternoon, so we could ride mountain bikes.

 We headed back to Spearfish Canyon Road and went searching for 11th Hour Gulch. It was supposed to be a bit of a treacherous hike with beautiful waterfalls and rock formations.

It definitely delivered. Of course, it's probably not for you if you have any fear of heights or walking on slippery rocks.

They even installed makeshift ladders to make the climbing easier. They were actually sturdier than they look here.

There was quite a bit of climbing and it was sprinkling on and off, but other than that, the weather held-off.

All of that moisture created cool moss walls that were really cool to touch.

We reached the top and this is what we got. Pretty incredible, huh?

We climbed back down and checked out a restaurant down the road to see what their lunch was like. We heard there was a great view from their outdoor seating area. I looked at the menu and saw that they were selling a grilled cheese sandwich and fries for over 10 dollars. View schmoo. We decided to go for a trail run to Iron Creek Lake and find a different place to eat instead.

the trail was gorgeous.

 We ran out about a mile to a mile and a half and were met by a barbed wire fence. We were told we should be able to get to the lake in 3 miles, but like John said, he takes a barbed wire fence as a pretty good sign that we aren't welcome.

On the way back, we ran into a couple who told us that they heard we should have just gone over it to get to the lake. By that point, we were starving, so we didn't turn back around and try again.

Instead we went back into Spearfish and ate a Mexican restaurant where we got huge plates of food for less than $10. After that, we went to the cottage and took a nap and then went back to Tinton Trail for one last mountain bike ride. I was exhausted, my legs were fried, but I still had a blast riding on the trails.

Since it was our last night in town we decided to go out for dinner and beer. There was a place called Killian's within walking distance. It was a bicycle bar and there were cool old bikes all over the restaurant. The food was great and our bartender was really cool. She was from Illinois and had done RAGBRAI the year before but was going to have to miss it this year. She told us to have fun, we told her we definitely would. We walked back to our cottage and took in the air and pet a stray cat on our final night in town. Sigh.

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