|View from Harney Peak Lookout|
The first time I went up, I didn't know what to expect. I recall going downhill a lot as we made our way up to what is the highest mountain top in the Black Hills at 7,242 feet.
It's worth the trek to get to the Harney Peak Lookout Tower.
I'm a wimp of a hiker. So, I spend a lot of time stopping to take pictures of trees and trails. It's a ruse really. I use this as an opportunity to catch my breath.
We met a few interesting people on the hike. I'm a people watcher. I love thinking about ways to place real people as characters in stories.
Here are a few notes I made from this hike:
- A couple — who had stories to share about aging parents. The woman said she and her siblings ask her 80-year-old father to call when he travels. He forgets sometimes, because he's not used to being accountable to his children. Her mom knows how to operate the OnStar button in the car.
- A youth group — This group included a duo dressed as a mustard and ketchup bottle. The adult chaperones seemed apologetic as they lined the trail during a break. I thought the adults were brave to motivate the kids to hike up to the peak. I wondered why the boys were dressed like mustard and ketchup. Did they lose a bet?
- A family of five — A set of grandparents made the trip up with their adult children and a small granddaughter in a backpack. These young parents seemed brave to me for backpacking with their daughter. I refused to carry my 26-pound son on the six-mile round trip hike.
- Riders — Many people ride to the peak on their horses. I didn't talk to any of them, unless you count what I said while stepping around horse poop. I'm sure the horse height adds to the adventure.
- Two overweight men — They were sweating like crazy and had tiny water bottles. I offered them my tip to stop and take pictures. The first time I talked to them, they joked about needing CPR. Near the top, one suggested I watch the local news to see if they were taken down in body bags. One said the hike to Harney Peak was on his bucket list. I'm sure they savored their time on the top.
- The Lookout — This building is just a shell now, but once served as a fire lookout for the region. While no one does it today, I imagine it was a full day's work to haul supplies to the top.
|This lookout was built in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.|
For the record, I never heard any reports of injuries that day, so I believe those men survived the trip.
Where do you find characters for stories or story ideas?