On November 5th several club members decided that they no longer wanted to be helpless in case of an emergency out on the trails. Several of us including myself met with Members of a local private clinical operations company that specialize in Disaster Response and Education. Said club members learned the basics of what to do in case of a Roll over, Broken Limb, and even Severe Bleeding. The team from NIM explained ways to make sure the injured subject was stable before going for help in situations where Cell Service isn’t easily accessible. They even explained that in the Black Hills, you can always call for a helicopter if you think you need it.
The class went into detail on winter survival where our President was turned into a nice Burrito. In the end, I believe all of the club members that participated would agree that the class was very professionally done and they would join me in saying that everyone who is involved in any kind of activity in the Hills should take the course the next time it is offered.
Thank you to the team at NIM for taking the time to put together this course and educating us. I personally believe this will someday save someone’s life.
Start of the Day
This Club run happened to be the day before Halloween! What better theme would ghost towns and mines be?! We began our day outside of Hill City. Filling the parking lot with Jeeps old and New.
From there, we made our way to the Southern Hills. Kicking off the dustiest adventure for some of our Club members!
Push to the Ghost Ranch
As we made our way south, I tried to keep us on nothing but gravel, and FS trails. Which proved to be easier said than done. We made our way to our first stop. An old ranch from the 1880s! This ranch once served as a stage stop on the way into Custer!
After eating lunch, and exploring days gone by, we loaded up to head to our final spot. An old iconic Beryl mine.
After making our way down outside of Custer, we had some fun climbs, and pretty views on the way in. Once we pulled up to the mine, everyone had a chance to get out and explore. The mine shaft itself had a weird construction, with some cool things to find scattered around. We all had a great time getting out together!
If you would like to attend a Club run, you can check the schedule on our website, or stay tuned on our public Facebook page! If you are a current paid member, you can join our private group.
Photos: Ty B, Mike M
Jaunt was into the Buffalo Gap National Grassland into Railroad Buttes. This area is one of a few large, open off-road riding areas on Forest Service lands, it covers roughly 3 square miles. The area has hill climbs, several trails and tons of dirt-bike tracks which means it's great for Jeeps, OHV, and other 4 wheel drives, too. Most of the terrain is hardpacked and can get really dusty, there is little to no shade though a lot of people love it for the hiking and rock hounding. There is a large parking/staging area with plenty of space and the only official toilet for miles. There are no fees or permits required. Dispersed camping is allowed but there is no potable water. Fireworks and shooting are prohibited. Cell service ranges from superb to nil depending on where you're at in the area. As it is grasslands, leave the fence how you find it though there are signs in some areas.
On one side of the Buttes you can see the Black Hills and Black Elk Peak, on the other side you can see into the Badlands. If you're looking for rocks, you can find Fairburn, Prairie, Water, and Bubble Gum Agates, Quartz, Rose Quartz, and Smokey Quartz pebbles and occasional fossil shell imprints, agatized fossils embedded in them in any of the numerous agate beds or even on the trail itself. There is petrified wood everywhere. If you find a rock and you have questions, take it to the School of Mines' Museum. The Geology students are super helpful.
Tim and I love that spot immensely but over the last few months when we've gone out it's been more and more trashed. Ty was gracious enough to help us get a group of people together to go clean up the garbage and shotgun shells left behind. We managed several bags by the end of the trip.
But first we took the group on a little trip through the Buttes, there were a few areas that definitely had you rethinking your choices and we made sure to get pictures or film of as many as possible.
If you're planning on taking a trip out there, something you should know is that it is super easy to get turned around on the trails out there. You have to be careful and double check that your 4 wheel track isn't actually a dirt bike trail. Even with Avenza, Gaia and Google maps-we managed to get turned around a few times ourselves today. There are a few trails that on the other side of the hill were re-routed or closed. Just take your time and have some fun, we sure did!
Written by : Amy T
Photos : Noah M, Ty B, Amy T