On June 10 it was a beautiful day and we were off to Keystone in order to take a ride on the old, historic rail road via a steam engine. We both enjoy these old trains and have ridden quite a few, but never seem to tire of it. One of the nicest parts for this one was that thanks to the card supplied by the South Dakota State Parks, we got to ride for free! Even so, I believe that everyone who paid the price ($28 adults & $12 children) seemed to believe that it was worth the cost. The train pulled out of Keystone at about 2:30 pm and was roughly an hour to travel up the canyone to Hill City, where we had a short stop. We then returned to Keystone agian arriving back just before 5 pm. We could hardly have picked a nicer day for the trip and highly recommend it. You can board at either end and then if early in the day you are allowed to spend time in the town, returning on a later train. With Hill City so small we chose not to do that but simply stayed on board for the return trip. In route from Hill City to Keystone there is a lot of narration given with history of the rail road and the engine. They also point out many of the old mines along the route that were the reason for the track having been put where it is. You would be wise to call ahead for reservations as the train is quite popular and does sell out at times.
Muffie spent the day in camp and our summer intern we work with was kind enough to stop in and take her out for a walk. She really does very well when left home but it is nicer for her with someone to share some attention with her. Nathan is a great worker and a real boon to the operation of this campground. We are very furtunate to have such a good group to work with on our side of the lake!
One of the things that we enjoy about where we are is that there are only ourselves, a summer intern, and a part-time employee who lives just outside of the park, who share the duties of the operations here. We do help occasionally with some cleaning when they need it or restock things like toilet paper, but no heavy cleaning as the paid workers do all of that. We find both Nathan and Dawn to be great people both to work with and also to socialize with. Nathan, the intern lives in an RV just across the road from us and Dawn is within walking distance. We are supplied with portable radios for communication with the main park, but seldom have much need for that. I'll post more of our life and work here on my next entry.