Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Black Hills Caverns, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse

WARNING!!! LONG post and LOTS of pictures!!!

Tuesday we went into Rapid City to our mail forwarding service. We still had not gotten an email from our insurance company so we used the phone in the office to call. The person Rod talked to said they don't give estimates and would refer it to the person who does. That person sent an email later that day and we found out our savings would be about $400. That would definitely make it worthwhile to change our residency so we're back on track for that. We couldn't do anything else that day so we left there and went a few miles down the road to Dinosaur Museum. What a joke that place was. It was a bunch of plaster dinosaurs painted green and looking pretty ridiculous. We left there and decided since it was so cold we might as well do some cave exploring. There are LOTS of caves in this area. We ended up at Black Hills Caverns. It was a nice cave that was privately owned as opposed to a government run place. They don't start doing guided tours until June so we were on our own. The lady gave us a book with information about the cave and directions so we wouldn't get lost. She even had to turn on the lights for us. This cave had very low ceilings and very narrow passageways. We loved it! The only thing is that the further down you go you know you have to climb back up. It was great fun trying to decipher which passageways to go down and then coming back realizing we were on the wrong path. LOL. At one point Rod and I got separated and couldn't even hear each other yelling for each other. That was kinda scary since Rod had the book with the directions out of the cave and all I had was a flashlight. It was really fun exploring by ourselves though.

The Entrance

The temp inside the cave, BRRRRRR

Very narrow passageways at times

We made it to the bottom, now for the climb back up. We were actually glad it was only 47 degrees inside!

Today we finally had a nice day. We woke up to sunshine and not a cloud in the sky! Off to see The Boys on the Mountain. Mount Rushmore! We had to pay $10 to park but when Rod told him we would be South Dakotans tomorrow he made our pass good for a year. It's one of those places that you see over and over again in pictures but when you actually get there it's WAY more than you expected. It was absolutely incredible. It took 17 years to complete. I could explain the history of it to you but if you click on this link it will do it way more justice than I could. It's very interesting but kinda long. The making of Mt Rushmore. One interesting thing I didn't know about was the Hall of Records which sits behind Lincoln's head. I didn't see the movie National Treasure but now I know it's something I really have to see.

Our first view of "The Boys" The flags represent each State and the columns tell what order and what year the state was added to the Union.

In case you were wondering what the back side looks like. JUST KIDDING!!!

As we were leaving and heading for the Crazy Horse Memorial we caught this profile view.

From there we drove down the highway to check out the Crazy Horse Memorial. This is a work in progress (started in 1948) and has no estimated completion date. When finished it will be 641 feet wide and 563 feet high. The cost to get into the museum was $20 so we passed on that. We could see it from the road anyway.

This is what we could see from the road

This shows what it will look like when completed.

From there we went to the Black Hills Museum of Natural History in Hill City where Rod knew about a T-Rex named "Stan" that was on display there. Stan is one of the most studied dinosaurs and was found in the Black Hills. Stan was a replacement for "Sue" who was one of the most complete skeletons of a T-Rex ever found. Sue is now in a museum in Chicago. The admission price to see Stan was $7.50 per person!! I don't think so. We were the only people there so the lady at the counter let us at least snap a picture.

Molly told us about a restaurant in Hill City called The Alpine Inn where they serve filet mignon for $7.95 so that was another reason we were in Hill City (they've upped the price just a bit). It was way too early for dinner so we decided to check out some other places in the area. We heard about a place in Four Mile that had an old western town that was supposedly also a ghost town. We found it but it looked pretty lame so we continued on down the road where we had heard about Jewel Caves. We went there but the last tour had departed at 3:30 and it was already 4:00 so back to Hill City we went. We'll probably be going back another day. By the time we got back there it was almost 5:00 so we figured an early dinner was just fine. When we got to Alpine Inn we found out they don't open until 5:00, they don't take reservations and they don't take credit cards. You had to enter the restaurant through the lounge and then wait for them to open the doors. It reminded me of when we were on a cruise waiting for the dining room to open. You remember that, don't you, Sissy?? We pooled our cash together and found out we had enough for a beer each and dinner. WOO HOO!!! We sound like po folk, don't we? The menu was steak (6 oz for $8.95) or steak (9 oz for $10.95). After pooling our money we discovered we could afford the 9 oz so of course that's what we chose. What a fantastic dinner!!! You got no choices of anything but that was okay with us. We had an iceberg lettuce wedge with Ranch dressing, baked potato and our steak.

Everybody waiting for the doors to open

Our dinner

We were stuffed when we left and headed home (after stopping at the Bank of Walmart for some cash). Whew, what a day! I'm tired just reading about it.

By the way, anything that appears in blue you can click on and it will take you to their website. If you want to view more of my pictures from today click on this link MY PICTURES. You can click on any of the pictures there to make them bigger.


Sandra said...

Thanks for the photos. They're great! You sure made use of the nice day!

All Because Two People Fell In Love said...

Hi Rod & Deb,

Looks like you two are having way too much fun!

Safe Travels,

Rollie & Gina

Mark and Dortha said... two could have waited on us to get there. Glad to hear you are having a good time. Isn't it great. I can hardly wait to get back to that area. Have fun and hope to catch up with you guys later this fall.


Leno said...

Yeah, finally the boys...Looks really great and can't wait to get there. Maybe next year, who knows.
The pictures are great. You have been busy, no time for bejeweled!

Jim and Dee said...

What great fun! The cave would scare me to death. I love following along thanks for posting. FUN!

CowgirlCreations said...

Definitely visit Jewel Cave and Wind Cave... very different and both spectacular. Enjoy!

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Deb and Rod, You really have been outdoing yourself lately, with the lovely posts and pictures.

So where did you find a picture that was supposed to be 'behind the scenes' picture of The Boys??
That was neat.

Thank you so much for taking us with you.

Happy Trails, Penny, TX.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you finally made it there what a sight. you sound like you are having such a great time.

When i was there my daughter called me on my cell phone and asked what are you doing Mom and well how do you explain that to someone on the phone.

Take good care of each other and have lotsa fun miss you

Bob and Molly said...

Oh, I am are in one of our very favorite places! Glad you got some sunshine! And glad you had enough coins for the Filet at Alpine Inn...makes the mouth water just thinking about it! Great photos and blog...thanks!! Hugs! (We miss you here at Escapade!)