Monday, July 26, 2010

Day Ten - Day Trip to Mt Rushmore

It seems that all the gravel we have travelled over has left the group with at least 4 damaged headlights, one of which had to be rectified before we left this morning for Mount Rushmore. Plenty of twisty roads and hairpin turns on the way, and it seems we got there in time to secure underground parking. The day promised to be a scorcher.

The Presidents on the mountain stood in the bright morning sunshine while we snooped around the visitors’ area: 2 films, displays, a museum, cafĂ© and gift shop plus a presidential trail to hike closer to the base. Even though it was fairly early in the day, the temperature is already 80 F therefore we continued on wearing cooling vests.

Iron Mountain Road was quite a thrill! Plenty of hair pin turns and switch backs plus two divided sections and three pigtail turns, one ending in a stone tunnel, from which you could see Mt Rushmore.

Following that, we entered a state park and took the Wild Life Trail and saw lots of antelope and at the summit, the begging burros, who were not afraid of anything – I’m sure I could have pulled their tails as we slithered by them! I was surprised we saw any animals as the hot weather should have prevented them from being out in full view.

At noon, the group parted ways. The hot & tired ones returned to Custer while the adventurous ones turned the opposite direction and road past a large number of bison to Hot Springs for lunch.

The second group returned about 3:30pm. Ken & Jackie Young surprised us all by showing up at the motel a little later, after following Big Ted’s GPS “spot”.
Dark Horse was the location of supper tonight and the menu included a variety of steaks, including elk, bison and horse . . . seriously? It cooled off nicely and we all had a great night’s sleep!