The landscape changed as soon as we crossed the border from Wyoming to South Dakota. We had just passed through mile after mile of dry yellow rolling hills. After a few hours of that, our eyes and our moods were uninspired.
It was late afternoon on Friday when we entered the town of Spearfish, and we knew immediately that South Dakota was going to be remarkable. Everything was green and quaint. When we turned south on hwy 85 the evergreens began to shoot up everywhere as well as ski lodges and resorts. Next we entered he small town of Deadwood and we were transported to an older time. The homes were sprinkled along the sloping hills which surrounded the old downtown buildings and city center. It looked as if not much had changed since the 1920's. I have to admit that I began to imagine us living in one of the many charming homes I saw up on the hillside.
We passed a few scattered cabins and a lake before we finally we turned down the Main Street of Hill City where we planned to stay on our visit to Mt. Rushmore. Can I just say that I love main streets in small towns. They are always unique and give an impression of the town. The Main Street in Hill City is about half a mile long and the Native American influence is everywhere.
We found the Creekside Mountain RV Resort after a small Google Maps mix up with the help of the resort owner Rita. Not only did she answer the phone to help us, but she drove over to meet us as we pulled in. We took care of payment and she gave us brochures all as we were setting up of 5th wheel. It was a beautiful site and we've never has such friendly caring service, thank you Rita!
We rested up Friday night and woke up early Saturday morning ready to squeeze as many activities into the one day we had there. I fired up the stove ready to make bacon (yum) only to find out we were completely out of propane. No big deal, we drove back to the Main Street an ate at Hill City Cafe. It was delicious and just what we needed.
Next, Mt. Rushmore! It was literally a few minutes away from our RV site and as we turned the corner to register for parking I saw the famous carved heads. I can't lie, it was so much smaller than I expected. Like 3 times smaller than I thought. Regardless of the size, it was still an amazing feeling walking down the flagged walkway to look upon this great work of art while walking hand in hand with my husband, who is the embodiment of an American patriot (24 years in the U.S. Navy). We walked through the museum and learned about how the heads were carved and picked up a magnet for our refridgerator.
The flagged walkway
Cameron Family selfie
The Grand View Terrace
Just a couple of "Dudes"
Side view of Monument driving back down
After Rushmore, we headed up the road to Custer where the monument for Crazy Horse is currently being carved. We swung by and snapped a picture. We can't wait to see it when it's finished.
This is the silhouette of what it will look like when it's finished.
Next, we continued driving until we came to the Jeweled Caves. Unfortunately, the next tour that was "little kid" friendly was a couple hours away so we headed back to Custer's Main Street for ice cream instead, not a bad substitute in my opinion.
We rested, ate dinner and went back to Hill City's Main Street but most shops were closed. We snapped a picture of some wood sculptures and headed back home to our RV site. South Dakota is going on the list for possible places we coul live.
We took off this morning driving through Rapid City then hopped on HWY 90 east. When we travel we listen to local radio stations and today, we were listening to "old time" cowboy country music. It was the perfect soundtrack to the miles and miles of grassy planes we passed. I was literally daydreaming about the old west and frontier days. Did you know that "Danced With Wolves" was filmed out here? Pretty cool.
Next, Des Moines, Iowa to visit my brother Troy & my sister-in-law Kate and her family!