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Friday, July 25, 2014

Needles Highway, Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse

Well today was another beautiful day here in the Black Hills of South Dakota with beautiful blue skies, a gentle breeze, and a high of 81. Perfect sightseeing weather! Our good friends, John and Patsy McCutcheon, arrived here at Custer's Gulch yesterday and are joining us today with our travels. John and Patsy are life long friends with Al & Pat and are from Ocala, Fl, where we all hang out in the winter.

We left the campground this  morning and headed for the Needles Highway. It's officially named South Dakota 87, but is better known as the Needles Highway. The highway is mountainous and is known for its' high granite "needles" and extremely low and narrow tunnels that were  carved through solid granite. It was a very scenic and fun drive with lots of hairpin curves and switchbacks. I think you'll appreciate it after viewing the pictures. From Needles, we went to Mount Rushmore on SD hwy 244. I've seen pictures of Rushmore pretty much all my life, but I was awestruck seeing it in person for the first time. It's very impressive and inspirational. I highly recommend seeing it in person if  you have the opportunity. By the way admission to the park is free, but does cost $11.00 to park but is good for one year. They have several parking decks in front of the entrance and is an easy walk. We're going back tonight for their evening ceremony.

Next stop was Crazy Horse Memorial. The Crazy Horse memorial is a mountain monument complex that is a work in progress on privately owned land and is entirely  privately funded. It depicts Crazy Horse riding a horse and pointing into the distance. The monument has been under construction since 1948, and once completed will be the world's largest sculpture. The head of the sculpture is pretty much complete, but the rest has a ways to go. The admission price is $11/adult or $28/ carload.

Tomorrow will be our last full day here. We plan to travel to Deadwood, Sturgis and Spearfish for some more exploring. We hope to pullout Sunday heading into Wyoming. South Dakota has been wonderful, and has given us many wonderful memories. 

Meet our good friends,  John and Patsy McCutcheon

Some needles near the top

Looks like this rock could fall at any second.

Interesting formation

This tunnel is so narrow I could touch the walls as we went through.

Beautiful lake near bottom of highway

The last & largest tunnel.

This is a profile view of Washington as seen from SD hwy 244 before reaching Rushmore's main entrance

Walkway through flags of each state leading to main observation area.

Of course we add to photograph our home state flag, North Carolina

Awe inspiring

Our merry band of travelers.

Crazy Horse Monument. The hole is the space under his outstretched arm.

A model of the planned statue with the actual monument in the background.

Chart giving dimensions of components of the monument when complete.

Photograph with outline of how monument will look.

Photograph of actual face

1 comment:

  1. Glad ya'll drove Needles Highway; I wasn't sure your truck would fit that little tunnel. We really enjoyed Custer State Park. Saw lots of wildlife there.