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post #1 of 17 Old 03-04-2007, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-04-2007, 04:31 AM
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-04-2007, 05:22 AM
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-04-2007, 06:14 AM
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-04-2007, 08:26 AM
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-04-2007, 09:27 AM
 
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-05-2007, 10:19 PM
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Didn't even notice this area until now.. Thank you to the welcoming commitee.

Looking forward to getting out on the new Bike. '06 919 with 67 miles on it. Picked it up in the Twin Cities after a friend of mine found it. The guy that bought it new tipped it over in his driveway. Scratched it up a little bit, which was all fixed. Just need to find a new Master Cylinder, as the threads for the mirror are cracked.

Been a few years since my last bike, '01 Gxxr 750. Started to get a little too stupid on that and the insurance was nuts.

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post #9 of 17 Old 03-06-2007, 05:19 AM
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cpg74-Where in SD are you?
We are doing the family vacation thing to Custer/Badlands this summer and I can always use local advice.

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post #10 of 17 Old 03-06-2007, 04:16 PM
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I live about 10 miles from the Minnesota Boarder.

If you've never been to the Black Hills you'll love it out there. I've been pretty much throughout the entire lower 48, into Canada and Mexico several times and the Black Hills are one of my favorite destinations.

Badlands are worth seeing as well, but a day is enough there. If you get a chance, go hiking off of the main trails in the Badlands and keep an eye on the ground. (Lots of fossils to see)

Try to make it to one of the caves and take a tour, lots of them around to choose from. I've been to most and they're all unique in their own way.

Do the wild life loop in Custer State Park, just before dark is about the best time to see the most animals and maybe see a few Elk.

If your up to it, hike up to Harney Peak out of Sylvan Lake. Takes about an hour and fifteen to hike one way, but its worth it.

The lodges in Custer State Park will be managed by a different resort company than they've been under for the last 20 or so years. So I'm not sure about the changes there. I worked at Blue Bell Lodge when I was in College back in '95 and its still one of my favorite areas.

While in the Park take the "Iron Mtn Road" and the "Needles Hwy" both gorgeous drives and even better while on a cycle.

As you can see there's lots to do and see. If you make it up to Dead Wood check out the No. 10 saloon and make sure to look at the pictures on the wall of the gold rush days.

Enjoy the trip, I'll be going out in the middle of June with our horses to ride for a week myself.

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post #11 of 17 Old 03-06-2007, 04:38 PM
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-06-2007, 06:01 PM
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Thanks for all the SD info. We are actually staying at Bluebell Lodge for several nights. Unfortunately, on this trip, we will be on 4 wheels : (
From pictures that I have seen, we are going to be wishing we were on two. Do you know anything about the rails to trail 100 mile bike/hiking trail? I can't remember the name of it. Are there places to rent bicycles anywhere?

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post #13 of 17 Old 03-06-2007, 06:47 PM
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It the Centenial Trail, runs through the Hills North/South. Lots of good scenery along it, I've been on various parts of it. I've got some friends who have a cabin about 15 miles South of the Lead/Deadwood area and they're about a 1/2 mile off of the trail in that part of the area. I've spent quite a bit of time in that area on four-wheelers.

Blue Bell is by far the best lodge, next would probably be Sylvan Lake. I think Legion Lake and Sylvan there are Bike Rentals. A few other places scattered about as well I believe. The best way to see the park is on top of a horse, but unless your willing to pay for the 1/2 day ride that BlueBell offers (or at least used to) any other horse ride isn't really worth it.

I'm about 400 miles from the Hills, but I try to get out there at least 3-4 times a year for various activities. Any more detailed info you'd like to know, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to awnser it.

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post #14 of 17 Old 03-06-2007, 07:54 PM
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Thanks so much. Here is our general plan:
Fly into Rapid City. Stay 4 days in Custer, 2 in Badlands and 2 in Deadwood.
That should give us plenty of time to really explore and get a feel for the area. As our trip gets closer, I am sure that I will have more questions for you.
Yep, horses sound wonderful. But this city girl stays away from animals bigger than I am! Except for my husband, of course....

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post #15 of 17 Old 03-06-2007, 07:56 PM
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-07-2007, 06:36 PM
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Kristen,
I think the length of your stay will be about perfect in each area.

Now that I have a better idea of your timeframe, I'll give a few more specifics you can look up on the web.

Look into the Harney Peak Hike like I previously suggested, it's not a streneous hike and kids can do it. Just bring some snacks and water.

I'd either head South and look into a tour at Wind Cave in Wind Cave National Park (Boarders Custer State Park to the South). Call ahead for reservations if you want to go see any of the larger caves. After or before the cave tour, look into spending an hour or two at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD.

Or you can head the other way West of Custer and see Jewel Cave. Hill City and ?? can't think of the other little town? Neat little tourist traps. I can't say I was impressed with Bear City (Bear Something??) or Reptile Gardens, but other people I know liked them. The Cosmos is worth the price of admission though and if your family likes go carts, check out "The Ranch".

There's a few dinner theaters in and around the area that are usually enjoyable. The Black Hills Playhouse is also something that I always enjoyed.
That's about 20 minutes from Blue Bell up near the start of the Needles Hwy.

Up near Deadwood, make sure to drive through Spearfish Canyon. I've had the chance to ride horses in and around that area as well and its gorgeous. There's alot of little things to do in the smaller towns. Various Train Rides, mine tours, and such, or just go hiking/biking.

Badlands, bring a hand held GPS if you stray off the trail (which I recommend doing). Be carefull though, as the terrain is rough and somewhat slippery. Your not allowed to pick up fossils but some major finds have been found by just random hikers. If you look for areas that look like old dried up stream beds there are litterly hundreds of fossil fragments with the occassional tooth or skull caps and such scattered around.

A few hours in Wall Drug which is about 15-20 minutes away is worth exploring as well. I'm presuming the hotel you'll be staying in is there anyways, as there isn't much else in the area.

Anywhere you hike, always keep half an eye out for the possibility of a rattle snake. In 15 years of going out there, I've only scene a handfull of them, but they are there so be carefull.

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post #17 of 17 Old 03-08-2007, 07:25 AM
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Wow! Thanks again for putting all that great information together for me. I do appreciate it.

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