Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mount Rushmore

Friday we point the fenders toward Rapid City where we drop off the interstate and head south toward Mount Rushmore. We twist our way toward Keystone, sometimes at breakneck speeds around the blind sweeps that weave the way toward our destination. Deb and I take up the rear, and it would sound like Lee is in the lead, but its Andy who is setting this pace. Deb and I do our best to keep up. I wonder what the hurry is all about. I’m beginning to think, and possibly Deb would agree, that the testosterone levels are getting a bit too saturated for comfort. We arrive all in one piece thankfully.

We took the kids here in 1991, but the place does not look at all like we left it. There are several levels of tiered parking, and the entrance now has a portico of sorts. Just below Rushmore is stadium style theater seating, and it is my understanding that a light show is displayed in the evenings. The pomp to me is diminishing the grandeur of what I remember Rushmore to be. For those who are here for the first time, it is still an amazing site. Deb and I enjoy the information inside the visitor center, especially the quoted words of one worker about the fear twisting his stomach when hauled up in the basket which gave him nightmares that had him clinging to the bed at night.

Then we are off again to find Crazy Horse. This is not a monument I have seen. Crazy Horse Monument is a work in progress, and as such is not much to see at the moment. We decided to just loop around take a peek and be off. With Lee in the lead, Deb second, me next and Andy taking up the rear we were pointed by the ticket booth attendant where to take our U turn. Lee, zipped around without effort, but as Deb began her U turn Thor had a different idea I guess, and before I knew it Deb was tossed from the saddle. Thor’s rear wheel began a donut spin that nearly caught Blaze’s front wheel. Andy was quick off the bike, and before I could even get the kickstand down, he had Deb and Thor back upright. Deb was fine and unhurt and took being pitched from the saddle in stride.

While Deb was cool and calm about the whole thing, and didn’t want anyone to make a fuss, it threw me off my game. So while I had intended to request a ride through the Needles, I instead let Andy lead us to Hot Springs. We bypassed Custer State Park, saw one Buffalo along the way and discovered Hot Springs not such an exciting place. Quaint; but no one wanted to pay ten bucks to dip our butts. Instead we took ourselves to Rapid City to check out the excitement there. I stopped at the Mustang booth and tried to find John, who helped me in Carlisle, but he was on break. The next booth was Kuryakyn, and there I found Willie, who installed the items I won in the Garage Girls contest. We also discovered that today was the first day Rapid City was without rain. So far, we have planned all our days perfectly and been blessed with the sun’s rays. I checked out a few pinstripe vendors here, but so far nothing seems good enough for Blaze. It’s back in the saddle and west on I-90 and back to the dorms to end another full day in South Dakota.

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