Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mt Rushmore and Harney Peak Revisited

I thought that one blog entry would be sufficient enough to jot down some memories from our vacation but it just wasn't. The first post in this series can be found here. Part two can be found here.

We developed a routine early on where we'd feast in the mornings at the breakfast buffet at our hotel and then stop somewhere in the afternoon for a waffle cone. That was usually all we'd need to carry us over until dinner. The breakfast buffet was done really well and came complete with a chef to cook you an omelet or Belgian waffle.

We got in the car Saturday morning and started out toward Mt. Rushmore but with one slight detour along the way. Just before coming into the town of Keystone we saw a sign for Black Hills Glassblowers. "Cool," we thought, "let's go check it out!" We were both impressed with the studio and its location but the owners weren't friendly at all. No photographing allowed and they spoke not one word to the handful of people who filtered in and out to watch them blow glass.

We left after 10 minutes with a boatload of suggestions that we shared with each other as we drove away about what we'd do differently if that was our studio.

We've been to see Mt Rushmore a few other times but a trip to the Black Hills wouldn't be complete without another visit to see it. There's always a bit of excited anticipation as you near the monument, wondering if it's just around the next bend in the road. "There it is! I see it!"

We didn't spend as much time there as we have in the past but enough to get some nice photos and walk around the base of the monument.

Harney Peak was our main focus for Sunday. It's a 7.3-mile round-trip hike with lots of climbing. I encouraged Tammy to leave her fleece jacket in the car because she'd soon heat up on the climb and wouldn't need it or so I thought. I was wrong! The sign at the trail-head warned of the potential for much cooler and windier conditions at the top. The temp was only in the upper 40s as we were starting out so back to our car I ran to retrieve my jean jacket and was glad I did. It came in very handy when we reached the summit. The hike was fun but by the time we reached the top Tammy was ready for a break. She found a spot to rest on some grass somewhat sheltered from the wind while I climbed around taking photos and video. She found her mojo again on the way down, just where she'd left it.

Just one more entry in the next day or two about our small vacation, I promise, and then it's back to boring bike ride stuff and all that.

To be continued...

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