Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park

Visiting Mount Rushmore has been on my short bucket list for a long time.  In fact, we were going to head up that way last summer.  And then.  Well, you know what happened.

But.  This week, I did some work in Rock Springs, Wyoming, so hub brought Big Red up, met me and we added a little vacation road trip to South Dakota.

Weather was very cooperative and considering we made it before the summer rush, we couldn’t ask for more.

Rock Springs, WY

Joining co-workers, Gene and Chris, I had a fantastic couple of work days and a couple of good laughs.  The customer hosted our team in their IT room and for some reason there were maps in there.  We had to pose in front of them.

Wyoming Drive

Driving through Wyoming in May was like visiting anywhere else in March.  In other words, very early spring.  Grass is greening, but leaves are nowhere to be found.

The antelope love that baby grass and we saw them everywhere.  I just love those critters.  They remind me so much of our old home in Colorado.

Mount Rushmore

Over the years I’ve heard varying reports about visiting Mt. Rushmore.  Sort of like, meh, it’s neat, but you see it and then that’s it.

Let me just say right here.  That is not true.  I am so pleasantly surprised by this part of the country.  The area is in a Ponderosa forest and meadows.  Gorgeous.  The terrain reminds me very much of my beloved Arizona high country.

I’m sure by Memorial Day the leaves will be on the trees and it will be even more lovely.

And more crowded.  We saw very few people and the people we did see were so friendly and so nice.

The monument grounds are undergoing a lot of construction and updating.  It’s really impressive.  The walk to the overlook is rimmed by each state’s flag, a sign with the shape of the state and the year it was admitted to the union.

The weather was on the cool side, but it was perfect for climbing the 254 steps we had to climb.

Everyone has seen much better photos of the site than I can possible take, but we did get our mugs added to the scene.

The carving can be see from multiple places on the road, framed through rock tunnels and from hotel balconies. I love that this isn’t something that can only be viewed when inside a place that is paid for.

K bar S Lodge

We decided not to go to town to stay in a chain hotel and opted for the K Bar S Lodge with a patio overlooking the mountain.  I cannot tell you how beautiful it was, what a blessing it was to happy hour on that patio, and what a good juju place these mountains are.

Our patio had a view of the side of the mountain with GW’s profile very clear and TJ’s head identifiable in certain light. We watched the sun come up on the mountain from our window. Stunning.

Employees and guests were all so nice here.

A recharge for sure.

Custer State Park

Whatever I pictured in my head as South Dakota and what I saw are certainly two different things.  Every turn going through this park brought a pleasant surprise of breathtaking vistas, impressive buffalo herds, grazing antelope, sweet deer.  You name it.

Because of the time of spring we’re in, there are baby buffalo were everywhere.  I’m not kidding.  Sleeping in the sun, following their moms, romping on the hills.  Adorable.  But, if I’m quite honest, they don’t grow up to be that cute.  Not criticizing anyone’s baby here.

The buffalo are right on the road and you get an idea of how big and powerful they are. Their ribs show through so they’re not fat, but they are huge.

I kind of wish the park wasn’t named after Custer. Maybe I can rename it. Hmmmm.

This is just a quick post checking in for the weekend.  As always, thank you for sharing my journey and I’m happy to have a few new things to share this year.

Weekend blessings!

2 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing and I love the pictures, especially the one of you and John. The scenery does look spectacular. Love seeing all the wild life. I have not been to that part of the country either.

    1. I am glad to hear you had a great trip to South Dakota. Great job to you and the team on your work at our hospital.
      Thank you,

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