PAHA SAPA Paha Sapa; That means Black Hills to the Lakota, or Teton Sioux. To the Sioux Indians, it is a sacred place, the “ Axis Mundi ;, or center of the world, and the place of the gods. Warriors would visit Paha Sapa for visions and to speak with the Great Spirit. The Lakota weren't the only ones interested in the Black Hills. Rumors of Gold in the Black Hills lead to an expedition party of 1000 people to be sent into the hills in 1874 led by General George Armstrong Custer of the 7th US Cavalry. A few months after the groups arrival, a man names Horatio N. Ross discovered gold along French Creek in the central Black Hills. One of the last great North American gold rushes inevitably followed. Rumors of gold are what led Bryan and I to pack up and head to the hills. Stories of prime trails in the 1.2 million acre Black Hills Nat Forest are what got our interest up, along with the fact there is 5000 miles of primitive roads that criss cross the forest and they are considered "open unless closed". What that means is that everything is open, unless its specifically gated or posted. Here is the story of our journey .