We headed out to see the sights around Hill City today. We started by leaving Hill City and driving to Custer State Park. It's a beautiful park. It has an amazing road that enters the park called Needles Highway - it goes through some amazing rock formations with these tiny one lane tunnels. Another time to be really glad you are towing a car and not trying to do it all in your motorhome.
Once we got in the park, we decided to do the Wildlife Loop. The paperwork we were handed at the gate promised us all sorts of animals and wow, did it ever deliver. We saw deer, coyote, bison, wild burros, pronghorn, and lots of birds. Did I mention the bison?
From there, we took the Iron Mountain Highway to Mount Rushmore. Iron Mountain seems simply designed to be fun. It's got what they call the "Tunnel Run" so that as you approach Mt. Rushmore, you drive through tunnels and see it framed in front of you. Furthermore, there are these road looping bridges that don't seem to serve a purpose other than having a blast. Definitely another I'm so glad I have a tow vehicle drive.
Mount Rushmore was just very cool and inspirational. Gage did the Junior Ranger program. We learned a lot about the history and lots of technical stuff about how Mt. Rushmore was built.
We headed back to our campsite and gathered a few items like water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, and our lightweight backpack. Then I drove Greg and the kids to the Crazy Horse Memorial. There was a thunderstorm coming in so we saved the actual memorial for another visit (!) and got the bikes down off the Suzuki and Greg and the kids took off on the Mickelson Trail. This is a hike/bike trail that runs 150 miles through the Black Hills on an old railbed. They took out all the rails and ties and reworked the bridges. They rode 7 miles (mostly downhill) and returned to our campsite just about the time I got there with fresh groceries! They were tired but very happy!