Wall Drug, Mt. Rushmore, and Camping in the Black Hills

Published: July 12th 2016
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DAY 14 - Sunday, July 10, 2016

Wayne, Nebraska to Oacoma, SD - Missouri River to Wall, SD to Keystone, SD - Mt. Rushmore National Monument to Willow Creek Black Hills National Forest Campground

Who knew Wayne, Nebraska would be such a rockin’ town all night long? They are serious about their Chicken Show weekend! Geoff drove us back toward the east entrance of town and we slept away from all the celebration noise. In the morning we said goodbye to our Glass family relatives - Thanks again for the showers! 😊 It was a real treat to meet more relatives - thank you, Lord! We grocery shopped at the local Pac ’N Save and hit our first of several highways to weave our way northwest back to Interstate-90. Very pretty countrysides but it was a relief to finally land west on I-90. Now Geoff started seeing places we passed through two weeks ago when we began our trip East. We gassed up in Oacoma, SD and I took the wheel. Two and half hours later we made a long, restful pitstop at Wall Drug in Wall, SD. It’s quite a production. Billboards start over 200 miles away telling about this place. Food, souvenirs, jewelry, clothes, cowboy gear, donuts, splash pad, pharmacy, and the Best Cowboy Char Burger - Delicious!! Lots of photo ops too. 5 cent coffee to boot - and it was great coffee! After spending way too much money, Geoff resumed his captain’s chair and off to Rapid City and Mt. Rushmore we sailed.

Boy is it windy! The interstate’s speed limit is 80 mph here but I bet we slowed down to 60-65 mph because of the strong winds. We turned south at Rapid City, SD and drove into Keystone. It reminded me a little of Winthrop, WA. It was only about 7pm local time (Mountain Time Zone) so we went straight to the Mt. Rushmore monument. $11 for parking through the end of the year - that’s a great deal! And there it was - what a spectacular work of art! Four great Americans - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln - all reminding us to fight for freedom and what is right, to take care of each other, and to work hard toward common goals and to not give up. America is the home of the free and the brave! Let Freedom Ring! Amen! Thank you Gutzon Bolgrum and team for having this 14+ year vision!

We found a remote campsite in the Black Hills National Forest and it was the quietest night of our trip. I got a little scared of cougars and bears but no one else in the family was frightened. The boys scaled the rocks and hills like skilled nature guides. We enjoyed a campfire and watched stars all together. Except for the hungry bat that kept circling us and licking his chops, it was a beautiful evening.

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