How can you describe such a place?
Wow!! Here is the heart of the Black Hills, away from Crazy Horse, Rushmore, and the other tourist stops. I can not even begin to describe how this place affected me. It is like an isolated island in the middle of the prairie. The people who live here are under the spell of the place and have created a unique enclave in their mountain stronghold. The cities, parks, homesteads, and attractions are all flavored by the spell this place casts over all that it touches. There are numerous towns here, but none of any large size. The lay of the land does not allow for such a thing. Rapid City hunches at at it's outskirts, but is forbidden entrance, as are it's brethren. Nothing like a large metro area will ever root here. It would be a sin to put such a thing here, but the land will not allow it.
Unlike the countless miles of surrounding dry plains, the Black Hills has water and forest in abundance. This was a sacred place to the Indians, who secured exclusive rights to it by treaty. The treaty was immediately broken when gold was discovered here. 
One of countless lakes, reseviours, rivers, and streams gracing this place. Note the absence of cabins, motels, marinas, and other signs of what we like to think of as civilization. 
The trees which give the Black Hills their name. From a distance this thick verdant growth makes the entire area appear black. 
More views of paradise. A place like this has an almost spiritual quality to it. It is difficult to remain objective and literal while surrounded by such an environment. I can readily sympathize with the native Americans of 150 years ago. I would have wanted to hang on to such a place also. 
In addition to the forest, water, and fresh air, this place abounds with wildlife. Calls, rustlings of the undergrowth, and various other sounds and movements are everywhere. While Cuter State Park is located within the Back Hills, there are many public and private areas in which hunting is allowed. Wildlife Loop Road is a favored spot, though it is hardly the only road from which the extensive wildlife of the area can be seen.
More water, more forest, and more hills. Though there is little development outside of the sparse collection of small towns, there are numerous camp grounds, horse camps, hiking trails, and historical sites. There are even a few lodges.
There is a ring just  within the Black Hills, formed by Highway 85. Within the loop of this ring are the little towns of Deadwood, Lead, Puma, and Central  City. This particular town is, I believe, Lead. 
More of Lead, with the Black Hills in the background. These started out as working towns (Lead actually did begin as a company town in support of a nearby lead mine). Tourism did not come until much latter. These little town are thus genuine, unlike the resort towns that can be found in other tourist areas. 
Highway 85 is all curves, even while passing through town.
Passing into Deadwood. This is a pretty popular place with visitors, as it really does reflect much of the spirit of the old west. It also has some cowboy casinos, which doesn't hurt.
Downtown Deadwood. This is a true cowboy town, and is reputed to have been founded by Wild Bill Hickock.
Leaving Deadwood. we will soon be heading out of the populated ring of the Black Hills, and into the more southerly portions. 
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