Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse SD

After watching a nice sunrise over the Tower,  I headed towards Mount Rushmore.  I made a  mistake as to the how I arrived.  I went through Keystone,  wow… what a tourist trap.   I thought I would get there earlier in the day so it would not be as hot,  and , incorrectly, thought it would not be as crowded.  I found out later there were almost 30,000 people there that day.  Next time,  I need to make sure to come in from the east and enjoy the Black Hills.


I took a few pics,  as I dogged people with Ipads, and decided that coming back for sunrise would be a more peaceful way to enjoy the mountain.   One saving grace is that they had some Thomas Jefferson recipe ice cream. This was probably the best ice cream that I have ever had; it only had 3 ingredients;  Cream, sugar and eggs.  Delicious!


So next I decided to head towards Crazy Horse Memorial.  It was worse,  9 busloads of people with Ipads were everywhere.  I could hardly take a picture without someone walking in front of me.


It was time to get back to the solitude of a park.  I headed to Jewel Cave National Monument for  a cave tour.  I got there a few minutes before the tour,  and imagine,  only 15 people on the tour.  What a relief!  Jewel cave has a number of different cave formations.  It has some Boxwork formations (more on them it the upcoming Wind Cave blog).  The name comes from the Calcite Crystal formations.  There was also an interesting Fried Egg formation (see pic).  There was also a four foot long soda straw formation (this is the longest I had seen).  Definitely worth the trip.


From there, I headed to find a campsite near Mt Rushmore,  so I could get there for sunrise in the morning.  On the way I stumbled across the Naked Winery Tasting room.  Worth stopping for the name alone,  and as a nice surprise, the wine was really good too,  and the whole presentation, and label reading was very entertaining.  After a few tastes,  it was off to the campsite.

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