Today we were back on the bikes! South to Rapid City, Rapid City to Mount Rushmore, then onto Crazy Horse Memorial. A trip through Custer State Park and then home again.
Beautiful ride! Mount Rushmore is truly an amazing achievement. A quick story… I was in the giftshop talking to the sales lady, a very charming woman from Georgia. The conversation went something like this:
“Did y’all know that I’m turning 72 next week?”
” Why no! You certainly look to be a young 72!”
“Why thank you. I’m from Georgia y’know, where y’all from?”
“Oh we rode down from Ontario in Canada”
“Really! All the way from Canada! I have some friends up there. Y’all have such a beautiful state!”
I just smiled, “yes, that’s true…”
Custer State park is beautiful ride as well. Its a little slow ( what with 100s of bikes on the same road ), but great fun. At one point you emerge from a tight corner and into the midst of giant rock spires! Massive columns of stone! Very imposing and impressive.
We did stop at the Crazy Horse Monument. Its not yet complete, and unless you take the bus tour you don’t get that close to it. But the information center is very good. I don’t know much about Crazy Horse, but the experience has inspired me to learn more about him, as well as General Custer and the events of their time.
On another note.. Perhaps not the best to end with.. While riding along, it appeared to me that some parts of the forest looked….. Well, stressed.. I noticed clusters of trees that were brown.. Dead… Like they had suffered some sort of blight. I later learned that the forests of the Black Hills are under seige from the Pine Beetle – a non-indigeous insect of Asian origin that has no natural preditors or anything to keep it in check.. The information center at Mount Rushmore had a foreboding display.. “Our forests are dying…”
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