After our quick one-night stop in Mitchell, South Dakota, we traveled west to Spearfish for the next three nights. And we found it to be the prettiest spot we'd visited so far on our westward journey.
We had spent nine days in Hill City, not too far south in the Black Hills, back in the fall. At that time we visited Mt. Rushmore, hiked to the summit of Harney Peak, and rode the Michelson Trail, so we didn't need to repeat any of that this time. Instead, we wanted to ride our bikes up Spearfish Canyon, which by reputation is beautiful. And it really is!
On our first afternoon in town, we did a shorter reconnaissance ride preparing for the following day's longer, more challenging ride up the canyon. There's a paved bike path winding through town town, through city parks and a very nice public campground, and the ride was so pretty. Spearfish Creek rushing through town, clean and bold, was a special treat. Beautiful views greeted us in all directions.
They've had plenty of rain here this spring, so everything was very green and lush. And the pines showed almost no evidence of the mountain pine beetle infestation that has been devastating the Black Hills farther south, like we saw last fall. This was good to see.
We rode just a little way into the canyon before I insisted on turning around. I wanted to save the full canyon ride until the next morning.
Before heading back to the hotel, we rode through the small downtown area.
After delivering me safely back to the Days Inn, Barry headed back out and rode up the canyon road after all -- cheater! :-) He got some lovely shots as the sun grew low in the sky. The canyon looks completely different at different times of days based on the position of the sun, so I was glad to see these photos as I knew we'd be riding with morning sun the next day.
After he was safely back, the setting sun illuminated the gorgeous view out our hotel window with an warm golden hue.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where we ride up (and down!) Spearfish Canyon.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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