Last Sun to Deadwood, Boulder Canyon, SD, 1994
Details: Limited Edition Print from an edition of 50. Photo ©1994 Michael Lichter.
The Story: You could always sense something special about Boulder Canyon. I spent a lot of time in Boulder Canyon between Sturgis and Deadwood making photographs of bikers as they rode through the road’s sharp turns, came over it’s quick rises and slipped into its dips. It followed Bear Butte Creek just as a footpath must have meandered along the creek banks offering hunters a trusted route to the hills. The Cavalry would have used the same route and later, teamsters hauled miners with their supplies up to the rich claims of Deadwood Gulch.
At times, I felt like a trespasser, so I tread lightly respecting the sacred hills around me. Then several years ago, I was shocked to find major construction going on within the canyon walls. They scraped away the rises, filled in the dips and smoothed out the turns I loved so much. A wide path was cut through the forest so a modern 4-lane highway could safely race gamblers to the new gaming halls of Deadwood saving a few minutes each way. You can barely tell there is a creek below the grade anymore and where once there was a sense of respect, now there is only regret.