Day three was to be our most eye-entertaining day of the trip. We had the bluffs, Chimney Rock, Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills, and biker dudes and dudettes to look at. We also got to get out of the car a bit more today—thank heaven!
Julia wanted to climb Chimney Rock and carve her name into it just as the Oregon Trail travelers did long ago, but it doesn't exactly have easy access. We decided we'll have to plow through the sticker bushes, dragonflies, rattlesnakes, and mosquitoes on our next visit.
(A walking stick tried to run away from me, but I saw him. He should have stuck to walking.)
At Mt. Rushmore we waded through the expected tourists and took a ranger walk to learn about the presidents. So many bikers! We went back into Keystone to see if we could find another fine dining experience. I drank sarsaparilla and scraped my mouth on a very toasted sandwich, but at least it was tasty. (I'll have some more pictures here later once I get them from Julia).
Before long it was time to drive back to Hot Springs where our hotel was, so we took the scenic route into Custer State Park through the Black Hills. It was beautiful, bridges and tunnels, and animals. We saw more antelope and then bison. Coming into dark, we passed a whole group of bison right along the road, including young ones. They were on Julia's side, so she slowed to a stop, rolled down her window, and got her camera ready. Yeah, maybe not such a good idea. The big bison by her started grunting and snorting, so that window went back up and we moved along! She then told me a story of two boys in Yellowstone who had once dared each other to run up and slap some sleeping bison and then climb up a tree. Well, they did it, but upon waking, the beasts surrounded that tree and camped out for many hours, trapping the boys! I'm thinking, at least the animals didn't start ramming the tree!
Ah, sleep at last for us! We got to our room and crashed once again.