Birder's Eye View

Saturday, August 22, 2009

SD Saga: Silver City is not a city.

From the travelogue:

8/4 - Went to a beautiful trail in Silver City and had a picnic lunch. Silver City isn't actually a city -- it's a volunteer fire department with a few houses in the woods behind it, and some little kids doing some kind of bake sale there. The trail was amazing though. Thousands of wildflower, a crystal clear creek, pine forests, all running between towering wooded mountains.

After seeing my lifer Black-headed Grosbeak by the creek during lunch, we hiked down a trail for about 30-40 minutes. As we were about to head back, we came across a cave in the side of the mountain! It turned out it didn't go back too far and was swarming with mosquitoes, but it was cool to find, anyhow.

Our next destination was the town of Mystic, where we were planning on checking out part of the Mickelson Trail. Somehow, we ended up getting lost (yes, LOST!) on the two roads in Silver City. We drove about 6 times back and forth past the fire department where the little kids were selling cookies and waving to us every time we went by.

My parents were in a heated argument over whether we should follow the GPS route, which would take us down a terribly rutted forest road for about 8 miles, or go back and take the longer, paved road.

We couldn't figure out how to get back to the main road, so we decided to follow the forest road. It turned out to be so rutted we couldn't drive on it, so we turned around, went back past the fire department (waved to the little kids), and found ourselves at a dead end.

Back at the fire department, a lady came up and said she had seen us "go by real fast a couple times" and figured we were lost. By now we had figured out where we were going, but the road was blocked by a bunch of motorcyclists buying cookies from the little kids. "Well make sure you go slow," the woman warned us, waving us off.

In every vacation we've ever had, we end up getting terribly lost at least once. That was it for this trip. And we made sure to avoid Silver City (which, for the record, I'm sure is a lovely place if it wasn't for our ridiculous experience!) from then on.

The next day, we visited The Mammoth Site, an active archaeological dig that has been enclosed so people can tour and work can be done there year round. It was one of my favorite places yet.

Apparently, millions of years ago the site was a mud pit where mammoths and other prehistoric mammals had slipped in and drowned. In the first 40 feet of excavation, over 55 mammoths have already been uncovered.

It's nearly impossible to imagine the great beasts roaming so abundantly across the land; but to be able to see their actual footprints, bones, and entire skeletons makes it all so real. Absolutely fantastic place!

Part 5 will be posted tomorrow!

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  • Hi;
    I am the lady in Silver City you talked with. If you are going to get lost anywhere, Silver City is the place to be. With our 4 streets you can go in circles all day. We are glad you had a good hike up Rapid Creek, we never tire of that hike.
    BY the way you did miss some killer brownies, they are always sold during the Sturgis Rally for $1.00 each.
    Come back and we would be happy to guide you on a hike, mountain bike ride or just plain give directions.
    Tally & Rita Chapman

    By Blogger Happy Trails to You, At November 22, 2009 at 10:35 PM  

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