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Roller Skating in the Black Hills

'goin round and round with the girl of my dreams'

COUPLESKATE
verse 1:
pick you up on a monday
mom will drive us there
goin’ to a skatin’ party
don’t know what to wear
all the girls and the boys
dressed in their coolest clothes
goin’ ’round and ’round and ’round
knight ranger playin’ in the stereo

Chorus
hold my hand
skate with me
’round and ’round
with the girl of my dreams

verse 2:
headin’ over to the snack bar
let me buy you (a) coca-cola
maybe even some candy
what ever makes you happy
all the kids in the rink
doin’ the hokey-pokey
joe christmas playin’ in the stereo

The above song by Joe Christmas is the epitome of my roller skating youth. Its sweet, innocent, and a little romantic. I can totally remember the dim lights, disco ball,  80‘s music blaring, the wind in my hair, and the thrill of skating backwards. I can picture myself sitting in a booth to grab some nachos and laugh with friends as my legs rested from the weight of the skates. I can close my eyes and hear the sound of the wheels clicking on the hard floor and an occasional thwump of a kid falling. I can never forget the anticipation of  hoping someone would ask me to couple skate but being so pumped  with excitement that it didn’t really matter when they didn’t. When I wasn’t in the rink I was skating on the sidewalk in front of my house. Or, as my mom likes to tell the story, how I loved wearing my skates so much that she found me walking in my skates though a rocky dry creek bed by our house. Those are some of my happiest childhood and pre-teen memories.


The skating rinks in the Black Hills are all closed-converted into offices and shops. So imagine my excitement when I learned that roller skating was offered at Spearfish Rec Center on the first Friday of the month. I was so excited in fact that I hopped online and bought myself a pair of Chicago Ladies Rink Roller Skates off Amazon. When they came in the mail I was so  happy that I put them on and skated around the house doing my regular chores. My kids even tried them on and got a feel for roller skates before the big “skating party”.

We arrived at the Spearfish Recreation Center (the old Walmart) at 6pm. There was still a line and already several people out on the floor. The entrance fee is $3 if you have your own skates (roller blades are welcome too). Its $4 if you need to rent. I suggest getting there early because they have a limited supply of skates and a big crowd. But I find with roller skates you don’t NEED an exact size-just bring an extra pair of socks in case you have to go up a size. There’s a huge area to skate. Its not the rinks of my youth but its sufficient-I still got to skate and feel the wind in my hair again. The rentals were well worn in and easy to move around in. The wheels turned smoothly and you could ask to have them adjusted if they felt too tight-like they were with one of my kids’ pair. My only complaint is that they don’t have  a corded off area just for snacking so people were eating AND spilling nachos, soda, and candy on the rink floor. They also allow street shoes on the “rink” floor which brings in a lot of dirt. It would help A LOT if they’d at least have someone rollerskating around with a large dust mop to keep the floor somewhat clear. It would be ideal if they’d just not allow food on the skate floor at all. Despite that, it was a great time and we can’t wait to go next month. My 12 year old is even going to get herself a pair of her own skates so we can use the bike path in the summer.

There is also skating in Lead at the Northern Hills Recreational Center every Friday 6-9 PM. Its in an old gym with wood floors. Its a smaller “rink” and when we went had way less people. They have roller blades and roller skates for rent and scooters are allowed as well. Admission is $3 for members/$5 for non-members which includes skate or blade rental. There are less skates available but we didn’t have any problems finding sizes for Daddy, tot, and twelve year old.

Spearfish Recreational Center Roller Skating is the first Friday of the month from 6- 8:30 pm. Cost is $3 if you have your own skates or blades and $4 which includes skate rental.

How To Get There:

From I-90 take exit 12 onto E. Jackson Blvd./hwy 14. Follow it to the stop light and turn right on N. Main. Follow Main Street N-it turns into North Ave. Its clear on the edge of town -past Safeway, the fast food joints, and  a few car lots- turn left at  Recreational Dr (there’s no light so keep an eye out for the turning lane). For those familiar with Spearfish its the old Walmart there’s a parking lot and a big outdoor Water park.


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