The goats and I were kinda bummed-lonesome with Jane gone so we decided to cheer ourselves up with a walk in the woods and to high places. It worked. It sure cheers things up to wander around nibbling on Mother Nature's grass and Grandma Jane's sausage biscuits.
Four generations of enthusiastic men, women and children embarked on a Black Hills Explorers adventure to the summit of Harney Peak on July 9. After hiking some of the members went fishing in Sylvan Lake, others went swimming at the Sylvan Lake beach, and others rested in the shade on the lush lawn at the shore.
The seven-mile round trip hike with 1,100-foot elevation gain reaches the old CCC fire watch tower. In 1855 the 7,242-foot mountain, highest point east of the Rocky Mountains, was named for General William Selby Harney. The tower was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938 then de-activated in 1967. On the day of this hike, clear skies and cool breezes provided an impressive 360 degree unobstructed panorama of the entire Black Hills, plus parts of four states.
The Black Hills Explorers group normally meets the second Saturday of each month at 8:15 at the Canyon Lake Center (but check each time, for occasional re-scheduling). Advance signups are in the office. On August 13 from 8:30 – 11:30 (during the Rally and typically one of the hottest weeks of the year), the group will meet in the Canyon Lake Center for a digital photography workshop. This learning-adventure will help Explorers learn how to take better outdoor photo’s, edit (improve) photos on a PC, then store and email the photos to friends and family. Participants may bring a digital camera.
More information about the Black Hills Explorers can be found at www.BlackHillsExplorers.org or by calling Lee Alley at 605.863.0806. Any person of any age is invited to accompany the Black Hills Explorers’ activities, and encouraged to join the Canyon Lake Center. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Explorers en route to the Harney Peak Fire Tower (in background)
Jim and Gigi Kern almost to the top with The Needles in the background
April Malik with her daughters Alysala, Aisha, Aleeya, Aisulu, Asea