Saturday, July 9, 2011

Belle Fourche, South Dakota

July 6-8.  We are staying just outside Belle Fourche at Rocky Point State Park.  We are right on the water of a huge lake and the world's largest earthen dam, the Belle Fourche/Orman dam.  On Friday, after getting an oil change and having our EGR valve cleaned at the local Dodge dealer, we went to Spearfish.  In Spearfish we went to the D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery.  They've raised rainbow, brown, and brook trout here for over 100 years. Trivia: Before the U.S. Fish & Game Service started hundreds of fisheries west of the Mississippi, the only trout nationwide were in California and New England.  gold rush miners, settlers, and railroad workers needed a source of protein and the fish provide that.  D.C. Booth was the first superintendent of the U.S. Fish and Game Service and started transporting fish to all parts of the U.S. He adapted train cars to car fish from one area to another.
We then went for a trip through Spearfish Canyon, which was spectacular.  As we descended into the canyon, the temperature dropped from 77 to 63 degrees. We had a picnic at the bottom in a cozy little wooded picnic area along side a stream. 
Saturday we went to Deadwood to gamble, see a parade, and visit Mt. Moriah Cemetery.  In the gambling, Vince lost $5. and Debbie won $3.25. The parade was for the opening of the new Grand Casino.  Unlike the last two parades we have attended, this one had a band, the Spearfish High School band. The parade include country singer John Rich, who is part of the Big & Rich Duo, and the Governor of South Dakota, Dennis Daugard.  My favorite group was the girls from the Grand Casino.
We went to Mount Moraih Cemetery and saw the graves of Wild Bill Hickock, who was 39 at the time of his death and Calamity Jane, who died at 51. Back in the 1800', the life span was much shorter.  We saw many graves of residents who died in their twenties and thirties.

Our Campsite
Rainbow Trout

Spearfish Canyon
A waterfall in Spearfish Canyon

A canyon stream
Deb at a canyon stream

Orman Dam
Spearfish Canyon

Grand Casino Girls

S.D. Governor

Big Winner
Hickok's Grave

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