Monday, June 18, 2012

South Dakota and beyond. Day Five: Custer State Park and Drive Home.

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."
~Martin Buber

After checking out of our hotel, we drove to downtown Rapid City and walked around the City of Presidents, which is a series of life-sized bronze statues of former U.S. Presidents. The statues are pretty cool and it's a quaint downtown.

Of course, I had to find George (Washington) and give him a kiss for old-time's sake.

We also wanted to drive by Mount Rushmore one more time on our way out of South Dakota. In doing so, we got a little "lost" and ended up on a very curvy road through Custer State Park and the Black Hill National Forest. It was BEAUTIFUL! So beautiful that we hardly took time to take any pictures. Thanks to Katie for the few we have.

Brian kept apologizing for getting us "lost" because he knew that it would cause us to arrive back in Salt Lake City later than planned. I really didn't care because it was one of the most beautiful stretches of road I've ever been on. I think it's called Needles Highway. Not sure, though. We were "lost" remember? At one point we were on a paved path through the trees, only wide enough for one car. (I think there was a corresponding path a way off for cars going in the other direction, but we couldn't see it.) It really felt like heaven. There wasn't another car in sight during the stretch of the road and I felt like we were in some sort of fairy land because it hardly seemed like a car should even be there.

It was a perfect surprise and really proved to us how incredibly beautiful The Black Hills area is. Really stunning and very much worth the trip. Worth the crazy hot windy! weather we experienced driving back home across Wyoming. We stopped in Wyoming only long enough to get gas a few times and in the thriving metropolis of Casper, we called Shepherd and sang to him for his birthday! Something that probably won't ever happen again. The call from Casper, not the singing. :)

Next time, I'd like to got to Badlands National Park also. I seriously had no idea South Dakota had so much to offer!

(Written July 13, 2013)

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