Day 29

Trip Start Jul 10, 2007
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Trip End Aug 09, 2007


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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monuments. Sturgis, SD. Population - 7000. This week....population 500,000...August 6 to 12th...Motorcycle Rally. We are right in the middle of this. Hundreds of thousands of motorcycles...noisy ones. The previous night having realized we were heading into a motorcycle war zone called ahead to reserve a camp spot. NO LUCK! Campgrounds are packed solid. One campground said there'd be room in the overflow...just one big parking lot. Smart guy that I am decide to try an online reservation. When we were in Washington we took out a KOA (Kampgrounds of America) membership which entitled us to a 10% discount plus the ability to reserve camp spots online. Lucky us...there is a spot available when we reserve online. Now I'm wondering why they told me they had no spots available. We arrive in Rapid City, just north of Mt. Rushmore, and the winds are howling and it's hot, as usual...and Motorcycles everywhere. We get to the campground in Custer, just south of Mt. Rushmore and the campground is full....of motorcycles. In the town of Custer motorcycles are lined up and down Main Street. By now the clouds have rolled in and it's raining. Not so many motorcycles on the road...we're on our way to see Mt. Rushmore. We stop at the Crazy Horse Memorial. For 60 years now they've been blasting rocks off a mountain to carve out Crazy Horse. We watch a short presentation about the history of how this project came to be and tour the grounds. The rain has stopped and we're off to Mt. Rushmore. More rain once we arrive. After seeing this we take an alternate route back to the camper. There are vehicle size warnings on this road. This road is extremely narrow and snaky...seems like a rollercoaster ride in slow motion. There's even 360 degree bridge and tunnel turns. The road goes up and up until we reach the top of the mountain. The descent isn't quite as bad for the number of curves. Then we end up in the Custer State Park. The road is still very zigzagy but the elevation changes are minor....but this is never ending. About 50 miles later we are back at the camper. This "alternate" route looked much shorter on the map...it was only 20 miles to Mt. Rushmore. We get to bed early as the final drive home starts tomorrow morning. But a good night's sleep was not to be...motorcycles arriving at all hours then starting up even earlier than my usual early morning wake-ups.
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