Monday, 13 July 2015

Day Six - Keystone

That day was a more restful day and we got up late ate breakfast around ten and then went to Keystone to wander around the shops and attractions there.  The day had started out colder than usual and mist and low cloud was moving through the usually clear view from or lodge.
As we drove down the hills, the weather warmed and the day became sunny.

Low cloud moving in at Terry Peak
On the road between Keystone and Rapid City, we had passed by this curious flyover more than once with its three level bridge made from wood.

This junction on highway 16 is known as Keystone Wye and is claimed to be unique in as much all the support structure is built entierly from laminated wood.

Keystone is a small Western town in the Black Hills country and its economy depends upon the tourist trade.

 It has a number of tourist attractions including gold mines, Zip lines, tourist shops, restaurants, a fudge factory, an Indian shop, a Mirror Maze, a station for the tourist’s 1880 train and an antiques store called ‘Holy Terror Antiques’. I did not ask where the name came from, but it was certainly quite memorable. We parked close to this store and on the way to the main part of Keystone we visited this store and found an amazing and interesting collection of American antiques. Like most of this kind of place it was a maze of narrow isles packed with display cabinets and items too large to go in a cabinet and you had to weave around the various nooks and crannies stacked with interesting objects.

From there we ambled down the main street where there are clothes shops and gift shops, a Western saloon bar and a casino. We had lunch in a small Mexican style restaurant and wandered down towards the Fudge Store. The daughter In Law, (TDIL) is very much into Native American pottery so the Indian Shop was a must for her. We went in and bought some pottery and some carved wooden ornaments.

I also bought a souvenir baseball cap.

We carried on down to the fudge shop. Here, since we had not had a sweet with our lunch, I was tempted by some huge overindulgent chocolates and bought four for an exorbitant price.
In another store, I bought a second souvenir baseball cap.

At the end of this street is the 1880 Train railway station. This line runs vintage steam trains and runs from Keystone to Hill City a journey of around forty minutes each way.

We did not go on the train. After a bit more aimless wandering, we decided to go back to the lodge, but in turning the car around, we passed a small store called the Rock Shed which had all kinds of stones and rocks for sale. Outside the store was every kind of mineral you could ever imagine in tray after tray of sorted types of rock. These varied in size from half a fossilised tree to polished pebbles and gemstones. I bought a small chunk of fossil wood, bearing in mind that we had to get it home, so a large fossilised tree trunk unfortunately was out.

We started out on our return trip to the lodge.  We had often driven past Pactola Lake and there was an island you can see from the road and although I had tried once or twice to photograph it from the moving car I had not succeeded so, on our return trip, we turned into a rest area by the lake and The Son (TS) and I took a stroll with our cameras to get a better picture.  In the area there were some birds and this one in particular caught our eye.  We believe it was an Indigo Bunting.

 There were also some American Goldfinch which are a very bright yellow, but we were unable to get a clear shot. 

Whilst I stalked these little birds with my camera, TS spotted yet another chipmunk scurring around. 

Notice the interesting sign on the left of the door.  Not something you find back home. 
Finally we did get a picture of the island that we had stopped to photograph.

Once this picture was in the can, we carried on and returned to Terry Peak and had a relaxing afternoon at the lodge.  However, this was our last day and so before we could relax completely we had to start our packing ready for the following moening..
Next post day seven

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