All during my summer travels I’ve been telling myself, “There’s no schedule. You don’t need to move on. You can stay here another day or two. Just adjust a little to avoid weekend camper congestion.” Even though I didn’t listen a few times, I’ve been slow traveling. Slow for me, anyway.
I arrived in the Black Hills this morning, where the idea is to spend a day, then turn north to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, then return. It’s a good thing I didn’t arrive a week ago.
As I drove up beautiful Spearfish Canyon I started seeing downed trees, most of them snapped off. When I reached Savoy, there were crews with chainsaws, Bobcats, cranes, front-end loaders, flatbeds and dump trucks cleaning up debris. Wow, there must have been a hell of a storm. There was. Three tornadoes and tennis ball sized hail swept through the area last Friday. Man, I’m glad I missed that!
When I turned to go to Roughlock Falls, two fallen trees completely blocked the road. So I parked at the trailhead and walked. I was in a hiking mood. I was soon in a tree climbing mood because trees also blocked the trail in about a dozen places. But I found ways over, under, around and through them.
I was sad so many trees had been destroyed, but I was also having fun. Woo-hoo, the old man is scrambling and climbing like his primate ancestors! Well, not quite that strong and graceful, but at least the old man didn’t give up at the first obstacle. Bad ass!
What would ordinarily be a casual stroll along a well defined path became a small adventure—enough fun to make it worthwhile in case the falls should be a disappointment. But they weren’t.