Scenes from South Dakota

On September 1, my Hubby and I got into our car, and drove to South Dakota, for a Ricochet meetup with members from all over the US.  Our drive took us through Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota finally.  It was an uneventful drive, and the scenery we saw was spectacular.  We had been that way before, and we didn’t stop much on the way.  We did stop at the first rest area in SD.

SD Rest area

And we saw some beautiful land.

SDBluffsSDVista

Thursday night, when we hit Rapid City, we had very little time to sightsee, just met the gang for a great dinner.

On Friday, we did a lot of driving new roads, and picture-taking.  We met some members at the Powder House restaurant just after breakfast, and got a chance to check out the cars our friends would drive in to the Sturgis Mustang Rally the next day.  There were two Mustangs and a Toyota MR2.

 

Next, we drove the roads to Custer State Park, along what is known as the “Needles Highway”. Needles, indeed!

There was a tunnel along the highway.

What a beautiful view through the end of that tunnel! Recognize it?

I remember being fascinated by the trees I saw, growing rough up out of the rocks. Those trees are helping to break down the granite of the Black Hills, eventually reducing the mountains to broken stone (in a few million years!).

Along the road, I held up my phone, and took some video of the turns we went through. You need a strong stomach to drive the Needles Highway.


Between the Needles was a very beautiful vista of the Black Hills.

On Saturday, we visited the Mammoth Site. It was spectacular, and deserves a post of its own, which I will publish later.

On Sunday, we drove the Spearfish Highway, which was supposed to be spectacular. It was nice, but we were basically not too impressed. We have scenery just as good on our North Cascades Highway in Washington. However, in the town of Lead, we visited Roughlock Falls, which turned out to be very beautiful. Most of the falls are at just below ground level, and the water is very clear. I found it relaxing.

And if you walk further down the path, you find the Lower Falls, different from the Upper Falls.

And, on the way back to Rapid City, we discovered something we were not expecting to find. We discovered a lake that we didn’t know was even there. It is a reservoir on Rapid Creek, known as the Pactola Reservoir. Rapid City gets its water from that reservoir. And if you follow the link, you can learn its secret.

We also did the obligatory tour of Mount Rushmore, with some other Rico friends. My readers will know that we went there before, and I posted many pictures then, so I didn’t take very many this year.

On Monday, we headed toward home, via North Dakota. But we saw some nice country on our way out of South Dakota. Now, the rest of the weekend had been sunny and warm, but Monday was rainy, and the forecast for the more mountainous areas was…wait for it…Snow! We didn’t see any.

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