Trail Talk Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Black Hills’

The Cutest Rodent

Here I am,  writing about beavers again.   That’s what happens when some of your best tours explore trails used by practioners of the North American fur trade and the impact it had on American history. I have a tour director who has been crazed to buy her own pelt for… read more >

Wildfire

Just before Christmas of 2017, the Black Hills of South Dakota suffered it’s third largest wildfire ever, burning 54,023 acres of forest and prairie.  That’s more than 84 square miles. You probably didn’t hear about it because the massive California fires – which pre-dated this one  (and continued long after)… read more >

I Cannot Live Without Books

Thomas Jefferson famously stated, “I cannot live without books”.   In fact, this quote is so well-known that you can find it on tote bags and coffee mugs, and it is the motto of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association. Unfortunately other lifestyle choices, including a proclivity for fine French wine and… read more >

The Story of Sitting Bull’s Bones

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota was in the headlines last fall and winter because of Native American demonstrations protesting an oil pipeline being dug under their tribal lands and threatening their main source of water.  Trust me, I have no intention of weighing in on this bitterly… read more >

How the Buffalo Were Saved

Have you ever wondered how the buffalo were saved?   Like most such tales, it is actually more than one story, which I’ll get to shortly. Much better known is how they were nearly exterminated, and – alas – far more depressing.   As I have cited in more than one Trail… read more >

Year-end Miracle

Here in the Black Hills we had a little extra excitement in the days leading up to the year-end festivities. You could even call it a miracle,  which I’m proud to say, is typical of our part of the woods. On December 20, the Black Hills Humane Society was asked… read more >

The Education of Shebby Lee

I consider my own education to be woefully incomplete and with the days dwindling down – as the song goes – is taking on a sense of urgency. Therefore, I rarely re-read books (see paragraph one) but for some reason last winter I picked up a two-volume book I had… read more >

Valley of A Thousand Smokes

When I was growing up on my grandparents’ ranch in the Black Hills of South Dakota, one of our favorite hikes was to what everybody referred to as “the moonshiner’s cabin”. Being teetotalers of the highest order, the older generation was deliberately vague about just what a moonshiner was, and… read more >

The Tradition of Pow Wow

October is Pow Wow month in the Black Hills, when one of the largest pow wows in North America is held annually. For various reasons – including recent health challenges – it has been a number of years since I attended this or any other pow wow. I had forgotten… read more >

The Empty Quarter

I’ve written about this subject before (Wide Open Spaces, Jan 2013) but it is never far from my mind because I not only live in what has been derisively called the Empty Quarter, I have introduced hundreds of travelers to it’s amazing vastness, and I might add, it is a… read more >

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