Sunday, July 20, 2014

South Dakota with Beth, Day 1, Keystone

I defied my Rand McNally GPS, and ended up going through major construction on Rte 16 going into South Dakota from Wyoming. One way traffic,
And 30+ minute delays while they pushed dirt and rocks around between letting traffic through one way at a time.
Drove by Crazy Horse Mountain...can't see any change from 10 years ago when Carol (my sister-in-law) and I visited there.
Horsethief Lake, a National Forest campground where I stayed 2 miles from Mt. Rushmore. Beth and I kept so busy, I never did get the kayak out.
Turtle in the lake. He was carrying something he had caught.
The lake is stocked with trout.
Riding by Mt. Rushmore on my way to see Beth in Keystone.
The next morning our day started with a ride up the tramway, within walking distance from Beth's RV.
There were choices of tram, slides or zip-lining on the way down. We chose the Alpine Slide.
Going up...
A view of the slide. THis kid is in the "fast" lane. You have a choice.
In the distance we could see the Presidents.
View from the top. The heads look pretty small from here.
Teddy Roosevelt is hard to see from this angle.
We were being tourists...

Pretty gardens and walkways on top.
After eating a hamburger lunch, we were ready to slide back down.
First we watched how others did it.
View of Keystone.
We could see Beth's RV...the new brown one. For those who don't know, Beth is work-camping this summer in Keystone. THis is where the work-campers stay.

Here I go with my sled...I borrowed a couple photos of me from Beth's blog.
The brakes worked and off I the slow lane.
Beth is ready.
Here comes Beth!
We both decided we could probably go a little faster next time.
We walked around Keystone, and Beth showed me these Swallow nests.
With babies...

A Christian Retreat on the hill above Keystone.
We walked by the chainsaw woodcarver.
And we visited the Gutzon Borglum museum. He is the one who carved Mount Rushmore, but I learned he created much more in his career, including this seated Lincoln, and even the torch on the Statue of Liberty!

The museum...there was an audio tour.
Pictures weren't allowed inside, but both Beth and I sneaked one of the details in Lincoln's eye...and how it gives the eye its gleam.
Playing tourist again...
Just horsin' around.
We drove a scenic route to Hill City and parked by this interesting Alpine Inn. Beth says it is a good restaurant.
Some sidewalk art in Hill City.

We stopped in this store to buy tickets to a Brule Concert... Indian music.
A couple of signs I liked.
More chainsaw art.
Beth made me do it...
The concert we will attend tomorrow.

I forget the name of the mountain, but it is the highest one, haha. Read Beth's blog..she knows.
On our way to the evening lighting ceremony at Mt. Rushmore, we saw...
The goats were near the road.
Two mamas and two kids.

As usual, people were getting too close to wild animals.
George Washington's profile can be seen from the pull-off where the goats were.
Entering Mt. Rushmore through the corridor of state flags.
The main viewing plaza.
View from the plaza.
My first time here...I didn't know there was a walkway up close to the base of the monument.
At different points along the trail, each president is highlighted.
There is also a Native American historical display, but it was closed.
The accessible part of the walkway.
Not all of it is accessible. These steps lead to a small cave.
Where you can see Washington through a crack.
Looking at Lincoln, and all the rubble that was blasted from the mountain during the carving process.
Different views along the trail...
Here you can look up all the Presidents' noses!
The gleam in Lincoln's eye.
The strenuous trail to the Sculptors Studio involves a lot of stairs.
The ampitheater where we will watch the lighting ceremony. People are arriving.

Washington and Jefferson. One thing I learned at the museum was that Jefferson was being carved to Washington's left at first, but it was determined the rock was not stable enough there, so Jefferson got blasted off the mountain and carved on Washington's right.
A peek inside the Sculptors Studio. It was closed, but the doors were still open while it was being cleaned.

The model for the sculptures. I wonder if they originally intended to include the hands? Borglum died suddenly before the sculptures were complete, and his son finished the project in 1941.
There was a good view of the mountain from the studio.

Bust of Borglum, completed by his son.

Before the ceremony we bought ice cream cones. Never knew this about Jefferson.
Seated for the ceremony.
An excellent narrator gave some history.
A film was shown.
And the lights came on dramatically.

But the best part was when they called for service men and women, active and retired, to come on stage to retire the flag.

Some were selected to take down the flag.

Folding the flag. Then the ranger took the flag by each service man and woman while they gave their name and branch of service....very moving.
And that was the end of the first great day with Beth.

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