Ah, Monday morning. We aren’t at work, aren’t at school, and find ourselves waking up in our room in Keystone, SD. We’re truly on our road trip now–not at home, actually hundreds of miles from home, and with a destination further away waiting for us at the end of this day.
I’d chosen this hotel for its proximity to Mt. Rushmore, and within just a few miles of leaving the hotel, we caught our first glimpse of the monument. So we pulled over and took a picture:
I remember our trip to the Black Hills when I was a kid. And I remember going to Mt. Rushmore, but I don’t remember the road being so accommodating to getting such nice views of the mountain. But who knows what I was paying attention to at the time. I hope my kids came away with better memories than I did.
At least Patrick seemed overwhelmed by the sight once we got to the park:
No, I don’t know. At least the girls maintained some decorum. Or not:
Actually, the whole park is much better than it was when I was a kid. What I remember is kind of a big plaza leading up to a viewing platform on the side of a hill. Now it’s nicely built up, with an elegant walkway to the viewing platform. But then off to the side is a walkway that takes you down to the base of the mountain.
It gives you quite a view of the nostrils…
But here’s the real perspective on how close it is:
This was breathtaking. Just simply amazing.
After we left Mt. Rushmore, we drove around the curvy mountain roads around there for a bit, then headed to the Crazy Horse memorial, and sadly were less than impressed, because there seems to be no progress made since I first saw it in books, and the museum tries to tell the story both of Crazy Horse and of the sculptor, and really doesn’t do either job very well.
Then we headed southwest, eventually heading into Wyoming toward Casper. Wyoming, for those who have never been, is a remarkably empty place. It’s the first place we saw mountains–actual tall, rocky mountains. But between the sparse mountains are long stretches of dry, tan dirt, and very few trees. In fact, in going through Wyoming, we saw one ranch that actually stretched for about 8 miles along the highway. And I have no idea how far back from the road it went.
But at the end was Casper, and we checked into the hotel and got some dinner…And the next day wouldn’t be what we expected.
See you tomorrow.