Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: Nowhere Special. She Always Wanted to Go There

A road to Nowhere Special
No doubt every part of the country has plenty of Nowhere Special places. I know the intermountain west is riddled with ghost towns, micro-towns, failed towns and all kinds of other places like that. A couple of days before I left the Hills the autumn weather was just perfect. I decided to just get in the car and drive in the Black Hills along some roads I never or seldom take to see a couple of Nowhere Specials.

The Hils become mostly yellow in the fall.

The fall colors were just lovely in the northern hills. I do not think we were at the peak yet because there is still plenty of green left to turn. It's like Colorado here. Everything is green and gold. Except for maples and sumacs  planted in towns around people's homes, very little red or orange to speak of. It's mostly the aspens and the grasses and scrub that change, and they all go gold.

Most of the drive was winding roads with low speed limits which did not clearly go to anyplace ... except they had names like Nemo Road, and it turns out that Nemo is a place with a few people and things in it. But you would never know it until you got there.

I saw quite a lot of white tail deer. They all went back into the bush as I approached instead of crossing the roads, thank goodness.

The first place I got to was Nemo. It's on Nemo Road which is paved the whole way. Nemo is to be found about 2/3 of the way down if you start from the north or 1/3 if you come from the south. Along the lovely winding Nemo Road there were nice, neat homes and ranches all along the way. If you like living out in the country, needing to drive a fair distance until you get to a place where you can buy something, and don't really mind being snowed in 100% every so often, this would be a place to consider.
Fire Station in Nemo. As you see, it's the scenery that really matters.
Nemo is unincorporated, but it does have a volunteer fire station, a community church, a school building, a post office and a mercantile. There is also a guest ranch which has a store and restaurant and there was a biker bar that was closed for the season.
Nemo Mercantile for your shopping pleasure
Right now it's hunting season plus leaf peeping, so there still are tourists. And I saw several bikers on the various roads all day long. (I think it would be a great time of year to ride your motorcycle through the Hills right now.)

All day long I passed inns, lodges, camps, and guest ranches. They really are everywhere. They all look to be family owned and run, and looked like they had been there for a long time. Many were rustic log buildings. I was thinking you would have lost of choices if you wanted to stay in a 1950's style motor hotel. There ARE newer B&B's too, but the old fashioned lodges really dominate, and a lot of them are far off the main roads. Probably most are seasonal too.
Nemo Guest Ranch.
You might consider a little getaway here some day.
My turn around place was Hill City. This is part of the Mt. Rushmore district. Keystone, Hill City and Custer kind of surround Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. I think if the area as the middle of the Hills, but maybe it's the beginning of the southern hills.

Maybe you want to take a ride on the 1880's train
I like to check out Hill City every so often because, in my opinion, it has the best tourist shops in the region. There is also an old fashioned train you can ride to Keystone and back. That kind of thing is always fun.

I started on the main road north, but veered off Rochford Road which goes to ... guess where... Rochford. This road is paved for a short distance as it passes through some ranch land. Then the road changes to gravel, and now you are going through national forest land. No more houses, ranches or other development for quite a while.

Rochford, by what he signs say, was once a fairly thriving place with stores and a theater even. It was a place for miners from the Homestake Mine in Lead to live mostly. Now it's a bit of a curiosity. It is a popular spot for bikers to stop because of the bars that are still there.
You can shop in Rochford too.

Now Rochford has a couple of bars, a volunteer fire department, a little C-store, some houses and a place called "Rochford University." I don't think it's accredited.

Like Nemo, Rochford is in a beautiful setting. It is not terribly far from Lead which has a grocery store, ACE hardware, restaurants, a drug store, a coffee shop, a library, etc, etc, etc. You know, like a real town where you can live. That's MY kind of place. But still, being able to just get out and admire what's around you is pretty nice too.
The world famous Rochford University.
Just so you know all your options.

No comments:

Post a Comment