It's time for us to be heading home. We won't be spinning the wheel, because that might take us farther away instead of toward home. We plan on going roads that we haven't taken before and hitting some points of interst that Jay would like to share from his time in the area. We hope you will still follow along and enjoy the pictures and experiences we put here.
THIS LITTLE PIGGY DAY NINE
One of the stranger things we’ve seen at a motel: As we came out of our room, headed to the Breakfast Room, maids, an entire troop of them, crash carts in hand, lined up like a bunch of Black Friday shoppers outside of Wallyworld. We made our way through and had a satisfactory breakfast, and then it was on to Mr. Rushmore.
The driver had forgotten how far it was from Rapid City to Mr. Rushmore, but we finally got there. We bypassed the Rockville turnoff, having been reliably informed that Elvis and Bill Haley were out of town for the weekend.
It’s a beautiful drive to Rushmore, and we were greeted at the entry by a ticket guy with a million-dollar smile and a personality to match. We found an indoor parking place, took the elevator up (yeah…lazy) to the viewing level. As you enter, there’s a striking sculpture of Gutzon Borglum, who originated the mountain sculpture. It was done by his son. Walk along a few more steps and there they are: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt (Theodore) and Lincoln. Gives you goosebumps.
First order of business: Jay had to take a photo of Sherry, reminiscent of the one he took on their first trip here, some years ago. Then, Sherry had to take a shot of (not at) Jay. At that point, two delightful ladies stepped up and offered to take a picture of both of us. Turned out one was from Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, and the other from California. We visited a bit and went our separate ways. Ours took us to the Ice Cream Parlor.
After ice cream, we visited the Gift Shop, where we had one of the best encounters of our entire journey. In one corner of the store, we saw an artist, painting a beautiful picture of buffalo. We stopped, admired her work, and struck an instant friendship.
Her name is Lane Kendrick. She’s from Oklahoma and moving to South Dakota. She told us her husband just brought a load of their belongings and as going back for more. We bought a painting of a buffalo that we had admired, and Lane was kind enough to make some last-minute personal additions to the painting. We also picked up a moose print that we liked. She’s such a talented person and an absolute treasure as a human being.
After our Rushmore visit, we headed upstream toward Deadwood, where there had been a Car Show over the weekend. We saw quite a few of the vintage automobiles as they were headed home. Some of the owners had gotten together and shared the expense of a car hauler semi rig to bring their vehicles.
Along the way, we kept seeing these “Sheep Crossing” signs, referring to Mountain Sheep crossing the road. Never saw any.
On down the road, we came to Lake Pactola. Out here in the middle of “West Nowhere” and it is beautiful.
Next stop: Sturgis. Pretty quiet town, aside from Bike Week. We saw the Bear Butt and the Bare Butte and many of the bike shops and saloons you see on TV coverage.
We drive north, thinking Dickinson, North Dakota. There are miles and miles of range and grassland out here. You can almost set your steering wheel and let go of it, the roads are so straight. Speaking of roads, they’ve all been excellent, with very few exceptions. When we were planning this trip, we wondered a bit about the roads, since we were totally avoiding the Interstates. If anything, the roads we’ve traveled have been better. Go figure.
We saw lots of cattle, some of them seeking a cool-down in ponds along the way. We saw some antelope, just out for a Sunday stroll.
We’ve taken a lot of photos that may seem nearly identical, but if you look closely enough, you may pick out some of the interesting things we saw. We passed by the town of Hoover and the Hoover Cemetery, where all the dead vacuum cleaners are buried. They come from all over the country. You can look it up.
Lest we forget that our country was explored and settled and founded by people of faith, there are churches everywhere, in even the most remote parts of our country. Sherry got pictures of a couple out here on the prairie.
Other things, too: We saw a tower, from a distance, and wondered what it was. We drove closer. We drove by it. We still haven’t a clue what it is. For us, at least, some mysteries remain mysteries. There was a huge tank labeled “Southwest Water…” The next big thing after Evian? Who knows?”
Oh, yes, Propeller Farms. They’re everywhere, too.
It got so late in the day, we decided to head for Bismarck, instead of Dickinson. We made our way to Hettinger, stopped at the Kum & Go, where we made another friend, who told us that we’d be time and money ahead to go back to Dickinson, and so we did. And slept pretty soundly, too.