Edgemont's Sheriff George
...who has the full low-down on life here in Edgemont.
Let me tell you about Edgemont. Edgemont is a small town – less than 900 people – in the very southwest corner of the Black Hills of South Dakota. You probably already know that the Black Hills area is most famous for Mt. Rushmore and the buffalo of Custer State Park. I really like the Black Hills area because it’s a great place to go chasing rabbits and hiking in beautiful forests with canyons and hills and mountains.
I should tell you that Edgemont is very far from things like shopping malls, traffic lights (we don’t have any!), and traffic jams. And just between you and me, I think there are more cattle around here than people. But, Edgemont is way cool, because everyone is friendly, and they all know me, George the Basset Hound or sometimes as I am known, Sheriff George. And I really like walking downtown Edgemont because I can stop at the Edgemont Post Office and get a treat, stop at Edgemont City Hall and get a treat, stop at the Edgemont City Library and get a treat, stop at the Edgemont Herald-Tribune office for a treat, stop at the Trails Trains and Pioneer Museum for a treat…okay, I’ll admit that I am a little obsessed with treats, but my point is that here in Edgemont you’ll find warm, friendly folks, who take the time to chat with you and enjoy your company.
There are a lot of animals that visit Edgemont because ranches and forests surround the town. Some people ride horses through the town. There are also mule deer that will come into my backyard. And sometimes wild turkeys walk right down the street in front of my house. Sometimes I’ll look up the hill near my house and see whitetail deer looking down at me. I really like pronghorn antelope in the High Plains around Edgemont. Of course there are other animals in the environs for me to get excited about such as prairie dogs, coyotes, elk, some mountain lions, a few bobcats, and the occasional badger. And on those calm days you might sight a Bald Eagle soaring gracefully overhead or a Golden Eagle diving into the grass and rising into the air with a snake in its talons.
Now, you’re probably thinking that there is nothing to do in Edgemont because it is so small. Well, I guess it depends on what you like to do. If you like outdoors stuff like hiking, camping, mountain biking, exploring the Mickelson Trail, hunting, riding horses, taking pictures of beautiful scenery, or looking at old Native American art on canyon walls, then you’ll find a lot to do in and around Edgemont. We have rodeos (Little Britches Rodeo in August is my favorite). There is the county fair in late July or early August (I like eating hotdogs!). Don’t forget our Edgemont Dinner Theatre (great steaks, funny plays). And there is this big motorcycle rally called Sturgis in August. Sturgis is 100 miles away from Edgemont, but so many motorcyclists come to the Black Hills during Sturgis week, that even Edgemont sees a lot of motorcycles for about two weeks. So Edgemont makes for a really neat place to visit during Sturgis week when you feel like getting off the beaten track (take the old Highway 18 from Minnekahta Junction to Edgemont for spectacular scenery on a quiet road with lots of curves!). Yep, I ride my own motorcycle.
And don’t forget to stop in at Edgemont’s museum, the Trails Trains and Pioneers Museum. Which reminds me if you are a train buff then after your visit to the museum, walk out into the Edgemont City Park to watch a parade of BNSF trains stop and start from the Edgemont BNSF crew change station. The BNSF tracks through Edgemont carry some of the highest annual tonnage in the world, and there’s plenty of action and plenty of photo spots!