Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 6: The Black Hills (pt 1)

In yesterday's post I think it came through that days 4 and 5 were long driving days, the weather was sunny and hot, and though we were having a good enough time driving through the beautiful country... once we found ourselves in Rapid City South Dakota it was time for a serious break.

Having not really done much traveling (nothing like this) or even left the East Coast before, so many things on this cross-country are new to me. Some things, like a dip in the pool, I just haven't done in years and years. When we woke up to the most beautiful sunny day last Sunday, we walked right down to the concierge and arranged to stay in our Best Western an extra day. From there is was directly to the pool without a second thought.

In Rapid City, the Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments were to the south of us, Badlands to the east, Black Hills stretching south and west. We didn't go to Rushmore, but we did just happen to have the movie soundtrack in the car and listened to that on our way to our first stop of the day, the Petrified Forest.

The museum that explains what you are seeing before you enter the trail was absolutely strange, a pieced-together collection of stone, fossil, artifacts and typed or hand written signs that gave the whole thing a science fair feeling. In a way, that made it so much more endearing.

Pictures of petrified wood, however, really just looks like wood.
If you are ever in town, check the place out~ the trail around these fallen stone trees is lovely.

The view of the surrounding Black Hills:

From there we headed to Deadwood, another tourist attraction to the north and west of Rapid City. More on that, and the incredible scenic drive back to the hotel later.

Meanwhile, from here on day 9 I have in fact lost my voice entirely. I'm glad I shot that video while entertained by it because this morning I'm not feeling so hot. Back to bed for a little while while P is at the ranger station planning out how to get some Yellowstone adventures in before snow... expected around mid-afternoon. Wish us luck! :)


Knittah said...

Do you mean to tell me you did not stop at Wall Drug? It's an icon! An icon of cheesiness, but still an icon! Oh well, I'll take the Black Hills any day.

laurie said...

Hi Knittah- you know, the thing I haven't really explained very well is that we are doing this trip on a deadline (long story) which is why so many pictures of the first 1/2 of the country are from the car window.

I was tempted to go to Wall Drug until the day of driving through Wall Drug advertisements. By the time we got to the city, we had to put or heads together and decide where we wanted to spend precious hours we had outside of the car... and nature has been winning every time the rest of the way.

Honestly, though, it was probably the only other thing in SD we would have diverged from the route for. ;)

Mssensibleshoes said...

Thank you so much for documenting your amazing trip! I am planing the same trip in reverse this summer from Vancouver to Prince Edward Island traveling through the Northern states until we get to Ontario. Except I will be the only driver, and will be traveling with my two school aged children. Yes, I might be crazy. Did you know that 20 minutes North of Sioux Falls is the actual Ingalls homestead of Little House fame?

michael said...

This sounds so awesome. So so so jealous. I love going home to get my Netflix movies and my new postcards. Can't wait to read a review of the pie.

mushroommeadows said...

A nice dip in the pool sounds like a great break!

Hope you feel better soon! :)

Kari said...

if only i knew how the internet worked. disregard my silly comment on the omaha post. i have now actually read up to date and know that none of the things i mentioned were viewed.
glad you guys are enjoying the majestic midwest. you're making me miss home. i hope the pictures of montana appear soon. i remember it being very very beautiful.

laurie said...

mssensibleshoes- that's going to be an amazing trip, trust me! :) Just be really really careful about pulling over when your eyes are tired, I'm worried about you being the only driver. I'm so happy for you, though... its quite an experience!

More soon, really~
Thank you thank you thank you, guys!

laurie said...

Little update, too sick for the blogging. we are on the final leg today. Michael, I'm really touched to see a comment- thank you! You're getting the "extended version" with all of these post cards.

Kari- I still feel awful we didn't get to see more of Nebraska (or even get post cards!) but now I can see why you get homesick~ what a beautiful place!

Mushroommeadows, I'm doing the best I can with lots of tea and orange juice! :)