The Dakotas – Day 4

The day started off with hiking to the highest natural point in South Dakota, Harney Peak. It rises to 7,242 feet where it culminates in a fire tower that was being used up until 1967. It started out to be a foggy, damp, and chilly day. We assumed that it would be similar to Colorado where it burns off quickly and wouldn’t be an issue. We were wrong. During the entire hike we thought we’d hike out of it and that we would be afforded wonderful views at the top. Not on that particular day. The fog did make for a beautiful hike but not in the way we expected.

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We had started out from Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park which makes the hike a strenuous 7 mile round trip. It was much more popular than other hikes we’ve done in the area. We saw a few deer along the way but with the fog we couldn’t see much else.

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Below is the view from the top at the fire tower. Spectacular…ha ha. We decided that we’ll just have to do this hike again someday. The tower itself is very unique and worth the trip.

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As we hiked back down, we were deciding what to do with the rest of the day. We originally wanted to go kayaking but with the strong winds and fog it would not be safe. We eventually killed enough time that the sun did come out and the fog dissipated. We were the first ones out on Sylvan Lake. It’s a gorgeous lake but usually pretty crowded. We got lucky and the weather kept lots of people away.

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Camping for the night was going to be off a 4 wheel drive forest service road for very secluded and primitive camping. We drove on Hwy 89 south out of Custer to County Road 316 and took a right. We used road 1C and drove until we found a decent camping area. This would make packing up and hitting the road back home much easier the next day.

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For dinner we had sausage, peppers, onions, and pasta. I gotta be honest…I don’t remember what beer hubby drank that night. I’m sure it was something new, black and smooth but I didn’t take a photo of it. I had Fort Collins Incredible Hop Imperial Rye IPA which was so yummy! I need to do a taste test now between Fort Collins wet hop IPA and this one. Not sure which will win out on taste. Just after eating I noticed that the clouds were not looking so great. Without warning it began hailing and the wind picked up. We gathered up our beers and whatnot and jumped into the cab of the truck. For about 25 min we were pinned inside of the truck to wait out the passing storm. Thankfully we had our iPads and beers! We looked at photos and reminisced about previous camping trips. It wasn’t so bad. After it passed we were able to sit out and enjoy the rest of the night.

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~ by willtriforbeer on July 6, 2013.

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