Mount Rushmore / Devil’s Tower.

I just love this area of the country. We are staying one more night in Deadwood, South Dakota. I’m blogging, having lost my allowance to some one-armed bandits along the main street here in Deadwood; last I knew Earl was doing well at three-card poker with a good looking dealer from Palm Springs.

He always finds the cute ones.

Mount Rushmore.

Anyways, today was sight-seeing day here in northwestern South Dakota, northeastern Wyoming and a little slice of Montana for good measure. We met up with our friends, Tim and Gordon, and there friends and our new friends Scott, Don and Wade and headed out to Mount Rushmore.

Let me back up a few steps first. Tim and Gordon live in Cheyenne. Tim and I met through ebay back in the late 1990s, as we both collect school clock systems. We chatted a couple of years over e-mail, got to know each other a little bit, and then Earl and I visited them back in 2001. We’ve maintained contact electronically over the years and were looking forward to meeting up with them again on this trip. They hadn’t been to Deadwood, S.D. in years, so we decided to meet here, and they brought up their friends Don, Wade and Scott. We had a great supper together last night, chatting it up like there was no tomorrow and just having a grand time. There’s pictures of everyone on my flickr page.

So this morning we started the touring at Mount Moriah, the burial site of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane. Then we headed off to Mount Rushmore. I’ve wanted to go to Mount Rushmore since I was a little kid, and Earl felt the same way, so we were both looking forward to this.

It was spectacular. Mother Nature cooperated for a little bit and gave us a little bit of sunshine and a little bit of cloud cover so we could see all the different lighting possibilities of the sculpture. I was fascinated with the construction of the monument, especially once I found out that they moved Thomas Jefferson’s at the time uncompleted head to another position and various other little tidbits of trivia. A much enjoyed stop.

We then went to the Crazy Horse sculpture outside of Custer, S.D. I have to admit that I wasn’t really that impressed with Crazy Horse. I don’t know if it was the rather large admission fee or what was going on, but I didn’t really get into it there. Oh well.

Tim and Gordon and the guys left for Cheyenne from that point, so we decided we’d head west into the corner of Wyoming and visit Devil’s Tower.

Devil's Tower, Wyoming.

I’ve wanted to see Devil’s Tower ever since I saw “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” as a child. To me it’s always been a mystical place, and as I’ve read on the internet, many, many, many others share the same sentiment.

Visiting Devil’s Tower cemented my “grounded” feeling I’ve had since we embarked on this vacation nearly two weeks ago. The most beautiful sound I know, the sound of the wind rushing through evergreens, was everywhere. Birds danced around the edge of the summit, nearly 900 feet in the air. Devil’s Tower literally stands in the middle of nowhere, complete with rock columns on all sides. It’s awe inspiring.

After Devil’s Tower, Earl and I drove the last little hop in Wyoming up into Montana. Neither of us had been to Montana before and we wanted to check this one off our states “to do” list. So we cruised through a little corner of Montana, where the speed limit is 75 MPH on two lane roads and there’s nothing but big sky in every direction you look. I guess I’m one of the few that finds beauty in the more desolate areas.

Tomorrow we jump on Interstate 90 and start the journey home. Actually, I guess the adventure just continues.