Friday, June 20, 2014 I got up early and checked the Internet before it got busy. Still slow, but not too bad. Bob and Auggie slept in….really slept in until 9:15. Poor guys must have been really tired. Today is supposed to be warmer and sunny, so we thought we’d take a hike to Stockade Lake.
It is a 1.5 mile loop of moderate difficulty around the lake. It took us along the ridge through pine forests. Many of the trees are infested with a disease produced by some beetle and have to be cut down to stop the spread of it. Huge stands of trees are brown and dead and must be chopped down.
Thinning them out helps to save the healthy trees and encourages new growth, but it makes things look ugly. I guess it must be done. We stopped to rest along the way in the shade a took a water break.
From the top we had another great view of Little Devil’s Tower, Cathedral Spires, and Harney Peak to the far right. It’s the one with the lone tree on top.
The hike ended as we walked along Stockade Lake, the largest one in the park. All the lakes have dams to hold back the water and this was no exception.
We left there and drove into the Bismarck Lake Campground. It would be good for RVs and has electricity at some sites. All the facilities are new. We took a short walk along the lake to the dam and waterfall there.
There was a small beaver dam built on the other end of the lake from the dam.
The lake was beautiful and peaceful as we sat in the shade and enjoyed its beauty.
On the way back, we checked out the campground at Stockade Lake, both north and south. Both are RV friendly with electric at some sights and had new facilities. The south campground had neat little cabins to rent with AC.
We also stopped at Gordon’s Stockade where 28 people entered the Black Hills to pan for gold and built this stockade for protection from the Sioux Indians.
Inside the walls, half of the cabins were re-created and half were original.
The view from the stockade gate of the French River was beautiful. You could almost picture yourself as a settler here.
The sky was so blue today and we spotted this “smoke signal” cloud floating by.
After our self-guided tour of the stockade, we stopped in town for some cole slaw for our personal fish fry and some buffalo sausage to have with my brother when he visits us in Glacier next month. We were back at the site around 1:30 with more firewood for tonight. Bob walked around the camper to the door and jumped about 3 feet. There was one of the campground bunnies (and there are lots of them) sitting right by our door. They are really tame and I was able to feed it out of my hand.
We enjoyed the afternoon watching the campers arrive while we enjoyed our “happy hour”. This was the warmest day in awhile. Bob grilled grouper for our fish fry and Auggie got his usual evening walk. He was taunted by all the bunnies, but he loves every minute of it. We had a great campfire as darkness fell. Next time we need s’mores!