Our Summer 2010 Trip...Headed West This Time travel blog

heading up Iron Mt. Road - almost all these taken from back...

Fred stopped just before we hit the twisties so I could take...

we went through 6 one way tunnels - some of those big...

lots of great rocks to see as we rounded the corners

another tunnel - this third one on Iron Mt. Road frames Mt....

from the tunnel

this is called a Pigtail Bridge - you go over and then...

Mt. Rushmore as we approached -- we didn't stop since we were...

Mt. Rushmore as we passed it

great profile of George as we rounded the corner

This is now on Needles Highway which has lots of switchbacks and...

more on Needles

more on Needles; we think that water was cold!

still Needles; we are waiting in line for our turn to go...

waiting to go through a tunnel on Needles - three tunnels were...

think he will make it through? we're next in line (see Fred's...

more of Needles

more of Needles

sorry - I loved this road!

still on Needles

last tunnel

back in the prairie - this pasture of horses was so pretty!

the town of Custer has painted Buffalo - not surprising since the...

this is Crazy Horse Memorial - it looked like a little more...

Old Jail in Custer - funny info on sign


We’ve moved from the northern part of the Black Hills to the southern part and look forward to lots more fun riding the twisties in this area! There are two particularly fantastic riding roads here: Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road. Both are partly in Custer State Park, and Iron Mountain Road runs right near Mount Rushmore so we can get a great view of the four presidents who are carved into the granite. We don’t plan to actually go to that park again since we visited there for several hours last time we were out here; this trip we have some other places to go that we missed on our last visit in 2005.

We are staying at Big Pine campground outside of Custer, SD. The campground is aptly named for the large Ponderosa pines that grow all over the park. We are at the far end of the park, so we look out onto a forest of trees. We unloaded the motorcycle and set up camp on Thursday during the late afternoon, then relaxed in our camp chairs this evening and enjoyed the beautiful weather outside our RV.

Once again, it was hard to get a lot of photos while I was on the back of the motorcycle, but I will post some I did take that came out OK. I also found this video on the web that some might enjoy watching:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0oSSHKseD0&feature=related

While on our ride today, we saw a parade of antique tractors – they were all heading the same direction we were, but very slowly, so we had to pass them very carefully! Turns out they were having a convention nearby. We also had fun checking out a local winery in Hill City, and enjoyed the wine tasting they offered – I especially enjoyed it since I do not drink beer at all, and usually we stop at breweries!

We also rode past Crazy Horse Memorial several times this week, but that is another place where we spent a lot of time back on our last trip, so we didn’t go in there again either. It did look like the family creating the memorial has made a little progress since 2005, but the memorial is so gigantic, it will take many more years to complete. Korczak Ziolkowski began carving Crazy Horse Memorial started in 1948, and since the original sculptor’s death in 1982, the work has been continued by his wife and seven of his ten children. Ziolkowski spent decades of his life blasting away over seven million tons of granite to rough out virtually the entire figure in the round. Crazy Horse’s head was finally completed in 1998. If the memorial is ever finished, Crazy Horse will stand 641 feet long and 563 feet high. I read that all of Mt. Rushmore could fit on the forehead of Crazy Horse. That is one gigantic sculpture!

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