Saturday, July 27, 2013


July 26, 2013

We arrived safely at our campsite - Crooked Creek on Hwy 385 after a small glitch of me thinking we had reservations at another campground.  This full time RVn is tough.   Had a crazy thunderstorm Thursday night.  Our RV held steady and someone really smart (Ray) had put our lawn chairs under the awning.

Friday was a big day - Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Custer State Park.  Perfect weather - in the high 70's.


Interesting fact:  Entrance to Mt Rushmore is free of charge.  However there is a $11 parking fee.  The parking facility was so nice we were happy to pay the $11.

Yep, we took the dogs.  They had to stay in the truck in the covered garage.  Louie expressed his displeasure of not getting to see the Pres.  But after a few minutes, he quieted down.

You first walk in to an avenue of sate flags.  Each pillar has four states. Everything is made of granite.

I loved watching all the people taking picture after picture of the presidents.  Everyone was happy and having a good time.  Ray pulled out the big lens and folks asked plenty of questions.  Then he would ask a teenager to take of pic. using his camera.  I'm always surprised by him.

This pic was taken by a boy from Georgia.  I asked if we could take his family pic and he said no thanks.  Found out later he didn't like his picture taken.

This is looking back at the terrace where you enter the park.  There is a 0.6 mile walk with plenty of steps that you take to see different angles of the presidents.  

 This was taken by a girl from Illinois. She was so focused on getting the perfect picture that we and her family had to wait through six shots.  She will be a great photographer some day - we found out her mom is the yearbook advisor/art teacher at her school.

You also get to tour the sculptors building.  The scale is 1" equals 1 foot.  The original plan is a little different from the end result.  Just like in real life.

 On the way out, we stopped for our picnic and George's profile was our view.  I couldn't resist taking this pic of the folks in the truck getting one more pic.


Crazy Horse is very interesting.  Admission is $10 per person.  I am probably the only person who didn't realize it wasn't completed.  I guess I just pay attention and only saw models.  What a task.  It started in 1947 and I am not sure it will be done in 2047.   There is an orientation movie when you enter the building and brings you up to speed quickly.  To date the head  and the extension of the hand is carved out of the rock.  The horses' head is outlined.   Only once a year you can hike to the sulpture by the head. There were bus tours but not available due to weather.   
This is what it will look like and will be 3-D

This group was from Kansas and really good.  They thanked me for listening.


Custer State Park is really big.  You are stopped at the entrance and asked if you are visiting the park or traveling through.  I said we are visiting and she said $15 please.  Good news its good for a week.  We received a map and decided to do a loop - Needles Hwy 87.    It is called needles because of the rock formation.  They are beautiful but that it not what is interesting about this section of the road - low narrow tunnels.  I saw this on the map so avoided it with the 5th wheel but wanted to see them for myself.  I am thinking of the tunnels on the old Columbia Gorge Highway in Oregon.  These are smaller but the road is just as narrow.  What a fun ride for me - Ray? Well, I'll get to that.

A governor of SD laid out this road in the 1920's and it hasn't changed since.  This is the first tunnel -9'0" wide - 12' high.  Piece of cake.

Round the corner you get your first view of the needles - and everyone is stopping to take pics.  They are beautiful. 

Not a lot of pull outs so they are over packed or folks are being creative.  No worries, all of us are here for the view.

Then it gets a little dicey and you are wondering why the gov. thought this path for a road was a good idea.  Also you start worrying about the folks coming from the opposite direction especially when they are in your lane.  Ray just stops the truck and lets them figure out the need to scoot over to their side of the road.
 As we climb in elevation, the rock formations get better and better.

And then comes tunnel #2 - 8'4" wide and 12' high.    This should be interesting.

 Our favorite sign - falling rocks.
 What is this motor home doing here?  I bet they are wondering the same.
 Our turn into the tunnel

 Traffice Jam on the other side of the tunnel.  We can't move 
 Guess what Ray does?  That's right directs traffic like is in charge.

 and off we go.

Tunnel 3 was not as exciting -9' wide and 12'3" high.  

 The road on the other side was all the way down - 10 mph turns.

Guess who wanted a beer when we got home!  


  1. Beautiful Pictures. These are still on my "bucket list". THanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks! Ray takes most of the pictures and he enjoys it very much. Hope you take time to come here some day.

  3. I forgot to thank the Burger King in Sturgis for having free Wifi. I couldn't get a connection to our Verizon Hotspot nor campground wifi. Sorry for the typos but I was in the truck with the two dogs...all waiting for me to hurry up and finish.

  4. WOW! Great post & so informative. I love all the photos. First I've seen of Custer State Park & several new ones of the monuments as well. We are planning a trip there for late Spring/ early Summer 2014. I am so looking forward to seeing all of the places you blogged about. I appreciate the heads up on no dogs allowed at Mt. Rushmore. I've made a note of that on my Excel file as we would have brought Tucker with us too.- Gayle