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Monday, September 6, 2010

Black Hills, Day Two Part Two: Road, Deadwood, Needles Highway, Crazy Horse

After Devil's Tower we get on the long road to Custer State Park, where we will be staying for the next 2 nights.  The road is fine, it's only a 2 hour drive and we've decided to take the road that travels through Deadwood as we heard a lot about it and thought it might be neat to stop there and maybe grab lunch.

Deadwood SUCKED!  There was a HUGE car show going on there and we spent probably a good 45-60 minutes in traffic, just trying to get through the town.  A 2 hours drive turned easily into 3 hours.  We skipped lunch as we figured it would be impossible to find a spot to park and a place to eat.

Finally we arrive at Custer State Park after taking a super windy road to get there... it was awesome.  Lots of these little 'tunnels' on the road that only one car can fit through:

 So we set up camp at Custer and quite like the site we reserved for ourselves

We decided to start our time in the area by driving the Needles Highway, then making our way up to Crazy Horse from there.
So Needles Highway is this super twisty and turn-y road... pretty awesome!  Lots of cool views and neat things to see along the way - no animals though.  We were hoping to see Mountain Goats or Loins... OR Buffalo!
Let me share some pictures, some silly others not so silly:
The eye of the Needle

 Another tunnel
 Looking out:

 This was called 'Hole in the wall' picnic area, cause there is a hole in the wall.  Steve and I decided to try and ... well, just look at the picture - we're holding up the wall.  Don't hate.

So onto Crazy Horse - I really should be posting this as it's own blog because I have a LOT to say about this stop.  First of all... for those that do not know, Crazy Horse (official website here) is not finished.  It's a WIP mountain carving... You pull up to the booth to buy a ticket in and you are charged $10 PER HEAD, not per car or whatever.  So $20 for our car.  fine.  We pay and continue to drive down the 4 lane (yes, 4 lane) road into the parking lot.  It was like a half mile stretch of highway ... unnecessary when you are trying to pay for a mountain carving.  Especially when you've charged us $10 each to see your unfinished mountain carving.

Please pay special attention to the couple in this first shot.  They had their tripod set up to take the picture... I watched them for a few minutes and couldn't help but laugh.  Why not ask someone to take your picture; there were plenty of people there.  Maybe I judge too much... just caught me as funny.

The building aka visitor center is essentially a Native American museum.  So that part was pretty neat - I just wish that they didn't ask for donations around every corner.  I understand full and well that donations are the only way this creation will ever come to life - but after working since 1948 and charging an arm and a leg just to get in, plus building an interstate to get you to the parking lot... I'm left with disappointment over the entire thing.

The only way I will ever go back to see this place again is if it's ever finished in my lifetime.

So, because we both are so over this place and it's still light out we don't want to wait for the sun to set to see it at night and we most certainly are not going to pay another $20 to come back and see an incomplete mountain carving with lasers on it showing what it will look like not in my lifetime.  Yep - that's right, at night they light up the mountain with lasers to show what it will look like in it's completion.

If you missed the first posts:
The Long Road There
Devil's Tower


Kell said...

This trip looks like a lot of fun! But they haven't finished the statue since 1948 and they're charging 10 bucks a person?! What the heck are they doing with that money? That's kinda ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

That needle thingy is too cool! Best trip ever?


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