"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Welcome Home", Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse & The Badlands

August 23

It was a great week visiting family & friends, but it's always nice to be "back home".  Before we left Montana Jim and Sandie of Where are the Dixon's Today? met us for a yummy lunch at Cracker Barrel in Billings.  I have followed their blog for over a year and have so enjoyed reading it.  The picture of their adorable wiener dogs, Skittlez and Scooter greets you.  Never fails to put a big smile on my face.  When I found out they were in the town right down from us, I couldn't wait to meet them (Jim & Sandie too ;-)   Well, the weather was quite cold so the little cuties had to stay home.  I was a little disappointed that I wasn't going to get a picture with them, so I told Sandie I was going to do a little photo shopping!  Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to do it.  Maybe in a late post.  Perhaps we'll have another chance if we see them in Arizona in April.

Jim & Sandie of Where are the Dixons Now?
We had intended to stop into Sturgis for a look at where all the fun happened recently.  To think thousands and thousands of motorcycles roared through this quiet little town just a few weeks ago.  But no time for a Bloody Mary at the  Knuckle Saloon or a looksee at the Motorcycle Museum.


Today we see our new "home" in Box Elder, South Dakota.  But first some beautiful scenery.

Americas Mailbox is the mail service we use and our domicile. We had quite a few packages and mail waiting for us to pick up.  There were some things we ordered for the trailer and lots of mail.  We spent the night in one of their campsites before heading off to nearby Custer State Park.

They were very nice and even gave us a tour and showed us where we "live".

The sign that greets you when you walk in.

Here's where all the sorting goes on.

Here is a look at our rental property!  Quite small ;-) 

August 25

We enjoyed a few days back in Custer State Park.  It's a very pretty park and not too many people.  Last time we'll be in any mountains for a while.  We stayed in the Stockade North campground.  Site #28.  Beautiful little campground that can accommodate larger rigs.  There is electric, and a nice selection of long sites with nice spacing, trees, lots of grass and great Verizon 4G without a booster.  Sorry I forgot to get a picture.  It's too bad  it rained so much.  We were never able to do any kayaking on the pretty lakes.

 There was so much algae in the lake that we wouldn't have
 put the kayak in anyway. Oh well.
You'd think by now we'd tire of buffalo.  Not.  Magnificent creatures.  Especially up close.  It was nice to see a large herd with several young ones. 

They loved scratching up against the rails.

This big guy was shaking off the early morning dust from his wallow.

We also saw some deer, Pronghorn and prairie dogs.

There were lots of these little guys with holes all over their colony.
Best picture I could get of them.  They are very fast!

The scenery is beautiful.  One nice thing about all this rain, is it really brings out the color in the surroundings.


While driving around the wildlife loop, there were a few burros.  This little guy wasn't too sure about what to do.
Mt. Rushmore, SD 
Of all the monument/memorials I've seen, I don't know why, but I really love Mt. Rushmore.  The flags, the view, the area.  I just like it.  Either way you arrive, there are very small tunnels cut through the rock you drive through.  There are warnings on the width and height.  NO RVs!  It's amazing to see Mt. Rushmore from the distance as you drive.
Just beautiful!!


On the way out you see the famous profile.

Crazy Horse Memorial, SD

It's been about 10 years since we've been here last, but there has been more progress.  Amazing that this all happens with no state or federal funding.  It is non-profit and started in 1948.

You can see the face, top of the arm and top of the
horses head which have been carved so far.

This is the original generator used which the sculptor said
would always die just about when he made his way up
several steep ladders with a dying, kaput, kaput sound.

The Badlands, SD
Finally, we're seeing something that is new to both of us.  We've camped in almost every state with the kids, so it's fun when we have a first.  We didn't have enough time to really go through the entire area, but we were happy with the popular loop drive.  The views were just unbelievable.  Again, blue skies would've been nice, but the recent rain and overcast skies did make the colors more vibrant!

Some of my favorite pictures were:



It's time to head to Minneapolis.  But first we stop in Wall, SD for a break and a slice of pie.  A tourist trap for sure, but sometimes ya just gotta see these things once and stretch your legs.

An amusing sign inside one of the stores.

A nice little church.

I just found this amigo amusing!
 Leaving Wall and on our way to Minneapolis.

At a gas station, this buck was made of old car parts
and stood about 20 ft tall.

This was a very large wrought iron sculpture in a pasture on the side
of the interstate.  My favorite so far!

Lots and lots of fields of sunflowers.

Good Night South Dakota!