Published: July 12th 2012July 6th 2012
Kerry and I had the continental breakfast which was pretty ordinary and the kids were a bit late getting up so we ate without them. When they surfaced we took them to nearby Peggy’s for Breakfast where they had some cooked food.
We then headed off for some sightseeing. First on the agenda was doing the Iron Mountain Road trip. This road was an engineering masterpiece when it was first built and includes three tunnels where they are perfectly aligned so that when you drive through them you see Mt Rushmore National Monument directly in front of you. Amazing how this was done.
Also the road has several pig tail bridges which are really neat to see and something quite different.
After that we started the Wildlife Loop Road. This was something I had really been looking forward to doing, seeing rare animals in the wild in a NP. We barely got far when we saw a herd of Buffalo (maybe 50). Camera was going of with snaps trying to get up close and personal.
We kept driving down the valley and the scenery was amazing with so many fields and meadows. We saw some antelopes and
deer then we came to the Prairie Dog area and we could see them with binoculars but no luck getting photo’s. These are very similar to meerkats.
We saw a donkey / mule in the car park section here and he was was cute. We kept on the drive and saw some deer as well. A very worthwhile drive which finished at the town of Custer named after General Custer of US Army fame.
We looked for a nice place for lunch but made a bad choice as we went onto a Cafe and they put us in this dingy section right at the back of the building in an area that looks like it is used for buffet breakfast. Food was barely OK as well as I had a burger & fries.
After lunch we headed over to the site of Crazy Horse Monument. Wow is this place something unique. Crazy Horse is a famous Indian and they are building this massive sculpture into a hillside by blasting and carving the rock. This project started over 50 years ago and all they have finished is his head ! Hopefully it will be finished in my life
time as I just have to go back.
They had lots of museum stuff and a movie to tell the story of the sculpturer who has died now but his family are still running this place and finishing off his work with no govt involvement at all. They do a laser light show at night but doubt we will see it.
The plan next was to do another scenic drive through Needles Highway but we were running late on time so had to skip this and go straight to Mt Rushmore. On the way we could see parts of it and it looked awesome. When we drove into the main area it was a sight to behold.
The temperature fell to around 15 degrees and there was some low level cloud that started to threaten to cover the monument but we managed to get some really good pics and it is such a well known site and well worth the effort to be here.
Our Hotel was only a few minutes away so we went back to get changed then off to do downtown Keystone Village (about 1 km away) to check out souvenir shops and
Whilst we were shopping I saw these cowboys in the street promoting a cowboy show in the Garter Saloon so we decided to check this out. It was pretty cool as they did a reenactment of Wild Bill Hickok shooting his deputy (by mistake) as well as some other dude in a Kansas Hotel. They told the story of Wild Bill which was good as there will be moments on this trip to refer back to. Now the kids know what to expect later.
We had trouble finding a good place for dinner so went back to the Roosevelt Inn where they had Pizza place downstairs. It was now close to 9pm and they only had pizza “to go” so we ordered and waited. The lady told us that Steve Irwin and family had Pizza there in Nov 2005 and she was excited to meet some more Aussies.
We ordered 1 x 16 inch Pepperoni, and 1 x 12 inch Hawaiian, but we never got close to finishing them. The pizza’s were really nice but we were still a bit full from the late lunch in Custer.
Tomorrow we leave South Dakota on our
way across to Wyoming.
There are more photos below