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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Northern Transcon Day 15 - Custer to Rapid City SD

Today was not long on mileage, but still had plenty of hill climbing.  Two options were offered to reach Mt Rushmore and about 20 of us went with the shorter (45 mile) route, also known as the Crazy Horse Route.  The longer 75 mile route went through Custer State Park and offered up close (like, in the road) views of bison.  The longer option also had some tougher climbing.

Mt Rushmore is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, and I was here 25 years ago on a cross country family car trip.  Since then, many changes have been made to the surrounding area, including a long walkway through some square columns with the names of states engraved on them, and state flags flying.  There is also a large outdoor amphitheater.  Getting into the park on Highway 244 required plenty of climbing, but the road is good with a wide shoulder.

We had packed some walking shoes in the Caravan (one of the PAC Tour vehicles), as we had a couple of hours to tour the area before heading to the lunch stop at the Keystone city park.

The last 20 miles had some more tough rolling climbs, as well as great downhills with 7 - 10% grades.

Tomorrow is a long day - almost 150 miles to Murdo SD.  Everything is moved up an hour so we will have a PAC Tour breakfast in the parking lot beginning at 5:30 and leave shortly after 6 am.

Looking at the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of SD
Plenty of huge rock formations in the area around Mt Rushmore
Washington's head can be seen about a mile before getting to the visitor's center
Riding pals - Michelle and Jack, both PAC Tour veterans
Grateful to have Retta (Deane) along as a crew volunteer

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