Sunday, July 3, 2011

Spearfish, SD to Keystone, SD - 58 miles

Today we got to Mount Rushmore! While the distance wasn't that bad, I did remember several climbs that were very tough from 2008. But alas it was doable and everyone made it in. The group had decided to meet at the hotel at 3:30 pm so that they could ride together up to the top of Mount Rushmore with flags proudly fluttering in the breeze!

The scenery today was mostly hills going up or hills going down. It was still very beautiful and the weather was wonderful.
The pictures do not truly show how steel or long these hills were.
What goes up...must come down!  Wheeeeeee!
Several riders [Joann and John D and Jessie A] stopped at the support vehicle to get some cold water and rest before tackling the next climb!
Along the way, Tatanka - Story of the Bison was a very interesting stop. Up to 30 million bison once roamed the Great Plains of North America. By the close of the 19th Century, it is estimated that less than 1,000 bison survived. There is a huge bronze sculpture featuring 14 bison pursued by 3 Native American riders. The Educational Center depicts the relationship between bison and Native Americans. You get a glimpse of Native American life during the height of the Buffalo Culture during the 1800's. Tatanka is a Lakota word that literally means 'bull buffalo,' but Tatanka meant more than that. Ceremonies and daily life revolved around sacred reverence for Tatanka.

 Another hill...imagine! I guess they weren't kidding when this area was named the Black Hills.
The Sugar Shack was a stop for some of the riders to rest, eat and get ready for the last push to the finish!
Voila! We are here and it is an amazing sight!

 "...let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and rain alone shall wear them away."
--Gutzon Borglum, Mount Rushmore Scuptor, 1930
The granite portraits of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln represent  the birth, growth, development and preservations of the nation.

At the time I was there -- mid afternoon -- already 10,500 people had been at the monument.
The fireworks were cancelled, so that is kind of a bummer, but it is still really cool to be here for the 4th of July!
America's Original Rock Group!

Tomorrow finds us riding to Rapid City, SD only about 20 miles away...but it is 10 miles up and 10 miles down. Should be fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment