Thursday, July 30, 2015

Know When to Walk Away. Know When to Run.

On Saturday we had to be out of our cabin in Custer State Park by 10. We figured we'd have time to ride our mountain bikes on the part of the Centennial Trail closest to us before that, but when John went to put the mountain bikes together, he noticed there was something wrong with my brakes. I couldn't ride it until we got to a bike shop, so I told John to drive us to the trail head. He could ride and I'd hang-out and read my book and I'd know what part of the trail he was riding, if he had a bad crash and didn't come back. As it turned out, my quads were just screaming from the trail running the day before, so I was pretty happy to get some alone time, sitting and reading my book.

My new best friend...As long as there's food in the car.

Luckily, John didn't have any mishaps and we got back to the cabin, packed-up our crap and were on the road by 9:30. We decided to use the moving day to do a few touristy things. We drove toward Spearfish on the wildlife highway,  in hopes of seeing some buffalo.

We came across the donkey's right away. There were a ton of them walking around, and panhandling the tourists for food.

If you look behind those donkeys, you will see a a young,  male pronghorn behind them. He got separated from the lady pronghorns who were already on the other side of the road, and you could tell he was nervous about meeting them and was afraid to cross the road with all of the car and motorcycle traffic.

He finally looked both ways and crossed the road to get to the ladies and the story had a happy ending.

The end.

We drove the entire wildlife loop without spotting any buffalo. We ran into a guy who told us some rangers said there were plenty of buffalo on Iron Mountain Road. Luckily, we had to go that way to get to Mt Rushmore anyway. We saw the buffalo almost immediately. All over the place, babies, big old guys, it was awesome.

On the way to Mt. Rushmore we had so many cool tunnels to drive through.

The thing about Mt Rushmore, is that it looks in person, pretty much like it does in photos. Don't get me wrong, it is impressive, but after having seen it 10 years ago, there wasn't much more to see.

I did like the artist's studio, though and mostly, I was looking for the mountain goats we saw last time we were there. As you can see by the startling lack of goats in my photos, we weren't graced with their presence this time around. Sigh.

 We made it to our cottage in Spearfish in the late afternoon. We unpacked and then headed for Deadwood. We thought it would be more fun to be there on a Saturday night, then to wait until Sunday.

Immediately we were greeted by a big 3 Wheeler rally.

Because I'm a huge nerd, this was my favorite one.

Almost everything in South Dakota exceeded my expectations, that is, except, Deadwood. I was hoping it would be more of a historical old Western town, but it seemed more like a giant casino. Every building we stepped into was jam packed full of slot machines. I know a lot of people love to gamble, it's just not my thing. I guess I imagined there would be some casinos there, but that most bars or restaurants would be machine free. I was wrong.

The one place I wanted to go to see where Wild Bill was shot, was closed too. Wah.

I did love the beautiful old buildings, but I'm glad that we went there on Saturday night and I'm REALLY glad we were going to be staying in Spearfish instead.

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