Travel

The Black Hills: October 2015

I wanted to share some photos I snapped while on vacation this past weekend and write a bit about what we did. We packed in so many activities and yet there’s always so much that I want to see and do! I hope you enjoy!

Saturday morning we woke up to foggy/drizzly weather. We wanted to visit Mt. Rushmore, but as we left Rapid City, climbing higher in elevation, the fog grew worse. We changed plans, and instead dropped down into Custer so that I could show the bf Camp Remington. My mom first showed me Camp Remington last summer and since then, I’ve made a point to stop there each time I’ve been back. It’s so peaceful and beautiful and I could spend hours there, lost in nature and my thoughts. After a failed attempt at turning due to the fact that they were doing road work on Needles Highway and there were large trucks blocking my entrance to the camp, we finally made it back there through the muck and all. It was misting the whole time we were there and really muddy after all the rain so it was a quick trip. Below are some photos I took before we left of the cabins as well as the chapel upon the hill.

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All the mud! So glad I had 4WD getting in there!

After leaving the camp, we returned to Custer where we met my brother and his girlfriend for lunch at a cafe. The fog had lifted some, so we decided to try our luck once more at visiting Rushmore. This cutey-patooty was posing so sweetly for pictures along with it’s mama who turned and flashed her butt at me as I was trying to take a picture.

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By the time we were entering the park, the fog was lifting around the presidents. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mt. Rushmore look more beautiful.

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We took the walking path that winds to the base of the mountain and I snapped some great shots of the presidents and some of the scenery below.

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ALL the autumn colors made me so happy!!

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this creepy stick that looks like a snake that my brother’s gf pointed out to us!

After stopping by the museum to blow up the side of the mountain (I’m pretty sure that it’s designed for kids but I have way too much fun selecting the image and dropping the dymanite plunger!), we left Rushmore and headed toward Custer State Park to attempt to locate The Poet’s Table. But the fog rolled in again and we were unable to find it. We’re all in agreement that we had to have been so close to it too! But as you’ll see below, visibility was definitely an issue.

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There’s always next time!

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pretty flowers
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Matilda was sooo over hiking at this point

 We called it a day shortly after I took the photo above of my fur-baby Matilda. We were all damp from the drizzly fog and all hungry so we headed toward home with a stop in Hill City for dinner at The Alpine Inn. I was so worried the bf was not going to enjoy it as he’s not a huge fan of steak but he totally devoured it and even said he’d come back!

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We ended our night in Rapid and stopped at this fantastic ice cream joint called Silver Lining where I tried Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake and Cranberry Crumble in this massive chocolate dipped waffle cone. (Seriously, I couldn’t even eat the whole cone and ended up stashing it in the hotel fridge for later.)

Sunday, we slept in before we continuing west so the bf could see Wyoming. We stopped for pictures at the Wyoming state sign as well as stopping at the visitor’s center. We originally wanted to go out to Devil’s Tower, but we found we were running out of time because I wanted to stop in Deadwood to watch the Packers game.

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My brother and his gf met us in Spearfish where we drove through Spearfish Canyon. It. Was. Breathtaking. We stopped by Spearfish Lodge where there is this gorgeous waterfall.

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That water is so clear!

We ended our Sunday in Deadwood, at a sports bar that really shouldn’t be called a sports bar. They had five big screens that were either showing rodeo or the Broncos game. After trying to locate the game on our table’s TV (which we were unable to do) we asked the hostess if she was able to change one of the TV’s from it’s blank DirecTV message to the Packers game, so we were at least able to watch the last half. Once the game ended, we drove up this steep mountain to visit Mt. Moriah cemetery.

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The fog returned and left the cemetery in a creepy haze. I half expected the dead to rise. Overall, I was highly disappointed in Deadwood, but the cemetery was my favorite spot. When we pulled into the parking lot there were only two other cars parked there. Sad, really. The main drag of Deadwood was packed with people gambling and yet no one was actually interested in the history of the town. I’d still like to go back, and explore the cemetery when it’s not so damp and hiking up the grassy slopes isn’t so difficult. I’d also like to stop by the Adams house and museum, but unfortunately, both were closed that day.

Monday was our last day. Sad face. We checked out of our hotel and headed east. Sad face again. We took a turn on the Badlands loop and Er. Mer. Gerd.

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I was so excited to see bighorn sheep and this little prairie dog nugget was so adorable!

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teeny, tiny me, stuck on top of a muddy mountain. I’m still kicking mud from my boots!

It was beautiful, but it also didn’t look real. That landscape was surreal. On one side of the road you’d see what looked like Mars and on the other, miles and miles of gently waving grassland. I think we spent about three hours driving around but we could easily have spent a weekend there. Just one more place to add to my ever increasing list of places to explore! We’re already planning a return trip and we’re in agreement that we need to take at least a full week! Until then, I’ll be counting down the days until I can return.

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