Listen to Linda Kramer Talk Prairie Balds

Linda Kramer
South of Rochford, SD

Why would a priest save a bald spot?
Click here to listen to Linda Kramer’s story…

Traveling by mule wagon across the Great Plains, it’s easy for folks to think I’m out here camping with the prairie dogs and antelope. Yes, some evenings I bunk down among the Great Plains flora and fauna.

Reynolds Prairie, also known as Reynolds Bald
Black Hills of South Dakota

But just as often, I’m taken in by folks I meet along the way. This week I’d like you to meet and listen to Linda Kramer, who hosted mule Polly and I outside Hill City, South Dakota.
Linda, an Episcopalian priest, and owner of Borderlands Ranch, a spiritual and educational center outside Hill City, South Dakota, has been heavily involved with the Lakota Tribe.

Linda Kramer

She was the first Episcopalian priest to work on the Pineridge Reservation. An ardent educator and priest with a specialty in pilgrimages, she’s worked with the Lakota tribe since 1993.

On May 29, we spoke on Flag Peak, one of the highest peaks in South Dakota. At only about 300 feet lower than Harney Peak, South Dakota’s highest point at just over 7200 feet, it’s one of the highest points between the Rocky Mountains and the Pyrenees.

View of Flag Mountain in distance (with green Lost Sea wagon brake in foreground)

Our conversation took place among the ruins of an old Civilian Conservation Corps tower. Before the tower, the site had been used for Lakota Vision Quest.

Bernie at base of CCC tower, where interview took place
(Linda Kramer Photo)

The top of Flag Mountain is a windy, craggy peak. It has a 360 degree view of the Dakota horizon. Yes, the rumble you’ll hear in the recording is wind and thunder. As we spoke, a thunder storm was rolling toward our rocky perch from Montana.

Flag Mountain vista

Ready for a listen? Then join Linda she discusses the Lakota Sun Dance, the Black Hills’ little known grassland balds (also known as prairies) and what she’s doing to preserve the sacred Pe Sla (pronounced “pesh la”). Linda begins the conversation by explaining where the Lakota traditionally held their Sun Dance.

To listen to Linda’s story from high atop Flag Mountain, click on the player below.

Thanks, Linda, for putting mule Polly and me up in your exquisite cabins. If the story gets out about how I survived the Big May Snow in comfort my reputation as a rough-and-ready mule traveler is shot…!

To learn more about Borderlands Ranch, Linda Kramer, Reynolds Prairie and the pilgrimages Linda leads, Click here…

(Recording notes: The piece you just heard on Linda Kramer was recorded atop Flag Mountain using a Sony PCM-D50 recorder. All editing and production was done in the Lost Sea wagon on a Mac. Yep, the whole lot’s run by 100% South Dakota solar power provided by a 100-watt panel attached to the wagon roof.)


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