Wind Cave and Hot Springs.

Photos and exploring August 8, 2014

The skies were quite threatening the morning of our second full day in the Black Hills, where we camped at Wind Caves National Park. Deciding to stick close until we saw if the weather was going to clear, we headed to the nearby town of Hot Springs, South Dakota.

Wind Cave National Park campground, South Dakota, August 8, 2014

For some reason, my camera settings over exposed the first batch of photos of Hot Springs.  A young man I met while watching and photographing a sunset in May had asked me if I used RAW (basically a digital negative for each image).  I didn’t, but, after talking to him, I decided to save images in both jpg and RAW for a while. I haven’t used RAW in the past because my image program didn’t process it.  The version I’m using now does. The images below show an example of one of the overexposed shots and the result after processing the RAW image.

Hot Springs, South Dakota, August, 8, 2014

Hot Springs, South Dakota, August, 8, 2014

Just going with JPG format, as I have for most of the last 7 1/2 years, I would never have been able to retrieve as much detail.  I’ll be shooting in RAW for at least the rest of this trip.

We spotted these stairs going through town a couple of days earlier, but didn’t know where they went.  Since we were on foot doing a bit of exploring, we decided to climb.

Hot Springs, South Dakota, August, 8, 2014

It turned out that the stairs go up to – or down from, depending on your starting point – a 105 year old Veterans Administration hospital (Black Hills Healthcare System – Hot Springs Campus). This interesting building, part of Battle Mountain Sanitarium,  opened its doors in 1907. Battle Mountain Sanitarium was the first, and only one of the soldiers homes built to focus on the short-term medical needs of Veterans as opposed to being a “retirement home”.

VA Hospital (Black Hills Healthcare System - Hot Springs Campus), Hot Springs, South Dakota, August, 8, 2014

We did a little more exploring after going back down the steps. However, it started raining lightly and we, not thinking, had left the umbrellas in the car, several blocks away. The stores and shops were either closed or had nothing in them to interest us.  The shop that said “donuts” and “coffee” on it’s sign was no longer in business. We decided to head back the camper for lunch.  By the time we got back to the car, we were pretty damp.

City Hall, Hot Springs, South Dakota, August, 8, 2014

camping, cave, mountains, parks, photography, places, South Dakota, travel, weather
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