Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ninth Arch: Wholly Rock!

I caught wind of an arch named Wholly Arch documented by a Geocacher named gonehuntn and I have been hunting for it for a while.  It took me four attempts and some learning to locate this. This Arch is accessed by either Schroder Road (off Nemo road) or Highway 44. It is off FS6601.

This makes nine confirmed arches.

I have been learning that the right tools are vital to navigation in the Hills. Highway GPS is worthless off highway and outside of a car. Google and the other major online based maps don't have info on the forrest service roads and the IOS apps are crippled when there is no internet. Simply looking at the satellite image prior to loosing service or by saving a picture doesn't work because things look different from above or the images can be old. In the Wholly Arch example, what looked like a well used parking location was well overgrown when I was there. What worked for me was PDF Maps. The Forrest Service maps are free for this IOS app and it does not require internet access to show your location on the map.

Even with this app, I blew by a turn. I would recommend way pointing important turns and checking your location often.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Deadman Creek Hike

Over Memorial Day I dragged my wife to a hike I read about from the geocachers that talked about a solid natural arch on Deadman Creek. See Geocache 1 Geocache 2 Geocache 3.
There is apparently a USFS easement over private property and the property owner has "no parking" signs on the USFS gate. We respected the owner's wishes by parking further up Sheridan Lake Road and walking in.
It was a great hike with water for the dogs along the way. Spring Creek was breathtakingly beautiful. We even ran into some old coots panning their claims (they literally looked the part).
While not quite a natural arch, the interesting feature is here:

Summer is upon us and the search is on for arches. I have visited 8 arches and research has indicated the general whereabouts of a total of 18. Here are my current results (blue pins have been personally confirmed as natural arches).

Monday, July 22, 2013

Eight Confirmed Arches

The following two arches are visible from the Cathederal Spires trail on the way to the feature Chris discovered as posted on June 25, 2013.

This arch is a needle's eye that is more slender and interesting than the famed Needle's Eye on the Needles Highway.

The above arch is in the Cathederal Spires formation.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sixth bridge identified

Chris has identified an arch he has described as being visible from the end of the Cathederal Spires trail in Custer County.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The more than 5 natural arches in the Black Hills

This weekend, my friend Chris and I continued our search to find the natural arches in the Black Hills and found two additional arches. Off Playhouse Road near the intersection with iron mountain road, there is an unmarked Custer State Park road at about 43.82357, -103.4005, that is the nearest point to two natural arches.
The first we saw from the trail but have not inspected closer because our goal was a bigger arch.
The arch we sought to find is a named arch several miles south of playhouse road and about the same distance East of Center Lake. I will not give the coordinates because spotting the arches is part of the fun. EDIT: As a hint, a run of power lines is close by the arch.
Thus, we have personally confirmed 5 features exist in the Hills. Multiple sources confirm an arch in Calico canyon. I believe the following links are each referencing that arch: here, here, and here. Another source references an arch on Grand Canyon Road in Wyoming. Another source gives estimated GPS coordinates of an arch off Iron Mountain Road. Yet another source has a picture of an arch not referenced by any other source. The Natural Arch and Bridge Society has an arch listed in Harding County.
I thought research had led me to a feature called Fairy Window at Sylvan Lake, but this appears to be a suspended boulder. See here and here. On that note, I don't recall if the entrance to Chopping Block at Rushmore is a hanging boulder or a bridge.
Apart from the Hills, there may be two bridges in the badlands. See here and here.
The conclusion from our total confirmed count of five arches, along with the fairly clear documentation of other arches, is that there are easily more than five in the Hills. This site appears to be easily disproven. Now the question is whether there are 9, 12, or more? We have uncovered evidence of a likely 10 in the Hills if Slim Buttes in Harding County is considered the northern most reaches of the Hills.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The 12 (or 9 or 5) natural arches in the Black Hills

I enjoy discovering the secrets of the Black Hills. Every once in a while I will get an idea from the Black Hills Travel Blog and I was looking through contest pictures on their Facebook page and became intrigued with the question of how many natural arches are in the hills. I mean Utah is famous for its arches, but what about the Hills.

A little Googling came to this answer:

Natural Bridges in the Black Hills:
 True -- There are at least nine natural bridges in the Black Hills. The locations are not widely known. (Allegedly there are actually twelve, but we have only been able to confirm only nine.) The Eye of the Needles along the Needles Highway in Custer State Park is one.

Another site claims there are 5 confirmed natural bridges.

The hunt is on! I have set the goal to find these arches this summer. I had two down before I started - the needles eye, and I have climbed Gossamer, near Rushmore.

Upon hearing of my quest, my friend Chris revealed the location of another along Whitewood creek. We quickly launched an expedition.

The arch is beautiful but takes some scrambling over debris to get to.

A neat feature of the arch is the tree growing downward behind it.

Other features in the area are the C & NW tunnel and Barker's Cave. I found this image on the Lawrence County Historical Society site interesting.

Where are the others? I have a few leads: Here, here, here, here, here, and here.

I think it is safe to say there are more than 5 in the Hills. There is also at least one in the Badlands.

Edit 7/29/2014: The geocachers have identified this arch.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Downloading and installing Picasa

This post is for Mom - I'll make it crystal clear. First Download the new Picasa here.

Now Save the file - it doesn't matter where.

When Picasa is done downloading. Double click on Picasa3-setup.exe in the Downloads window.

After you hit the Next button a few times to install Picasa, it can be found under the Start button, All Programs, Picasa 3, Picasa 3.