Sometimes things just work out right. There was no rain delay today to keep us from spinning the wheels early in the day. Max had put together a route that included all of the “big names” in and around the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mike and Donna showed up right on time at 9:00 AM. A quick trip to the gas station and we were on our way to our first destination – a ride on Needles Highway.
Lunch seemed to be in order so when we stumbled on Maria’s Mexican Restaurant in Custer (the town, not the park) everyone was ready to sit down. The fare was typical Mexican and met our requirements. There were some interesting observations in both the men’s and women’s restrooms.
If you have never been to this part of the country and you enjoy great scenery, you should get out here. I’ve visited this area several times and just keep coming back. If you love beautiful scenery, history, and terrific roads (hint – bring your motorcycle) you should come to the Black Hills. Needles Highway is part of Custer State Park and this road manages to traverse some very unique landscape. Custer is an amazing state park. (Please check back tomorrow – we’re going to explore an area we didn’t get to today.)
We were able to navigate the motorcycles through all the tunnels without issue. Once that was done we headed for Iron Mountain Road. If you’ve never heard of this, you may have seen a picture taken from there. In a couple of spots along this road you can see Mount Rushmore framed by a tunnel. I find it fantastic. Today there were a lot of people in Custer and it seems they were all intent on being directly where I didn’t want them – between my camera and the object I was trying to capture.
How close can we get to Mount Rushmore? Our group decided to find out, finished Iron Mountain Road, and headed for Mt Rushmore National Monument. It would be an understatement to say parking was confusing both to us and those attendants working the parking lots. We are on relatively loud motorcycles, wearing helmets, and inside the helmets are the intercom systems. For the parking lot people to try to tell us where we needed to park was a waste of everyone’s time. There should have been signs. Between the 8 of us, we were able to sort how to get 7 motorcycles parking together in a parking garage.
Typical tourist photos were taken of the presidents and it was time to hit the road.
The trip back to the house was spent with both eyes on the road and one eye toward some gathering rain clouds. We successfully made it into the garage without getting wet – a cause for celebration. It was time for Chef Mason to create his world famous pork tenderloin dish. There are no pictures of the actual meal – it was gone before I could get the camera ready.
Hey – it’s way past my bedtime now. You should stop reading this blog (just for tonight) and start planning your own adventure to this incredible part of the country.