I took a ride on dirt roads past Ranch A and eventually ended up on Spearfish Canyon Road where Roughlock Falls is located. They improved the park's access in 2008, so it looks a bit different from when Mom and I were here 3 years ago. The falls got its name from when wagons had to traverse this rough terrain and ravines. To get down the ravines, they locked the wheels so they skidded down them, providing more control. Oh, Black Hills is called that because the kind of pine tree besides Ponderosa Pine, has dark green needles, making them look black from a distance.
William Randolph Hearst's father bought up the mines in this area and a lot of land to supply the mines with wood and water. Roughlock Falls was included. He dammed up the water a mile west of the Falls and built a plant to supply power to the Homestake Gold Mine in Lead (pronounced Leed). They now have a walking bridge over the dam and allow fishing over it and in the water above.
Without intending to, I ended up in Lead and stopped at Gold Run Park, the site of the Homestake Gold Mine that produced gold from 1878 until 2002! They tore down the buildings, but built a paved walkway up the hill with lots of placards telling us about the discovery, the mine operations, the tools used,and the community of people that worked in the mine. It was a very interesting walk, well worth the time.
When I drove by the Presidents Park this time, it was open, so I paid the $6.50 and strolled the grounds. Just yesterday, they unveiled the statue for Barack Obama, but it is white like all the other statues. An old guy from Texas makes the statues and sells them to this park and one in Virginia. I wonder if someone will continue after he is gone. The park has to maintain the statues, so they won't make Obama's statue brown. Next to each statue is a flag (silly me didn't notice if the flags showed the stars on it when the President was in office or if they are the current one) and a laminated sheet giving high or low lights of the President. It even has a statement or two about the First Lady, if there was one. I learned a lot of interesting factoids from this. I have pictures of each President, so if you want to see what someone looked like, I'll send it to you. The only fact sheet I don't have is of Teddy Roosevelt for some reason.