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Spearfish Canyon and the Stage Stop Cafe

One of the great things to do around here is just take a drive, despite gas prices. The Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway through the Black Hills National Forest called to me the other day and I do so hate to miss a call. ūüėČ

It’s a long lovely drive through the canyon with high rock walls, waterfalls, wide open flat road, and Spearfish Creek running alongside the road. Some movies have been shot here including the winter camp scene of “Dances With Wolves”.¬†Custer and the 7th Cavalry explored it once upon a time. Part of the¬†fun is looking for the homesteads well hidden among the trees and designed to naturally blend in. Most are of the¬†charming wood cabin design¬†while one¬†I saw was old Victorian with large porch and detailing.¬†At one resort area I saw a cabin built suspended over the cliff edge for the more bolder of you.

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Turnouts are everywhere for picture taking and to let the locals go by us slow tourists. There are some excellent developed picnic areas which offer good tables and a chance to cool off your feet in the creek. I’m sure the many hikers appreciate those.

I stopped to act like a tourist at Bridal Veil Falls and Roughlock Falls. If you like hiking, the paved path from the top of Roughlock Falls descends 150 feet down to Savoy and on. Of note is that roughlocking is what wagons used to do to get down very steep slopes. They blocked their wheels with wood or whatever they had to keep them from turning, tied the horses to the back, then slid the wagons down the slope. One unfortunate accident gave Breakneck Gulch its name 100 years ago. Ouch!

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The drive makes for an almost perfect afternoon but to achieve perfection you absolutely MUST STOP at the Stage Stop Cafe at Cheyenne Crossing. It may not seem like much outside but inside you will find it crowded with eager diners. Why? The food there rivals my favorite place TGI Fridays. I had the steak and shrimp dinner with onion rings. The steak was cooked to perfection, exactly the way I like it and is soooo tender. Shrimp is always good with plenty of cocktail sauce. The onion rings are soooo light and melt in your mouth. Even the salad was excellent with romaine, black olives, shredded cheese, and diced tomatoes. Service and prices were¬†excellent and parking is plentiful. After I had stuffed myself, some time in one of the many rocking chairs out front seemed like a good idea. ūüėõ

Feeling quite at peace with the world, I got to repeat the drive back to where I started in Spearfish, SD. Life is just so tough.

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