2020-09-10 Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota
Mount Rushmore isn’t the only attraction in this area of South Dakota! But it indeed is the major draw, that’s for sure. The tiny town of Keystone, South Dakota is a short distance away, along with Hill City, South Dakota, and while they’ve got the usual “tourist” feel to them, they are definitely worth the visit. Some of the area activities include the Rushmore Tramway Adventures, Big Thunder Gold Mine, National Presidential Wax Museum, to mention a few. We had a wonderful meal at the Bumpin Buffalo Bar and Grill in Hill City, while watching the news of the fires in our home areas back in Oregon! I really enjoyed the guided tour we took of the mine. At the location of the picture of the upward shaft below, the guide said we were standing about 280 feet under the surface! Don’t take the tour if you are claustrophobic!
We arrived at the Willow Creek Horse Camp just as it was beginning to snow. Overnight we “enjoyed” almost 9″ of snowfall. Chica and Lady J were snug in double blankets, and we and our 4 terriers were pretty comfy in our road home. We played “Go Fish” for hours, and laughed hilariously at times. The girl dogs were confined to the bathroom (it’s a good thing I bought that kiddie gate!), and Butch got to sleep up in the bed with Kryss and Grant.
Our one and only vehicle issue for the whole 9700+ mile trip reared its head the next morning. The truck wouldn’t start and none of Grant’s expert trouble shooting would figure it out. We walked down to the KOA about a mile away to use their land line to call AAA (because there was no cell signal in the area) and to find a diesel mechanic, and while it took several treks down there to finally get things arranged, off it went to Accelerated Diesel Service in Rapid City. Grant had a moment of separation anxiety because no one else had ever done any work on his truck! We lucked out… the problem was that both batteries failed! The cost was under $300, not counting the $60 Grant had to pay to get a cab to take him the 25 miles to the shop.
Finally the weather broke and snow melted quickly. We stayed an extra night so we could take the 10 mile ride to the Mt. Rushmore overlook. The trail was worth the ride in itself with vast beautiful views, and interesting trail surfaces. Much of the trail had water running down it, an impromptu runoff creek. Fun spots were rock and beam staircases. The end of the trail included a cleared spot to look out at the mountain, along with some nice picnic tables and hitching racks for the horses.
The map is made with Gaia GPS phone and computer app. The phone app uses the GPS in your phone, so it works even when there is no cell signal. If you would like to download it for your rides, will you please consider using my affiliate link? Click here.
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