2011 Celebration Journey travel blog

Tunnel on the Needles Highway

The needles from one of the overlooks

The Needles

Henry had fun climbing around on the rocks

View from an overlook

On the Needles HIghway

I think these are called Cathedral Spires

More interesting formations

How is this tree growing in the rock?

Black HIlls

Chipmunk on the rocks

Tunnel going to the Eye of the Needle

Other side of the tunnel

Eye of the Needle

Beth at the base of Eye of the Needle

Henry and Blondie at the overlook

More rock climbing

Don't drive here pulling your trailer!

We drove by Crazy Horse Monument on the way to Wind Cave

At Wind Cave National Park

Entrance to the cave

Wildflowers on the trail

With Brian and Sue Aiken - ran into them in the visitor's...

Pretty Drive through Wind Cave National Park

There were more buffalo

And more prairie dogs

And more pronghorns

And deer

We sat by our campfire and enjoyed the sunset

We started the day driving on the Needles Highway in Custer State Park. The road is narrow with steep grades, switchbacks, hairpin turns and corkscrew turns. It was great! The needles are the rock formations along the mountain. We stopped at overlooks for great views of the Needles.

The most famous formation is the Eye of the Needle. You drive through a very narrow tunnel. As soon as you are through the tunnel there is parking so you can get out and explore. Henry and Blondie had fun climbing around on the rocks.

We stopped for lunch in Custer City and decided to go on to Wind Cave National Park. We decided not to tour the cave but we stopped in the Visitor's Center to find out more about the park. We walked down a trail to the entrance of the cave and to hear it whistle.

While in the visitor's center I heard someone call "Beth". I thought someone was calling their daughter and didn't turn around. A few minutes later I went back and Henry was talking to a couple there. When I got closer I recognized the woman. It was a couple we haven't seen in about 25 years! Sue lived on the same hall as me in Creswell Hall at the University of Georgia! She married Brian a few years later and they came to visit us when we lived in St. Simons when Andrea was a baby. We lost touch after that.

It never amazes me what a small world we live in!

After catching up with them we went on our way and drove back to Custer State Park on Hwy 87 through Wind Cave National Park. We saw more pronghorns, bison and prairie dogs before we got back to Custer. The two parks share a border and when we got back to Custer we drove on the Wildlife Loop Drive back to our campground.

It was another beautiful day! This was the first day in a while we were able to wear short sleeve shirts!

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