Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Peaceful Spot In The Black Hills

I’d always heard of the Black Hills, but didn’t know much about them.  What made them black?  What was in them ?  I knew they were in South Dakota and they held numerous caves, Mount Rushmore and the highest point in the state.  I guess they only look black from a distance because they are the only forested area in the region.  So I decided to ask a former coworker, who had worked in the area for a few years, about where to go.  Her reply was basically a detailed guidebook to a week’s worth of activities in the area.  Two things stuck out to us and fit our time frame in the area: 1. A burger place in Custer that apparently has one of the best burgers in the country and 2. The Poet’s Table. 

We had bison burgers in Custer; I thought it was good, but not one of the best in the country.  And then we followed Amanda’s directions to the Poet’s Table: “About five minutes up the trail you’ll see a leaning birch tree that points uphill.  Follow the gully uphill and stay to the right side of the highest peak.  When you get to the top climb over some rocks on the left and you’ll find the poets table tucked away in a little alcove in the rocks.”  We figured these directions were very vague, but led us right up to the bright green table tucked away in the rocks. 

The cabinet was full of notebooks and journals full of poetry, thoughts and random journal entries that apparently date back to the late 1960s.  I didn’t open many of them or read anything because I didn’t want to feel like I was searching for something that I wasn’t going to find in any of the notebooks. 

Instead I sat on the rocks as Lena read through some of the journal entries.  Besides a distant car, the rustling of the wind and the turning of pages it was silent.  It was the peaceful place that we both needed after days of driving.

After an hour or so it was time to get back on the road to we reluctantly left the table and headed back down the trail.  Not long after started down we passed an older couple on their way up.  They had cameras and water bottles around their necks and seemed to be carrying quite a bit in their packs, which might have been why they were sweating in the cool fall air and resting on their trekking poles every few steps.   We stepped aside to let them by as one of them said, between deep breaths, “Please tell me this place really exists.”  I gave them simple directions for their last few minutes of walking as the continued uphill saying, “thank god this wasn’t a cruel joke.”  I hope they found the same peace at the Poet’s Table as we did.

No comments:

Post a Comment