After heading thru Utah and then across Wyoming we arrived at the East side of the
Black Hills. We we're glad to finally be out of the "big sky" (no trees) country
and into the very beautiful and forested Black Hills. Ever since seeing the movie
"Close encounters of the 3rd kind" I had wanted to see Devil's Tower. It was indeed
impressive and unusual. A hiking trail goes all the way around it and is well worth
the walk as the geometry of the tower changes as you go around it.
Rock climbers love to climb the "chimneys" in the sides (see above pix) and it may
take them all day to get to the 2000 ft top.
On the scenic road to Mt. Rushmore
We had read that the twisting, scenic road to Mt. Rushmore was the way to go and
it certainly was! You get to go through beautiful country and three narrow tunnels,
one of which I had to fold in my tow mirrors on the truck in order to get through
Avenue of the flags
Mt. Rushmore is a very inspiring place. When you first arrive you go down the "avenue
of the flags" with the president's heads in the distance above. It's beautiful.
Be sure to take the walk that goes around the base of the mountain just under the
heads. It's a fantastic view looking almost straight up at them.
At the end of the viewing deck
On the walk at the base of the mountain. What a view!
Crazy Horse Memorial
Though we thought the entry fee was a bit much for what you get to see, there WAS
a very nice Indian cultural center there with very nice exhibits. Crazy Horses' face
is complete although from the viewing angle it's hard to tell. The mountain behind
with the carving in the foreground (below) shows what the completion will look like.
Buffalo were numerous in the Black Hills
The historic old mining town of Lead
There are lots of old mining towns and the bikers were starting to arrive for "Sturgis
Week". They were expecting one million bikes for the week throughout the Black Hills.