Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Go West Old Man – The Black Hills, SD Again – 2012

Thanks to some communication issues, the RV  repairs couldn’t happen for another day so we headed off to the Black Hills – so named because they look black from a distance due to the Ponderosa Pine trees on them.  We went from Rapid City to Keystone, 337 residents per 2010 census,

then on to Mt Rushmore (a first for me)  - since dogs were not permitted, we just looked and took photos from the road.

As we headed down the mountain on the other side this guy (Mountain Goat) was just standing beside the road posing for a picture but went a few rocks higher when Coco went bananas after spying him.

We then headed into Custer State Park for a drive along the Needles Hwy to see some unique rock formations.  The western pine beetle is having the same impact here as it's southern version is having in our area.  There are also some pretty lakes in the hills.

The above formation looks like a head looking out over the mountains. 

We also went thru some very small tunnels – I was glad we were in the little hybrid.

Of couse, time must be made for a potty break.

Between the Needles Hwy and Custer City we saw a bison lying back in the tree line, like the cattle do at home – click on the shot and look hard.

Then a couple of miles later, this guy was just grazing beside the road.

We had lunch at the Sage Creek Grille in Custer, SD, where Bev had  the “7oz Buffalo Burger” and I had “Grilled 6oz Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon”, both with their famous triple roasted potatoes.

Kind of unusual to bury the main item under a mixed green salad.  While both the burger and the salmon were overcooked for our taste, they were still pretty good.  My salad had a dressing I loved and the potatoes were as good as advertised, but we were really disappointed in the service. 
After lunch we drove by the Crazy Horse monument but didn’t want to pay the $20/head to go in and get a closer shot.  The last shot is from the internet showing the ultimate goal - what an untaking, I doubt I'll see it completed.

For some really super pictures of the area (with more animals), please visit the White’s blogthey are friends of ours from home and were in the area three weeks ahead of us.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

9/5/12 event date


  1. The only way I could have gone through that rock tunnel was with my eyes closed. Yikes it's narrow and no room for error. Glad to know Coco defended you against the big bad goat.

    Sorry your burger and salmon were overcooked. We've quit ordering burgers in NC because they overcook them - it's the law they must be served at least medium-well. That ruins it for us.

    Travel safe.

  2. This goes to show what a beautiful country we have. I wish some day I can see all of our country. I keep telling the kids I amgoing to throw them in the van and drive the country all summer long. then I get scared- being alone with the kids cramped in a van for so long really frightens me;-)

  3. Very nice photos of the area. Too bad dogs are excluded but I guess I can understand (sorta!!).

    I probably would have liked that burger - I like them cremated lol.

  4. My husband has ridden through all this area by motorcycle and says it is wonderful. Looks like you are having a great time.

  5. The black hills of SD are amazing!! You hit the good spots for sure! Funny, I was there about 8 years ago and they've not made ANY progress on Crazy Horse...seems we're not the only ones who refused to spend $20 to see it closer :) Crystal Cave is beautiful to check out too (dog's not allowed in the cave however) and there's a quick 15 min tour. Enjoy the scenery!

  6. You've taken some really beautiful pictures Larry....I hope to make it SD someday too.

  7. Your photos are wonderful, Larry. I'm sorry to hear you've been have RV problems. Seems like Murphy also likes road trips. Send him home so you and Bev can enjoy the rest of your holiday. Blessings...Mary

  8. Larry, Great photos! At least you've been able to take advantage of your trip delay to explore the area. We've also done that drive in the Black was great! Nice of that RM Sheep to pose for you... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  9. The rock formations over the roads are truly amazing. I am awed by stuff like that. Looks like you are getting a more in depth tour of the area than planned. More fantastic photos.

  10. So, dogs are not allowed on a mountain. That's a little weird to me, but I'm not the National Park Service. Seems like people with dogs would be happier to spend money when their dogs were welcome, but, again, what do I know? And I'm claustrophobic, so I would not have done well in those rock tunnels. Looks like you had a good day inspite of the RV's lack of cooperation.

  11. How wonderful to see that Mountain Goat. We've only seen them once in RMNP. I'm so glad you're posting these photos. So fun to follow along.

  12. WOW!

    Those pictures are amazing and I KNOW that they don't capture even half of the awesomeness of seeing it in person. Just wow.

    The goat reminded me of that commercial where the goat steals the dude's lunch and he's trying to reason with the goat, "That's not yours."

  13. We didn't have good cameras when we were there in 96, so I really appreciate your fine photos of the badlands! Such interesting geography there! Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse are so amazing! Love this post, brings back memories of several trips through there! Would love to re-visit again!

    On to your next destination post!

  14. I'm trying to catch up on your blog posts... Haven't seen them all yet---but scrolled down to find the Needle's Highway one.. We loved that area also. Thanks for suggesting it to us...

    Hope you make it home safe and sound.


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