Mickelson Trail from Rochford to Deadwood

August 30, Tuesday, Rochford to Deadwood

26.2 miles

The weather was a lot nicer today. On the way to the ride start in Rochford we passed the Pactola Reservoir, named for the former town of Pactola that today is at the bottom of the lake.

Looking at the sign in the photo below left are Darryl, Jim, Ruth and Dale.

. People looking at Pactola reservoir informational signboard Lake seen through the trees

Here's a typical scene at the start of a day's ride. The person in the left photo is Mary S, the Assistant Director of Outlaw and Atlantic Mountain Ranches, as well as coordinator of the Road Scholar programs.
Trailer with all but a couple bikes unloaded Riders preparing bikes around the trailer

Ruth and Kim riding at the left and Sue B exiting one of the many bridges along the trail.
Tro riders approaching on the trail Rider esiting bridge that has wood railings on both sides

Sue looking back over her shoulder with field & stream in background Another shot of Sue B taking photos.

One of the water stops on today's route. From left to right are Pam, Carolyn, Darryl, Marie and Roger. In the right photo are our hard-woring drivers Chuck and Don with Adele in the foreground.
Riders facing camera with fence and gate in background Back end of trailer with two water jugs, two drivers chatting

You can read the sign. The barn is sided and roofed with cast-off lids from cyanide buckets used in gold mining.
Signboard 'Put a Lid on it' with info about barn tiled with lids Barn with circular lids covering roof and sides

The lunch stop today was in a trailside shelter. From left to right in the two photos are Sue B, Sue H, Mary S, Marie, Roger, Helga, Pam, Carolyn, Adele and Marilyn. Marie and Roger are volunteers from Wisconsin.
Riders eatingat picnic table inside wood-walled shelter Riders eatingat picnic table inside wood-walled shelter

From upstream the beaver dam looks perfect, but from below it looks really kludgey. But it seems to hold water just fine. Obviously the beavers know more about dam-building than I do.
Beaver dam looking from upstream Beaver dam looking from the side

When the Homestake gold mine closed in 2001 after 125 years, it was the longest continuously-operated gold mine in the world. Signboard explaining Homestake Gold Mine Building with tower up high on a hill

Trail with a rail showing through the gravel Along this portion of the trail, they didn't bother to remove the rails and ties before adding the packed gravel surface. You can see the rails poking through in places.

People on a bridge with converted factory in background Dinner this evening was in a casino buffet in Deadwood. Deadwood is definitely a tourist town, full of gambling dens, shops and restaurants. We watched an enactment of a gunfight in the street outside of the restaurant. Here are some of the group hanging out in town after dinner: Adele, Marilyn, Dave, Sue H, Roger, and Gary. Gary is one of the volunteers who rides with the group and helps with logistics.

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