Big Stone Guys

Having finished up the work on the Gala, it was time for a little touring! First stop was to see a group of tough old guys peering out of a mountain. We’ve been to Mt. Rushmore many times before, (see Traveling Across our Great Land) but it is always amazing. (And we are now trying to get as many National Parks as we can recorded in our new NP Passport book) (Even if we’ve been to a park a dozen times, we need to visit again and get a date stamp and sticker) (Is this enough parenthetical comments?)

These guys are Huge!

If you drive from the park towards Custer, you can see George in profile.

Crazy Horse

Before you get to Custer, you can see the monument being made for Chief Crazy Horse. If the guys on Mt Rushmore are Huge, this guy will be HUGE! When we first saw this, (Decades ago?) it was mostly just painted on the rock, with a hole drilled through one part. Now the face is pretty much done. If is ever finished, Crazy Horse will be mounted on a horse, and have his arm pointed forwards over the horse. You can see a bit of horse outline painted on the rock. I really doubt this will be finished in my lifetime.

We did see some interesting live creatures in our exploration…

We drove by a small but beautiful lake…

Custer, South Dakota

The town of Custer has a lot of interesting old architecture, including this cabin from 1875. (Or is that its address??)

You can peek into the good doctor’s house through filthy windows and see some period furnishings and a replica of his wife. Assumedly.

Wind Cave, South Dakota

We’ve got to check out caves wherever possible, and Wind Cave is not far from Custer. Way different than Carlsbad, it is intriguing nonetheless.

Interesting formations called “Boxwork” look almost like candy suspended from the ceiling.

Where Carlsbad has some really huge rooms, Wind Cave has more long skinny meandering passages. And instead of a self-guided tour, here we had a nice tour guide.

A somewhat funny story about a wedding in the cave…

Hot Springs, South Dakota

Another quaint little town, this one has hot water! In the form of public hot springs. Owens Plunge is a large public pool, but Moccasin Springs Natural Mineral Spa is the place to go! Several pools built around and over original structures a century old. Very comfortable and quiet. And no pictures.

The town, again, has lots of buildings I find interesting.

Wall Drug Store

This store is world famous because it wanted to be! It has signs preparing you for your adventure at Wall Drug for hundreds of miles before you get there. As you get closer, the signs seem to be every quarter mile. In the 1920’s, they became popular by giving out free ice water, and coffee for five cents. The water would have been welcome in the desert summer when travelers had never even heard of air-conditioning! The store now has many buildings, dominating Main Street, and including a nice Ice Cream Parlor. 🙂

The town of Wall got its name from the dramatic cliffs of the Badlands, directly south. Apparently that area is called “The Wall” because it was a rather severe obstacle to south bound travel.

Which is where we were headed… south to revisit the Badlands. Here’s the view from our campsite.

So guess where we’re going next week!

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