The Black Hills Travel Blog

Author Archive

is a Black Hills native. Growing up just outside of Hill City, his fondest memories involve exploring his Black Hills backyard with his black lab Dodger. Colorado called his name after high school so he moved to the Western Slope where he earned his BA in Mass Communication and raced for the mountain and road cycling programs at Colorado Mesa University. As is the case with countless others, the Black Hills pulled him back in. He recently left the brown cloud of Denver to return home where he works for Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes Association. In his spare time, Mat enjoys pedaling bicycles, playing music, cooking, hiking and trying to be a climber. Email this author




Breakaways and Bears with the Rapid City Rush

By • Dec 15th, 2013 • Category: Culture, Events

A Bear Rush! I love hockey.  I love the atmosphere; the cool air, the sounds of the skates on the ice, the comradery and cheering of the fans. I love to watch the expert finesse of the skating and puck handling, punctuated by an open-ice check or a mid-play fight. Also good to note, I’m […]



Deadweird- and other Black Hills Haunts

By • Oct 28th, 2013 • Category: Events

I finally made it up to historic Deadwood, SD this weekend for their much-anticipated “Deadweird” event. The party included the second annual Monster Ball held at the Four Aces on Deadwood’s Main Street and culminated with the Franklin Hotel’s infamous costume contest. The costumes were excellent. I enjoyed cocktails with a nun, a chicken, President Obama, and […]



Jewel Cave National Monument- Explore and Discover an Underground Wilderness

By • Sep 27th, 2013 • Category: Culture

Yesterday I jumped on the opportunity to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for Jewel Cave National Monument’s newly renovated visitor center. I hardly recognized the place with its newly designed interactive exhibits and interpretive panels—there’s even a “crawlway tunnel” which allows kids to practice their caving skills in a more controlled setting. I had no […]



Two-Wheel Touring the Black Hills

By • Jul 18th, 2013 • Category: Outdoor Adventure

My name is Mat, and I’m a cyclist. It’s been fourteen hours since my last ride and I’m happily addicted. I also want to tell you about where I live—The Black Hills of South Dakota, and why this region is a happy home for a total bike nerd. Mountain bike trails (Singletrack) in the Black […]



Black Hills Folk Stories: I am Custer State Park

By • Jul 3rd, 2013 • Category: Culture

Craig Pugsley- Custer State Park Visitor Services Coordinator Craig began his career in Custer State Park in 1977. Thirty-five buffalo roundups later, he can still be found working to make sure the park”s 1.8 million annual visitors leave feeling inspired. Here is Craig”s story of living and working in Custer State Park and his love […]



Black Hills Folk Stories: I am Tater Tot

By • Apr 16th, 2013 • Category: Culture, Outdoor Adventure

    Chris “Tater Tot” Pelczarski, 30 — The climber, caver, storyteller, and Chicago transplant chimes in on rock climbing in the Black Hills and the importance of enjoying what you do. I had never seen a cattle guard. I was like, “what’s that metal thing on the road?” I didn’t even know there were […]



Black Hills Folk Stories: I am a rodeo pickup man

By • Jan 30th, 2013 • Category: Culture

At the Black Hills Stock Show Professional Saddle Bronc Match in Rapid City, all eyes are on the bucking chute—anxiously awaiting that 8-second whistle. The crowd claps and cheers the cowboy”s performance, all the while oblivious to the unspoken heroes in the arena—the pickup men. In a rodeo, the pickup man is tasked with rescuing the cowboy after bronc […]



Touring the Groomers of the Big Hill Trails

By • Jan 10th, 2013 • Category: Culture, Discoveries, Outdoor Adventure

I spent my Saturday discovering the allure of cross-country skiing in the Black Hills with the desire to offer a snapshot of the area through the activity. My company on this trip was Pam, a downhill skier. I’m always delighted when I talk someone into a new outdoor excursion with me, mainly because many of […]



Baby, It’s Dark Outside

By • Jan 2nd, 2013 • Category: Discoveries, Outdoor Adventure

We’ve finally made it past the shortest day of the year, but if you’re like me it’s dark before you go to work and dark when you get off of work. A quick Google search tells me it would take an act of Congress to abolish Daylight Saving Time. I’m not holding my breath. So in the […]