Mickelson Trail from Rochford to Hill City

September 1, Thursday, Rochford to Hill City

22.5 miles

Our last day was another short one, ending up in Hill City where we returned my rental bike to the bike shop before heading back to the ranch.

We didn't go with the group to the Crazy Horse memorial this evening, opting to do the needles highway drive instead. This is a view through the van window on the way to the ride start, along with an image of what it will look like when it is finished. The reality is that no one really knows what Crazy Horse looked like since he never consented to have his photograph taken.
Crazy Horse memorial sculpture in mountainside Model of the memorial when it is finished

There's a nice waterfall along the trail shortly after crossing Mystic Road.
Small waterfall among trees Stream flowing away across a field

Old barn with flowers in the field in front

We passed through three railroad tunnels on today's segment. That's Helga mounting up.
Signboard with information about railroad tunnels Runnel entrance with Helga & bike

Pretty scene looking down on gravel road, fields and homes South Dakota is normally not particularly noted for its scenery, but at least the Black Hills area can be quite beautiful.

After the ride, we took a van trip up the needles highway. There's a tunnel at the top with room for a bus to pass with a couple inches to spare.
Bus inching through tunnel through rock with inches to spare Large sharp-pointed rocks jutting up

The eye of the needle.
More needle-shaped rocks jutting up seen through trees in foregroung Up-jutting rock with a hole in it like a needle

Ridge with upjutting rocks across a small valley Just below the top there's an outlook on the road with a view across the valley.

A dancer in full indian regalia That evening, Art Red Horse, a Navajo who has learned much of the Sioux culture, gave a talk and several demonstrations of the Sioux grass dance. This video may take a while to download (268 Mbytes).

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