Made it to Rapid City and we are fly free! The van feels lighter and way too big after our purge and cleaning extravaganza. So much so we are debating going down in size for the next go round. But that is a story for another blog.
With the weekend upon us and the flies dead it was time to have a bit of fun. First fun: to see The Dark Tower so the Old Man could weigh in on how much better the books are than the movie.
The next day we drove to Sturgis for the last day of the bike fest. We got there early in the AM when most of the bikers were sleeping off the night before, but the bars were open and we had a few good chats with the bartenders who were exhausted but still friendly. The Old Man are obviously not bikers, but it felt wrong to miss this while were in the area. After a few bar hops, a nap in Luna we headed to the Black HIlls to spend the night near a river and lake. Simon is a big fan of chasing ducks and getting muddy which he found fun, but I found annoying as cleaning him up was tough.. A local swung by to warn of us a storm a brewing, but thankfully it seemed to miss us.
Normally on a Sunday night we try to stay a bit closer to town and internet, but this time we just couldn’t resist the view and it was close enough to get up early and head into Deadwood for internet and coffee. Deadwood best known as the place Wild Bill Hancock died holding his “Dead Man's” hand (eights and aces) we didn’t get to explore too much as work called sadly.
The Old Man’s call over we hit the road and headed back into Rapid City to finish up work from a cigar shop that allowed our pups to hang out with us.
Rapid City proved to be an interesting town also know as the City of Presidents houses bronze statues of the last 43 presidents on the corners of downtown streets along with some native statues. You can pick up a map and find your favorite. Walking around town reminded the Old Man and I don’t know a lot about most presidents but we found my favorite TR and walked past a few recent presidents. Rapid City also houses an “art alley” which is filled with “graffiti” but is really street art all of it amazing. I really enjoyed Rapid City it is super dog friendly, big enough to have stuff to do, small enough to not be overwhelming. It was fun to spend a few days in the city, even we did rock and roll one night thanks to a pretty great storm.
With the ellipse coming up fast the Old Man and I decided to make it a very long weekend and took a few vacation days to tour around South Dakota. We found a place to camp in the Black Hills again and started to play true tourist. We hit Mt. Rushmore, it was odd to be there and actually see the mountain after seeing it so much on TV and films. There really isn’t much there aside from the monument, but if in South Dakota it was a must see. After Rushmore we headed on down to Crazy Horse which while not finished was more than we thought or planned for time. Crazy Horse is more than a statue as it houses a Native American School and a great museum. We had booked a tour at Jewel Cave and only had time for the Crazy Horse movie. We did get a pass to return, but sadly we didn’t.
Jewel Cave was recommended to us by a local at the co-working space the Old Man had used in Rapid City. He commented it was his favorite tourist thing to do. Our camp host the night before told us to be there by 8AM to get tickets. We did not listen we got breakfast and headed over after it opened. Which meant we stood in line to buy tickets for a noon tour at 8:30AM. Lesson learned listen to Mike and go early! Jewel Cave is the 2nd largest cave in the US Mammouth being the largest which we had visited earlier in the year. Jewel Cave did not disappoint and was quite fun and interesting tour.
After a full day of being tourist we went to a RV Park so that we could shower and do laundry before meeting The Old Man’s friends for the weekend. Meeting new people is not something you want to do after 5 days with no shower. I am excited to finally have some new people to talk too and that the Old Man will get some male bonding.