Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. – John Muir
What I learned, day 5.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Where do I start? First, I was planning on doing Iron mountain highway because it has several amazing tunnels that frame up the faces of Mount Rushmore. But they closed part of the road and cut off 2 of the 3 tunnels. At least we got the first one in. Then, we were going to do the needles highway on the way back. Road construction prevented us from following our schedule and made us push it to the evening. We did the Wildlife Loop. Most of the wildlife was on a coffee break. The biggest unforeseen was, well read on.
Mount Rushmore really is remarkable. However, we felt it was ‘take a picture and go.’ We did watch a 15 minute film on how it was made. But that was just to beat the heat. It was so hot today! We got our pictures and got back into the A/C.
Pictures are deceiving. We may look like we are having fun. But I think at this point we were all spent. Too much in one day. The ATV seemed like a good idea. But after about 15 minutes, 20% of your hearing gone, and your face windburned, you realize you’d rather be in the air conditioned truck. Great picture though.
5% chance of rain means that there could be rain, not there’s a 95% chance it won’t rain. After driving in the ATV through the Wildlife Loop, we headed into Custer to top off the tank and get a blizzard from the DQ. I just happened to look out the window as I was throwing away some trash and said “We got’s to go now!” There were dark clouds on the horizon. Keep in mind, we have no windshield. We have no doors. We have no windows. We only have a fabric roof. And we are about 10 minutes from our campground. About half way back it started hailing – little pea size hail. Not that bad if you were looking out the window. But not too pleasant if it is hitting you while you are doing 30 mph. Ouch! At least the kids had helmets. The wind kicked up. The rain started. And I am sure the temp dropped from 85 to 65 in a hurry. It was cold! We could not stop laughing the entire way back. Soaked to the bone we turned the heat on and let the kids eat dinner in their underwear. Of course, none of this was in my spreadsheet.
Needles highway is a must see. I’m so glad we made ourselves go back out and see it. The rock formations are unreal. I have just too many pictures to post! At one point I thought I was Matthew Mcconaugheyn a Lincoln commercial because we had a buffalo staring us down.
You can’t take a picture of smell. Pine. Mist. Streams. Wildflowers. Clean. When we went through needles it had just rained. It smelled amazing. Too bad I can’t share that with you.
Route/Itinerary: Custer State Park – Iron Mountain Hwy to Mt. Rushmore. Wildlife Loop. Needles Highway.