|Tall limestone cliffs|
There's so many beautiful places to see in the Black Hills that for each of my yearly visits, I try and pick different destinations. This time, Spearfish Canyon rose to the top of the list. A scenic 22-mile drive between the towns of Spearfish and Lead, it's one of my favorite roads in the Hills.
This scenic byway winds through a canyon lined by thousand foot high limestone palisades. Lovely Spearfish Creek lines the canyon floor, while lush trees cover its walls. Two waterfalls along this route provide worthwhile stops. Spearfish Canyon is especially popular in late September, when changing leaves add a splash of color to the already gorgeous scenery.
First up on my "must see" list was Roughlock Falls. A lovely, tiered cascade, it's the most visited waterfall in the Black Hills. Many years had passed since I'd laid eyes on this beauty, so I convinced my parents to drive me there (it was an easy sell!)
|My parent's "senior" picture|
Sadly, by the time we'd arrived, the mid-afternoon sun wasn't conducive to photography. I tried a couple shots with my DLSR, but all my images were backlit and blown out. (Ironically, the only decent shot I got was with my cell phone!) But I did get a nice pic of my folks and that's better than any waterfall. My mom joked it was their "senior picture."
|A touch of fall colors|
The canyon walls surrounding Roughlock Falls were especially scenic. Tall pillars of limestone rose steeply from the creek. I even captured a tiny bit of yellow - the autumn colors were just getting started.
A mile or so from Roughlock Falls was the lovely Latchstring Restaurant. A local favorite for many years, this cute inn was located in an idyllic spot. Surrounded by more tall cliffs and green trees, it's the perfect place to enjoy a special dinner. Although we didn't stop for a bite, my folks and I did stroll around the grounds, taking in all the spectacular scenery.
Then we piled back into my mom's car for a leisurely drive down the rest of the highway. The road itself was designed to be driven slowly to take in all the magnificent scenery. And that's exactly what we did.
|Bridal Veil Falls|
I spied another waterfall tumbling down a nearby cliff and asked my dad to pull over.
|A closer look at the falls|
It was Bridal Veil Falls, a tall, wispy cascade. Although I didn't have my tripod, I braced my camera on a nearby handrail, and managed to get a couple of decent captures.
|Old Homestake Mining Co. power plant|
One hundred years ago, gold and silver mining were huge industries in the Black Hills. The Homestake Mine, a large underground gold mine, extracted huge amounts of metal from the earth. Sadly, the mine is now closed, but many buildings still remain. We stopped by an old hydroelectric plant, a remnant of this bygone era.
|Lovely drive home!|
A lovely, sunny day - perfect for getting out and revisiting an old favorite place from my childhood.
Note to my readers: Tomorrow I'm off on one final adventure for the year. That means I'll be away from blogland for several days. But that also means I'll be bringing back lots of photos to share with you all. Stay tuned!