Great Sibling Tour ’17 Day Five

Hello, Mt. Rushmore!

Today was dedicated to exploring Mt. Rushmore, Rapid City, and Deadwood, South Dakota.  We started bright and early with a drive out to the Mt. Rushmore National Monument.  The monument itself is free but parking is $10 (that pass is good for a year).  If you are a senior, you only have to pay $5.  When my brother pulled up to the gate and asked the attendant for the senior parking pass, she looked us over and said, sarcastically, “You’re kidding, right?”

“Hey, we’re over 55,” my brother insisted.

“You have to be 62 or older,” she said.

We both are over that so she eventually reneged and gave us the cheaper pass.  Made my day!

Presidential Trail View

After a bit of a walk to get to the amphitheater to take some pictures, we decided to walk the Presidential Trail.  John assured me that we only had to go a little way, if I wanted but I was game to walk the entire trail.  Oy!  Did you know that there are 422 steps along the path?  I’m talking wooden and uneven rock steps that you have to either climb up or walk down.  Unfortunately for us, we started the wrong direction so ended up having to do the majority of the steps climbing up at the end.  Groan.  At one point, I seriously considered offering a kid $20 to haul me the rest of the way up in the stroller he was carrying for his mom.

By the time we reached the top, returning to the amphitheater area, my brother and I weren’t talking.  I’d about had it with his advice on how to breathe and the need for exercising on a regular basis.  I got over it.

Awesome artist

As we left the Mt. Rushmore area, we saw this artist and his work next to the road so we pulled in for a look.  Wow!  He does amazing work.

Jeffrey Dahl is a young artist who studied his craft while doing an apprenticeship in Alaska.  His sculptures are really something.  I wish I hadn’t been flying home because I would have loved to get one of them.

Amazing Gate

Look at the detail in this gate.  The back side of it is shown in the previous picture with the motorcycle.

Dinosaur Park

Next we headed on over to Dinosaur Park in Rapid City, SD.  I have a grandson who loves dinos and I’d promised him some photos.

Silly humans

Did I mention that this park involved climbing a lot of stairs?  Ninety, to be precise.  My legs were like jelly. Before we’d even started on those steps, we had hunted down a geocache in the area that involved climbing a steep hill and striking off the path.  I was plumb tuckered out.

Upside Down Rainbow

One unusual thing we saw while standing at the top of Dinosaur Park was this upside down rainbow.  It is actually called a circumzenithal arc and is caused by a refraction of sunlight through ice crystals.  It really isn’t a rainbow at all, but an optical phenomenon.

Mount Moriah Cemetery

After lunch, we drove to Deadwood where we found two more geocaches and then we continued on to the Mount Moriah Cemetery.  MORE STEPS!  I couldn’t help but grouse, as I stood by Wild Bill Hickok’s grave, “I am appreciating Houston more and more.”  God bless that flat city.

Now I’m putting my feet up and relaxing.  You should have heard the two of us groaning each time we had to stand up and move once we got back to our room tonight.

More tomorrow!

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