David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
09/22  Plan B, Part 2
09/23  Canaveral National Seashore -- Freaky People
09/24  Seminole State Forest
09/25  Swimming in Pepsi
09/26  Arachnids
09/27  The End Of The Trail
09/28  Go West Young Man
09/29  Mountains in Arkansas? Who knew?
09/30  Kansas ain't so flat
10/01  Two Kinds of Flat
10/02  Points of Interest
10/03  No Place To Hide
10/04  Look! Grass!
10/05  Everyone repeat after me: Medo is not a jeep.
10/06  Without Incident
10/07  The Fever
10/08  Goodbye, Black Hills
10/09  Lunch with Bison
10/10  ''You're in Oregon Now.''
10/11  Sea to Shining Sea
10/12  My anemone's anemone is my friend.
10/13  Fast Times at Seven-Thousand Feet High
10/14  Redwoods and Grapes
10/15  Welcome to the Jungle
10/16  I live to move furniture.
10/17  Whole Lot of Critters
10/18  Deserts
10/19  ''Please state your nationality''
10/20  Essence of Guano
10/21  Cannonball
10/22  All Done
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Goodbye, Black Hills

2005-10-08

East of Moneta, Wyoming on Highway 20/26The gold rush is over. I admit defeat--for now. Time and time again my pan would turn up pin-head size shiny things just as I was told to look for. But I could never tell if the shiny things were gold or pyrite. I think my technique was sound, because I often produced small chunks of iron-encrusted rock, which in theory should fall to the bottom of the pan just like gold. I'm just too ignorant. Someday I shall return to the Black Hills and hire a local to show me how it's really done. In the end, the only thing of interest to be caught in my gold pan was a five inch snake I came across on the trail. Cute little thing.

I left the Black Hills around noon with some sadness. I'm not sure why, but I have a real fondness for the place. I drove 385 into Lead (pronounced Leed), took 85 south into Newcastle, Wyoming. From there I headed West on 450 and 397, cut down to Casper on I25, and continued West on 20/26.

On 450 and 387 I saw hundreds of pronghorn antelope (once a herd of about 40 and again a herd of over 120), dozens of white-tailed deer, several snakes, and about a thousand bunnies in various stages of annihilation. Sometimes there would be herds of sheep. It's easy to distinguish between pronghorn and sheep at a distance, because the sheep are more round, and, more telling, every last sheep in a huge herd is always facing the same direction.

For the most part, after leaving the Black Hills, I traversed nothing but grassland. Some of it was flat, but most sported a topography similar to the Black Hills. I wonder why no trees grow here? In places you can drive for miles and miles without spotting a single tree. There's not a lot here in Wyoming. If you look at a map, the space between the towns is just that, space.

I stopped by Hell's Half Acre, which was closed. You could still peek over the fence into the depths of this badlands-like formation, which is more like 300 acres altogether.

I have also conceded that my motor-stove just doesn't work. I had rigged up a small holder which allowed me to place canned food on top of the engine with the goal of having hot food after a couple hours of driving. After a good six hours of driving, I was still eating cold vegetable soup for dinner.







contact me at le@liverworks.com
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