Vandeleur Rock Shelter - Passport in Time

Go to content

Main menu:

Previous Projects > States S-W
Vanderleur Rockshelter

Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota, 2009
by Grant Sulham, PIT Volunteer (To see the original photo display)

The Vanderleur Rock shelter is near to the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota. It’s actually a mile long canyon with numerous rock shelters in it. The angle of the rock layers is such that over thrusts are common and provide a good place to camp. Two of the largest “Rainbow” and “Rasinette” received much of the projects attention.

Camp was a sloping meadow. The first on the site identified it by the Porta-Potty as the announced campsite was a bit further along. Our wake-up call was the sound of air-brakes as the logging truck rolled by at 6 am.

The weather was really quite nice. However we had a city person from Boston and had to drum up some excitement. The last night we arranged a good old Black Hills thunderstorm. Rain, hail, high winds and lots of great earth shaking thunder and flashbulb lighting. It was during the festivities that I remembered I hadn't staked my tent down. Then there was that leak...

What you learn about rockshelters is that there are lots of rocks. The ones that were always there and then the ones that drop from above.

Being near the stream the soil was loamy and wet. When it dried it was like concrete and we discussed pressure washing to clear the clogs. Closer to the back wall the soil was drier but full of rocks, stones, chips and whatnot. We were never able to get a lot of depth in any pit.

It wasn’t all hard, unremitting labor under a hot sun and cruel taskmaster.
Back to content | Back to main menu