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Day 2 - Presidential Pigtails

Woke up to a glorious cool, sunny morning (50 degrees), had breakfast, and drove over to Mt. Rushmore the back way via Horsethief Lake. There were just a few clouds to make the shadows on the faces ever-changing. Morning is undoubtedly the best time to visit Mount Rushmore. We walked the President’s Trail, which is now reopened following the recent extensive renovations to the facilities at the memorial. The trail is definitely worth it and provides close up views of the carving and surroundings and ends up at the sculptor’s studio.

From there we drove on Iron Mountain Road (which I called the “Pigtail Road” as a child). Peter Norbeck laid out this road on horseback in the 1920’s and features tunnels with views of Mount Rushmore and “pigtail” bridges made of pine where the road curls around – it’s quite an architectural feat. We stopped at the top of Iron Mountain to take in the views and again in the meadow a bit further along to take in the beauty of the Black Hills. We stopped and had lunch at the State Game Lodge at Custer State Park and then went on in to Rapid City and spent time with Mom, walked around downtown, and had dinner with Kay.

Went back downtown to take in a bit of the Thursday Summer Nights concert and then drove Skyline Drive (taking in Dinosaur Park) before heading back to Hill City and the cabin. It was another full day.

Links to some sites mentioned so far:

Mitchell Corn Palace:


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