On January 14 the Black Hills Explorers set out to find the remnants of General Custer's cavalry unit.  We found plenty strong evidence at the old Fort Meade cavalry training grounds.  Starting from the Alkali Creek trail head of the Centennial trail, the Explorers hiked a few miles overland to Fort Meade for a sit-on-the-ground picnic lunch.  We also examined historical photo's and stories about how Ft. Meade was formed originally from the remaining soldiers of General Custer's unit (thanks to a great book recommended by Nila Boone, from the Canyon Lake Center's library).

En route we found an overlook to gaze down upon the Ft. Meade National Cemetery.  The turn-around destination was another overlook, one that provides a vast and dramatic panoramic view of Ft. Meade with Bear Butte in the background.  Along the way we saw historical evidence of the old cavalry training area.  

We also discovered old ruts in the prairie left over from the 1870's Sydney-Deadwood Trail.  Sidney, Nebraska was a booming freighting point when gold was discovered in the Black Hills.  (Not to mention its 80 saloons, plus gaming halls and brothels.  Initially, Sidney was the most established trading-supply point for Deadwood, the largest town in the Black Hills.  Then the trains came to the Black Hills.

And, did you know our current national anthem was first formally played officially at Ft. Meade?  Standing on the hillside overlooking Ft. Meade, imagining the thousands of pioneers who tread the wagon trails on this ground, contemplating the thousands of U.S. veterans who have served and been treated there...I could nearly hear the U.S. flag fluttering proudly in the wind at fort down below, lofting its song upon the prairie wind: 
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, 
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!.


Grandpa Lee assembled some winter-relief science-learning packages for his grandchildren.  Well, for their parents, too.  Kinda parent-child sorta stuff.  

Annalise will recieve a refurbished hand made mahogany cabinet her grandpa made in 1968.

Paul will become custodian for a 30-year old professional-grade laboratory microscope.  Great for helping the kiddo's grow up science-like and all that.


The geese decided to try for their Saturday baths.  It was a bit cold.  The grey goose kept shouting "Hurry!  Before it freezes again."