Rushmore, Deadwood, Devils Tower
On our second full day in Rapid City we toured the Black Hills, getting to Mount Rushmore around 8:30 AM to beat the crowds. After Rushmore we stopped by the Crazy Horse Memorial project site but didn’t feel compelled to wait for the bus to the base or pony up the bucks to ride up to the face.
South of Crazy Horse we picked up tickets at Jewel Cave for a later tour, sped to Custer for lunch and back to the cave just in time to meet up with our group.
On our way back to Rapid City we followed the scenic Needles Highway to the Sylvan Lake Lodge and fell into some interesting conversation at the bar about British Columbia wines, the peculiar challenges of living near the southern border and trying to get away from it all by camping in the Barry M. Goldwater Bombing Range.
On Monday we left Rapid City and drove about an hour to Deadwood, via the motorcycle mecca of Sturgis. We didn’t have a reservation in hand but the Celebrity Hotel had a room available – everything is slot machines in that town but our room above the game floor was insulated from the boop and ping. It’s a good hotel.
Just don’t try to visit during the Sturgis Rally. A million bikers flood the Black Hills and take over the place. Every time I’d say “rally” to someone in Deadwood their eyes would glaze over.
Devils Tower is about an hour and a half away from Deadwood over the Wyoming line.