On August 20, 2012, Dragonfly and I started our first (just the two of us) through-hike. The 110-mile Centennial Trail through the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Back in the 1990’s I had hike most of the trail as a day hikes–driving to the trail head, hiking, getting picked up at the next trail head and then going back to get my car. Tuffy (my dog) and I had great fun doing it.
So when we (DF and PD) needed to test ourselves as a hiking team, I suggested the Centennial Trail. Dragonfly agreed. My parents (Ma and Pa Prairie Dog) were working in the Hills and could be trail support.
August 20, 2012 was a Monday. Ma and Pa Prairie Dog picked us up at the hotel and drove us to Sturgis, where we bought fuel for our stove. We then had lunch in a diner and headed up Highway 79 to Bear Butte State Park.
The Trail starts at the top of Bear Butte, so you have to climb up, and then back down to start. The four of us started out early afternoon. It was an hard climb and we left Pa Prairie Dog about half way up because of his ankle.
The three of us (Dragonfly, Ma Prairie Dog and me) reached the summit took some pictures and then headed back down. Once we were back at the Visitor’s Center we signed in and then headed to the Bear Butte Lake Campground, where Dragonfly and I set up camp while Ma and Pa Prairie Dog set out a picnic dinner. After dinner, M&PPD headed back to their work, and we settled in for the night.
On our final trip to the outhouse, we stopped and stared up at the stars. It was such a clear night and there were a million stars.