Friday, December 31, 2010

· Happy NEW Year from the Black Hills...

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast

Hill City Night Lights
As you leave the Old Year,
please celebrate going into the 2011 New Year responsibly.
The car you drive or ride in has aspirations
to one day be a parading Antique model!

❤♫❤♫❤.•*¨`*•..¸♥☼♥ ¸.•*¨`*•.♫❤♫❤♫❤
╔═════════ ೋღ❤ღೋ ═════════╗
* ░H░A░P░P░Y░* ░N░E░W░ * ░Y░E░A░R░ *
╚═════════ ೋღ❤ღೋ ═════════╝
❤♫❤♫❤.•*¨`*•..¸♥☼♥ ¸.•*¨`*•.♫❤♫❤♫❤

Thursday, December 30, 2010

· Guest Room Updates

A small but nice touch was added to Chessie Lee's Peas (see above), and one to Prairie Homestead. Plus, a new kitchen space was added to Prairie Homestead! Guests have so often referred to PH as their little cabin that it has earned the nickname, Little Prairie Cabin...and now with a kitchen, even more fitting! See the following photos...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

· DECK the HALLS...

click... with Boughs of Holly

and have a very

Merry Christmas!

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast
bed and breakfast hospitality lodging
hill city, central black hills, south dakota
mount rushmore - 1880 train - custer state park
- wind cave national park - jewel cave national monument
- mountain lakes - harney peak - norbeck scenic byway
- george s. mickelson trail - the centennial trail
- historic downtown hill city - antiques
- all things bright and beautiful

Thursday, December 2, 2010

· 2010 Thanksgiving Weekend Hikes

This album represents three days of Black Hills hiking over 2010 Thanksgiving weekend. Mountain Lion tracks were found on each hike...Horsethief Lake on Thanksgiving Day, Elkhorn Mountain on Saturday and Needles Highway on Sunday. (Captions are added at this time for the Horsethief Lake hike. Click on the first pic and then continue to the next. Please check back later for more captions.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

South Dakota at Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Wishing all a blessed, safe and...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast on facebook

In the sleepless wee hours of the morning, for the second time I serendipitously stumbled upon exciting news of the famous South Dakota float to be honored in the 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. This preview and news was found at Black Hills Travel Blog. Be sure to see it...a grand representation of Mount Rushmore...and more! Click the 'Sneak Peek' link below...
The Today Show on NBC interviewed John Piper, Vice President at Macy's, from inside Macy's Parade Studio. Piper gave a sneak Peek at South Dakota's new float...

...and CLICK here to see the Float Design while under construction (also found at Black Hills Travel Blog)!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

· FOURTH Birthday at Mountains To Prairies B&B

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast on facebook

Rich and Wanda are the perfect example of a prime reason for having a Bed and Breakfast...forming friendships! Wanda's birthday has been celebrated four times at Mountains To Prairies. This year we surprised her with a blueberry muffin birthday 'cake', baked in a small bundt pan, and lit with three long candles... 1) remembering the past, 2) looking forward to the future, and 3) enjoying the beauty of today. And what a beautiful day in early November it is, with a sunny temperature of 75 cozy degrees!! Rich and Wanda began capturing the best of the warm weather even before breakfast, by taking a walk along the Mickelson Trail.

Click on the first pic to go to the album of three.

(Each photo has a caption.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

· SPUDZ - Bearly Potato

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast on facebook

Two potato, three potato, four potato, five ...nope, just ONE. Guests of two nights were on their way to Arizona to present this zany 'bearly potato' to a relative. They dug it up in their own North Dakota potato patch. We just called it Spud, but SPUDZ is more like it! - Guests Diane and Alvin are long-time neighbors of my brother, sister and brother-in-law who live on the farm where I grew up ...and where the pictured apples grew! - ZANY a.k.a. peculiar, unconventional, strange, bizarre, funny, quirky, kooky, oddball.

Click on the first pic to go to the album of six.

(Each photo has a caption.)

· ANTIQUES - Gifts for Newlyweds

Smiling Bear Antiques on facebook

Mike and Jessi had been married all of 30 hours before arriving at Mountains To Prairies B&B for a three-night HONEYMOON stay. Much of their 'wedding money' was exchanged for antiques at Smiling Bear Antiques Shop, in-house with the B&B. They made careful and thoughtful selections. Many of the items they chose may one day very well be passed on to their grandchildren ...such as an antique oak Gingerbread Clock. They purchased the early 1900's oak-framed Shaving Mirror shown in the first photo, in which their happy image is nostalgically framed.

Click on the first pic to go to the album of eleven.

(Each photo has a caption.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

· What it is Like to Run a Bed and Breakfast

One of our recent guests, Linda LaRoque, asked me, "What is it like to run a Bed and Breakfast?" My answer is below, in green. Linda L. is an author of western contemporary and time travel romance novels! Click on Linda LaRoque's Musings, her blog, where she posted my answer...

What is it like to run a B&B? Without giving it a great deal of thought, I might say that it is much like dancing. Sam and I are partners in this ongoing dance, and when the harmonious music is heard by both of us, the dance is heavenly! However, occasionally one of us may step on the other's toes, or someone may bump into us...and so we take the necessary time - and steps - to readjust to the rhythm. Periodically, the music changes to a different tempo, which can be a bit jarring even when expected, and so again we readjust. More happiness, excitement, variety and adventure are added to the dance when younger dance students (granddaughters) join us. And so it goes—The broad and colorful spectrum of music moving us 'this way and that way' creates a fluid niche in time devoid of boredom. The dance hall fills up seasonally with visiting dancers, who add to the meaning and purpose of our dance, and who generally orchestrate the movements. In short...running a B&B is more like dancing than running.

Linda Brown, Innkeeper, Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

· Fall Colors Grand Finale!

Sam rose early with the sun this morning to take a picture of the trees along the East Main side of Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast here in Hill City, South Dakota. For two days the wind has intermittently been blowing fiercely. The chokecherry bushes outside our kitchen window were stripped of their colorful leaves yesterday. A few flecks of snow are blowing by the window now. Sam's beautiful picture presents the GRAND FINALE of the fall colors!...around our house anyway. Click on

· 2010 Autumn at Mountains To Prairies B&B

to view the whole album ( on the first small pic and then next and next.) But first, here are two of the previous views around the house...

(Corner of East Main and Walnut Ave)

Monday, October 25, 2010

· Pony Express Site and Bull Bison

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast on facebook

This historic location on the outskirts of Pringle along Highway 385 between Custer and Hot Springs represents a busy fragment of the PONY EXPRESS way back collects interesting artifacts (antiques) of that timeframe. Sunday, we were driving south from Hill City, South Dakota to Hot Springs, looking for lingering patches of fall colors...found a lot of rust here! :)

4 new photos

After studying the curious collection of artifacts from the Pony Express days, we toured Wind Cave National Park (enroute to Hot Springs) where we paused to watch a herd of BISON, many of them bulls as shown in this video clip. Click on 'Bulky Bull Bison' to go to the video...


We also made a short video of a huge COYOTE "stalking his pantry for winter" (Sam says)...sneaking up on some prairie dogs. This video is also on Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast facebook page.

When we finally made it to Hot Springs, we drove and gawked all the way through town to our destination, the Dairy Queen, for a chocolate dipped ice cream cone...and then we turned around to head back home. We did note that Hot Springs has quite a few staircases to heaven ( have to go see!)

On the way home we looked for a place to take a short hike before darkness settled in...found a turnoff along the Mickelson Trail. But rather than walking on the trail this time, we hiked a skinny winding road off into the woods. Back in there, we climbed onto a plateau which had an old hand-dug ditch around it on three sides and a rocky dropoff on the other end. We puzzled over it for awhile, until Sam came up with the thought that it might have been where a bridge had originally been intended for the railroad, but for some reason they didn't like the location and so moved on down the hill...and so the story concludes that this is why the Mickelson Trail (trails from rails) is down the hill from that location. Go figure.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

· 2010 Autumn at Mountains To Prairies B&B

We just can't get enough of those beautiful fall colors! Here are examples right around M2P...simply click on the first photo, then next, and next...and be sure to read the captions...

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast on facebook

We are delving into the new autumn season like into a good book, gazing often through the kitchen window at the golden leaves turning before our eyes! We have been enjoying an extended season of fall colors this year, and are just now beginning to lay back into some needed rest and relaxation. But at the same time ideas for near future projects are sprouting up out of that rest. ... Though guests are not as frequent past mid-October, they are certainly as interesting as ever! - October 19 guests biking the Mickelson Trail from Deadwood reached Rochford too close to dark to continue to Hill City. In Rochford's Moonshine Gulch Saloon they conversed with locals. One happened to have shuttle service out of that area, and suggested they bike to Mystic where he would pick them up and bring them to Mountains To Prairies B&B, their Hill City night's lodging. It had been a beautiful fall day for riding the Trail, and their leave day was equally beautiful!

See More

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

· 2010 Fall Colors Collection

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast on facebook

Here are photos of FALL COLORS...from the Black Hills all the way to the farm near Center, North Dakota! Click on the first picture, then next and next and...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

· Spearfish Canyon's Rare Winged Visitor

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast

The Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, an extremely rare visitor along Iron Creek in Spearfish Canyon, has been drawing birders from all over the country.
An Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush has been sighted in Spearfish Canyon. This rare bird is only the third of its kind ever recorded in the United States...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

· Harvest Time!

Black Hills Wild Black Currants
What we go through for Smiling Bear's
jam connoisseurs and coffee-loving Black Hills visitors :)

September 23 marked the last opportunity for harvesting the exotic Black Hills Wild Black Currant. To punctuate the event, Sam and Linda (of Smiling Bear Espresso Bar and Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast, Hill City, SD) packed up a truckload of overnight gear.

And off they went, anticipating a full moon to wind down with after a happy time of picking. And the picking was indeed happy. Since Sam could find no more chokecherries, he dove into the bushes and helped Linda glean currants. (Did I say bushes? I meant...jungle!...with no over-the-top view.) They called to each other now and then, especially when something rustled in there, and, well, they were just checking to see if the sound was one of us.

They moved from jungle to jungle, too. Sam returned from a particular expedition and told Linda about his methods. He would leave the main trail when he found a cowpath which appeared to descend into a promising patch of currants. To avoid lugging around the flat of currants already picked, he set the box at the edge of the main trail against a bush where he would return for it later.

Sam and Linda picked together for awhile, but with the sun steadily going down, Sam thought it was time to look for a campground. He went off to get the flat of currants from alongside the main trail. Linda continued picking. In about 15 minutes, Sam returned and said, "Funny, I thought I knew right where I put the box."

Linda opened the truck and poured her currants into the flat she had been filling. They both went in search of Sam's currants. This felt like a BIG deal to both of them...since currants are a luxury fruit and scarce to find. Sam's currants were especially scarce to find. They searched even further down the trail than Sam thought he went, just in case...just in case. Back and forth, back and forth. Sam went ahead and Linda backtracked, slowly, carefully searching every nook and bushy cranny.

One path Linda hadn't noticed before led into a small open space at the bottom, with both sides of the space not visible—so, she started down. Suddenly her feet were caught and she found herself flying through the air in too many directions and landing in the clearing soundly on both knees, and flat forward in the next instant, the calf muscle of one leg twisting and seeming to pop loose. She grabbed the muscle and squeezed, at the same time turning, while straightening her legs and managing to sit upright.

How long is a heartbeat? only took a few. Her knees throbbed. She rubbed them. "Thank God, nothing is broken." She felt grateful for that, and grateful, too, that the muscle wasn't torn. She sat there for a few minutes, musing and wondering over how she could possibly have come out of that wild fall intact...hands, wrists and elbows unscathed...head still there and unabused. It did seem miraculous, perhaps angels? Anyway, "Thank God!" Somewhat stiffly, she rose to her feet, moved around the clearing, gingerly, looking for Sam's currants. She heard herself say aloud, "They certainly aren't worth getting hurt over."

Linda turned to face the three strands of low-strung barbed wire that had been her downfall, and stepped over them carefully. Just as she reached the top of the path and pulled herself out onto the main trail, Sam called. He had turned around to ask her to drive the truck down the road a ways and pick him up, as he wanted to walk further to see if possibly someone had discovered the box while he and Linda were in the bushes; perhaps they carried it a bit, then sampled a currant, didn't like the taste and set the box down somewhere. (We were thinking a little strangely.)

Deciding to tell Sam later that she had fallen, Linda walked slowly toward the truck. Still examining the side of the trail in hopes of finding Sam's currants, her thoughts turned more gracious, more heavenward than before. It was nearly too dark to see shapes at this point. Passing an old post marker which Sam had made mention of earlier, Linda glanced into an open area without breaking stride, but then paused abruptly, leaned to see if the white spot she had glimpsed was a rock, about 10' back into the clearing, tucked nearly behind a bush. It was Sam's box!...tilted in such a way that the currants created a shadowy illusion making the box difficult to find. Linda was elated, knowing Sam would be relieved that the fruit of his labor had not been carried off or lost.

With no full moon visible due to complete cloud cover, and darkness imminent, Sam and Linda agreed on taking their picnic home, to relish while watching a movie. Camping could wait. They would select an alternate road home. Enough dusk light remained to allow the enjoyment of brilliant fall colors, which seemed also to light up the evening.


Click the happy bear for something on the light side!
Brought to you by Smiling Bear of
Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast...
looking forward already to spring flowers!