Day 23 - Mon 1 May 06
Awake at 06:00, but I sleep on until 8:30. Got all my stuff together and checked out and headed for the Sundance post office. I sent almost a kilo of tourist brochures etc that I'd collected back to myself in the UK. Saves me having to drag it around! and all for $8. Today was an easy drive across the I90 to Spearfish, and then the scenic route (14a and 385) through the Black Hills to the Crazy Horse monument, which they are blasting out of mountain. It's an impressive project and when it's finished Iron Horse will be sitting on his horse pointing into the distance. At the moment you can only see his head and the start of his arm.
Then it was onwards to Mt Rushmore, this bit of mountain work is complete, and is just as impressive. It seems that the heads were going to be in a different order, but the underlying rock wasn't good enough, so they had to move one! There is an avenue up to the monument, which has all the state flags flying. I was shocked to see that the flag of Hawaii has the Union Flag in the corner! I also spotted that on of the workers on the project shares my surname, so he has to be a distant relative.
The speed signs on the roads around here are in MPH and KPH- weird! On the way through a little town I spotted a sign for a library, so I stopped and popped in to check my e-mail, there was nothing that demanded my attention so I gave a donation to the library and carried on. I've re-arranged my appointment to visit the Minuteman Installation for tomorrow, so that will give me more time in Denver.
I've just worked out that I've done 1300 miles in the car over the last two days. So I'm now heading into the Badlands National Park. It's an interesting place, yet more weird and wonderful rock formations and colours. Next to one of the viewing spots is a small pond, with some really loud frogs. As soon as they hear you approaching they fall silent, then after a bit one frog starts up, and then they all chime in.
I was going to stay in Wall, but on the way back to the I90 I spotted Cedar Pass Lodge, which is still in the park and is a series of detached lodges. So for $55 I'm in one of them! It's got an en-suite, aircon, a heater but no phone or TV. Perfect! After having supper in the restaurant, I headed back into the Badlands to watch the sun set - Spectacular.
I'm all set for the Minuteman tomorrow, and I've only got 10 miles to drive to get there.
I did head back into the Park proper after dark, but I must admit that the nothing-ness of it kinda freaked me out, so I headed back to my little room in at the lodge.
NextView my route through the USA here