Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pisa & Florence, Italy

A short 2-hour flight from London, UK you can find yourself in the "heart" of Italy, better known as Tuscany. Easyjet, BA and Ryanair all serve Pisa airport, and although the airport is relatively small, it is well connected via the Italian train network - and only an hour train ride from Florence.

Easyjet to Pisa flying over the Alps

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Weekend in Custer State Park, SD: A campers dream escape

I first visited the Black Hills in September 2012, and even though it is a relatively small region, every trip there since I have found something new and different to explore. The Black Hills aka "Island in the Prairie" is a relatively short drive from Northern Colorado and offers a peaceful get away from the increasingly busier Denver corridor.

Custer State Park is a real jewel and one of my favourite areas in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. The State Park occupies 71,000 acres and is South Dakota's largest, and was also the States first being founded in 1912. The State Park is a real nature lover and campers paradise, the park boasts 9 campsites, a $20 per car entrance fee is required (valid for 7 days).

SD 87 as you approach the State Park from the South

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Mountain Peaks to Valleys, Western History and Bullwinkle all in one day!

With the Western US being so vast, there are very few one-day road trips you can make from Northern Colorado that take in the variety that this 350-mile loop has to offer. You will have a chance to see Antelope, Deer, Marmots and Moose, stunning mountain scenery, and plenty of western history. My preference is to drive the route counter-clockwise, just to avoid the crowds in the Snowy Range, but you could drive either way around.

350-mile CO-WY loop drive

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Spokane Ghost Town, Black Hills, SD

The many abandoned, neglected and often forgotten Ghost Towns that lay to rest in the Mountains of the West and the Black Hills of South Dakota, tell a story of the past that I find intriguing. Most of these towns grew up during the height of the Gold Rush in the mid to late 1800's, often being populated by 1000's of people hoping to make their fortune. But, sadly all good things come to an end, and the end of the Gold Rush was the demise of many of these towns, except for Deadwood, Lead, Hill City and Custer that survive today.

One such town in the Black Hills of South Dakota had been on my radar for a while, and in May 2018 I finally located it and paid it a visit, the old town of Spokane, Custer County, SD.

Spokane, SD

Friday, June 1, 2018

Flume Trail, Black Hills, SD

During numerous past road trips to the Black Hills, I never specifically hunted for hiking trails to try out, that is until May 2018. After some extensive research on the Custer State Park website, Black Hills National Forest website, and trail review sites, I compiled a list of several trails to try out, the Flume trail was top of the list, and it is a real cracker of a hike.

The Trailhead for the northerly Flume trail can either be found at the very southerly tip of Sheridan Lake (the Calumet Trailhead accessed from Highway 385 and via Sheridan South Campground), or east of the Lake (the Upper Spring Creek Trailhead accessed from Sheridan Lake Road). Sheridan Lake is located 6 miles east of Hill City in the Central Eastern Black Hills.

Calumet Trailhead for the Flume Trail