Education and Spiritual Center is located on a ranch in the
very heart of the heart of the Black Hills of South Dakota,
and as such, the land is considered very sacred. Borderlands
Ranch is off the beaten path 16 miles northwest of Hill City
near the tiny community of Deerfield.
to experiencing the riches the immediate area offers to pilgrims
and visitors, especially at the ceremonial grounds, Flag Mountain,
Deerfield Lake and the National Forest all around, many sacred
and educational sites are reachable during day trips from
the ranch. These include Bear Butte, Custer Park, Shrine to
Crazy Horse, Journey Museum, Wounded Knee and Devil's Tower.
Depending on when you are in residence, it is possible to
attend a wacipi (pow-wow), a spiritual ceremony or other cultural
and spiritual events. Pilgrimages include many of the things
that tourists and vacationers do in the area, the difference
being the attitude with which the site or event is approached.
A pilgrim attitude brings an awareness of God to everyone
and every place encountered. It is an attitude of seeking
God in all people, all places and all things and being thankful
for all that is encountered.
sample pilgrimage itinerary
are provided an environment in which to explore what is needed
to encounter the Holy -loosely structured time, silence, various
forms of prayer and icons or metaphors that invite us into
a deeper understanding of the God whom we worship. Prayer
is a bookend to each activity, each meal and to each day.
Borderlands Ranch is located in the heart of what the Lakota
people call the Pe Sla, which has been a spiritual gathering
place for the Lakota people as far back as 1000 BC. At the
Pe Sla in mid-May in former times when spring had begun, a
ceremony called "Peace at a bare spot" welcomed back the many
forms of life. This ceremony included feeding the plants by
pouring water into the earth and scattering seeds for the
birds. Also at this time, people began to prepare themselves
for Sun Dance by fasting, silence and purification rituals.
After the completion of ceremonies at the Pe Sla, the people
journeyed west to collect stones at Inyan Kaga, a sacred hill
in Wyoming, and carried them to Mato Tipila or Devil's Tower
to be used in the purification lodge during the time of the
Pe Sla is named Reynolds Prairie on current maps and at 6000
feet above sea level is one of three high prairie areas in
the Black Hills. (This information is from the Sinte Gleska
University publication, Lakota Star Knowledge by Ronald Goodman.)
Following the Sun Dance the journey would move on to Mato
Paha or Bear Mountain (or Butte) located on the plains just
north of the Black Hills.
is welcome to participate in worship and spiritual ceremonies
at Borderlands. Grounded in the Anglican tradition, the worship
at Borderlands honors and is inspired by all of creation reflecting
particularly several dimensions of the Lakota and Celtic spiritual
traditions. The spiritual dimensions of earth, fire, water
and wind are explored and experienced by pilgrims. To enrich
the spiritual experience of pilgrims, an outdoor eleven-circuit
labyrinth has been constructed of local slate and quartz.
A medicine wheel, arbor and sweat lodge are also on the property.
A century old carriage house with stacked stone walls has
ben transformed into a seasonal chapel.
and Ground Travel: Delta, Northwest and United Airlines
all service Rapid City Regional Airport. Lisa at All Continent's
Travel -(1-800-334-0697) is very helpful in making flight
arrangements. Vehicles and trailers to haul your gear may
be rented from Casey's Corner -speak to Dennis at 605-343-2277.
Tents, a turn of the century log cabin, and a guest cabin
are all used to accommodate pilgrims at Borderlands. The guest
cabin has a galley kitchen and two bedrooms, each with a full
bathroom, together sleeping up to eight people. The log cabin
has bunk beds for six - seven people. If attending ceremonies
several days on the reservation, commercial camping facilities
are used. More information on the facilities.
Meals are self-catered in the main house kitchen or the barn
kitchen. We can provide assistance in menu planning and food
purchasing. During day trips meals are carried in coolers
or eaten in local restaurants that are generally quite reasonable
A Laundromat is available in Hill City and Rapid City.
As building community by focusing on our relationship with
God and with one another is a priority of a pilgrimage, there
is no television or other technology (other than an occasional
videotape) used during a pilgrimage and you are asked not
to bring your own (including cell phones andtape and cd
walkmans). There is one telephone line at the ranch and pilgrims
are asked to use the telephone for emergencies only.
Borderlands is located at an altitude of 6000 ft. so midday
can be very warm and evenings very cool. Bring appropriate
layers of clothing. Rain showers are common in the mountains.
to bring: Comfortable clothing that can be layered to
keep you warm to 40 degrees F (really!) , and cool to 90 degrees;
sleeping bag, towel, sturdy walking shoes, a swim suit for
the lake, a water bottle, sunscreen, and a sun hat are must
haves! You may also enjoy having art materials, a journal,
your camera, small musical instruments, binoculars and a light
backpack in which to carry everything during day trips. You
may prefer or be asked to bring your own tents. A complete
list of what to bring is available upon date confirmation.
NOT to bring: Knives, matches, lighters, tobacco products,
alcohol, drugs (prescription drugs must be approved by the
leaders), weapons of any kinds will not be tolerated at Borderlands.
CDs, tapes, recorders or players, radios, and cell phones
will be kept safely for you until you go home.
What is available: At or near the ranch there is hiking,
swimming (lake), croquet, horse-shoes, board games, ping-pong,
basketball hoop, badminton, volleyball, a campfire pit, bird
watching, cloud and stargazing, porch sitting, chair rocking.
Horseback riding, mountain biking and rock climbing are available
nearby for their customary fees.
are the costs?
Please contact Linda Kramer for more information.
and After your Pilgrimage: Groups are responsible for
any motel arrangements prior to or following a stay at Borderlands.
Pre-pilgrimage retreats and orientation, and additional assistance
in planning and preparation for your pilgrimage can be provided
on a per diem basis by speaking with the Rev. Linda Kramer.
Here for a list of associated fees for national parks,
monuments, and attractions.
Click Here to read select comments
from past pilgrimage visitors.