This morning, my cousin Julie and I hit the road. We headed north up I-25 until we reached Wyoming.
And after a brief photo opportunity continued to drive until we reached the Devil’s Tower. This is the monolith from the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (which I have not seen). Apparently, this is the very first National Monument and it was named such by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.
We watched the sun set over the tower. Quite spectacular. This oddity is out in the middle of NOWHERE. Well, pretty much everything in Wyoming is in the middle of nowhere, truth be known! Anyway, we had also planned to try to see Mount Rushmore, too, on this little adventure! So, since South Dakota wasn’t too much farther down the road, we decided to head there, eat dinner and find a hotel. That way we’d be just that much closer to Mount Rushmore come morning. We stopped in Belle Fourche (french, but “misprounced” by the locals as “Bella Foosh” – I guess it’s their town and they can pronounce however they want, eh?) at a local steakhouse and grill for sirloin tips. Never had those before. Yum! After dinner, since it was still early (7:00), we decided to get even closer to Mount Rushmore. We stopped at a very charming looking local motel called “Big Sky”. The big OPEN sign in green and red was apparently misleading! There was a smaller sign on the door telling any would be lodgers to “call ‘this number’ if you need a room.” So I did! And although there was only ONE car in the parking lot, the manager said he only had one room left available, but couldn’t get there for an hour. Nah, we decided to head farther down the road.
Hey, does anyone out there know just how tough it is to find anything, inlcuding hotels/motels/other lodging facilties open at 8:00 at night, in the dead of winter, in the middle of the Black Hills of South Dakota??? Ummm, pretty hard. But we found a place after not too protracted a search and are safely ensconced for the night. The faces open at 8:00 tomorrow morning, and I could just spit I’m so excited that I’m here and they are just two miles down the road.
Oh, we decided we wanted Dairy Queen. I thought they might be closed since everything else already was. Not only was it closed for the night, but per the hotel manager, it is “closed for the season!”. I guess in my heart I am just too Californian. I don’t think about things like “seasons” and “weather” when planning adventures. The good news is, the weather has been fantastic and we should have Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse to ourselves!
And how amazing is technology? I am sitting here on a hotel bed, with my laptop on my lap, not plugged in to anything at all, and yet I am on the internet and posting an entry in my blog.