We left Hot Springs for Rapid City, with the hope of seeing free range animals in Wind Cave National Park, and 2 “mountain sculptures”. We weren’t disappointed. As we made our way through Wind Cave-where all the animals are free range, we first saw Prairie Dogs poking out of the ground, then disappearing just as quickly. But the BIG moment came when one of the Buffalo approached and then crossed the road quite close to us-these are BIG BOYS!
As we kept climbing, we started the day at around 3,250 feet, and climbed as high as 5,750 feet-the last time we will see that altitude, the scent in the air changed from Sweet Clover-which smells just like honey, to Evergreen, as we were back in mountainous terrain with huge rock outcroppings.
We rode past the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is still being worked on, that long horizontal will eventually be his arm pointing West. And finally, after LOTS of short, STEEP climbs then descents, got to mount Rushmore. It is a pretty amazing place, as the faces just seem to appear from nowhere. There is a small but vocal group on the trip who think it is all pretty silly. I liked it, it kind of reminded me of the Tidal Basin area of Washington DC, one of our family’s favorite places to walk. We finally have a relatively easy day tomorrow, 58 miles, not TOO Much climbing, and a late start so we can sleep in little bit.