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A trip out to Oakwood Lakes State Park this afternoon.

It's a pretty park about six miles north of Brookings situated among shallow rolling hills and containing a number of small lakes. We arrived late in the afternoon without a lot of time to spare, but the very helpful South Dakota State Park's employee pointed out a couple of sights to see while we were there.

The first was a Native American burial ground. This is a shallow dome rising out to the surrounding ground, beautifully formed and now kept free of vegetation. It seemed to be in better repair than the marker sign, shown here with a lot a weathering. As I always find on sites such as these, a gentle aura of antiquity and mystery lay over the ground that captured me as I walked across the grass.

Further down the park road and by the side of one of the lakes we found a small log cabin. This is 'Ol Spot Mortimer's Cabin – named after a pioneer settler who made a living by first trapping and subsequently by logging.The marker here was in rather better condition than the burial ground sign, but it was not until I looked closely at the photograph this evening that I noticed a large red spot in the center of the writing. 'Ol Spot's mark? Inside, tables chairs and some antique kitchen implements. A small home for sure, and one that was supposed to accommodate a family. Perhaps so, but it seemed a little snug for more than one inhabitant but, then again, I am guilty of judging by today's standards of voluminous habitations. A simpler and more compact age spawned this home, and not so far in the past either.

All that was missing was the original roof. A modern shingle covering, not uncommonly found for very practical reasons in restored cabins, added a discordant (but not unattractive) aspect to the scene.

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