Thursday, September 5, 2013

Black Hills of South Dakota

Tuesday was a "extra" day when I planned the trip.  Have been to the Black Hills several times (mostly for the BH Fat Tire Festival).  This time was a stop to maybe see some stuff I missed.  It also let me to reconnect with more familiar surroundings.

Once I got up and going, I was off for a driving and photography down the Needles Highway.  I guess all of the budgets are tight, but I was shocked when the entrance fee at Custer State Park was $15!  Just a couple years ago it was $10.

Took lots of photos in the Needles.  From there, on down to the Wildlife Loop.  That was a mistake!  Two sections of the road were under "repairs".  A long section was "one-lane" with "follow me" vehicls was for seal-coating.  It was a long stretch they had blocked off.  Big delay.  And there was nothing that I saw when I entered the section of the park - no warning.

Never did see what the construction was for in the second section.  Really frustrated with the first private vehicle through.  Lollygagging through the area - not keeping up with the "follow me" truck.  Between those section, a traffic jam with folks feeding the donkeys/burro's.

The last section of the drive was better, again.  Took the Iron Mountain Highway back to Keystone.  Been on the road many times, was able to perfect my photo shoots in the tunnels.  Skipped the visit ot Mt Rushmore - been there several times.

Final goad for the day was to stop in Rapid City to see one of my old BHFTF friends at the bike shop (Black Hills Bicycles).  Was a bonus as another friend came in while I was there. Back to Keystone, wanted to pick up more postcard stamps - but the post office closes at 2:30!  Picked up a couple souvenirs.

Dinner again at the BaRLee in Keystone.  Wanted to have a Blizzard as Dessert - but the DQ was closed at 6pm!  Whats with this - Keystone is a tourist trap and should have places open later!  Back at the motel, I was exhausted.  Wanted to process more photos from the drive that day.  Just could not keep my eyes open.  Crashed into bed at 7pm.

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