The Black Hills with Cousins

Steve’s cousin Traci often talks about her annual horseback riding trips to South Dakota’s Black Hills.

We decided to join them for a few days while passing through the area. They rode horses and we stuck to the bikes.

Basing ourselves in the beautiful Spokane Valley, just south of Keystone, we explored a few areas that we’d not visited on a previous trip. First stop: the Mickelson Trail. We took on a scenic ten mile section of this beautiful 109 mile rail trail.

The trail, its trestle bridges and tunnels, was a relatively smooth and flat path which we explored with the dogs in tow. It got a little warm towards the end and Mia was done riding in the back. So Steve carried her. Probably not the safest but…

Each evening we joined Traci and Randy for either dinner cooked outside or at a local restaurant. We did a little putt putt too! It was fun to hang out and catch up with them.

While we were in the Black Hills, the summer’s heat wave continued. That was a good excuse to hit one of the many local lakes. We took the kayaks out onto Custer State Park’s Legion Lake and enjoyed a relaxing paddle. And, we continue to receive comments and questions about our fun Bōte inflatable kayaks.

We’d explored Mt Rushmore on our last visit but missed the Crazy Horse memorial. This time we made sure to explore Crazy Horse and the accompanying museum. While they have decades of work before the memorial is finished, the site has plenty to see.

Finally, you can’t miss Custer State Park when you are in the Black Hills. We traversed the park several times and usually found ourselves in a bison jam. The large herd owns the park and when they are in the road, they have the right-of-way. We didn’t mind at all!

Now that we’ve been to South Dakota’s Black Hills several times, our list of things to do and see has grown. We’ll definitely be back for more hiking, biking, and sightseeing. Thanks to Traci and Randy for luring us this way again!

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