Jodock's back on the road! travel blog

Our favorite spot to have our picture taken at Mt. Rushmore.

I loved seeing a father and son enjoying the thrill of a...

One of the tunnels on Neddles Highway.


We wondered if this motorhome would make it throughthe tunnel..along with a...

Granite walls leaves little room for error.


The monument looked different from across the valley.


Not very many people.

2 buts, 4 bits, 6 bits a dollar, all for the USA,...


A small dish of ice cream can make an 80 degree day...




We had to drive to Rushmore to see a mountain goat!

Beautiful evening before the evening show.


A very solemn moment when service personnel from the audience take down...

Going through several of the tunnels on the Needles Highway you get...

Our parting view of the monument.

Mount Rushmore & Needles Highway!

The drive from Sundance, WY to Mount Rushmore, SD usually takes 1.5 hours and this is flying down I-90 at 75 MPH (Maybe 78 MPH). But today we stretched it to over 5 hours! How, you may ask, can you do that? Well, it was very easy and beautiful.

Just as you hit Spearfish a scenic highway offers its followers a wonderful view of the Spearfish Canyon. This twisting and winding road follows creeks, rivers and canyons through the Black Hills National Forest with plenty of places to stop and take in the views. Jim told Sandy this would be a leisurely drive remembering his new moto of HWJD (How Would Jesus Drive). It didn’t take long for multiple tests to spring up and pull out to see if it was just a ‘passing’ thing for him (pun intended). Drivers who do 10+ MPH slower in curves and 10+MPH in straight-a-ways top Jim’s list. He was good for about 2 hours (a new record).

The Needles Highway wraps through and around large stone monoliths stacked up like HUGE needles jutting out of the ground. The road is not for the faint of heart or the nervous types who hate travelling on one lane roads with bikers, buses and motorhomes. One of the one-way tunnels is only 100 inches wide which makes the granite walls close in on you when you drive through. Our second tunnel was about 100 feet long and provided us a little excitement. When we emerged from the tunnel we saw a small motorhome waiting to take their turn. It did NOT look like it would fit. Parking at the first turn with several other tourists, we waited to see if they would get stuck. From the time the motorhome’s hood entered the tunnel until the tail lights disappeared was about 5 minutes. It just sat there. After what seemed like an hour other cars started to come through which left us wondering how many things were ripped off that rig?

Finally about 1:30PM we pulled up to the Mount Rushmore Parking garage. There will never be a fee charged to enter the park, BUT you will be nailed $11.00 to park your car. Yes, I asked, and they do not offer senior discounts! Coming in the off season also provided a different viewing experience then previous times…. Not many people were there!

We had a spectacular time exploring the park and enjoying the beautiful weather. After seeing everything that we wanted to see, we left the park to have dinner in Keystone and then came back for the evening show. It was a captivating program with the ranger telling a story behind the Star Spangled Banner and the British attack on Fort McHenry and Francis Scott Key witnessing the event from the deck of a British war ship. Following the speech a movie about the making of Mount Rushmore was shown. Just as the movie completed, the lights went on, lighting up the four Presidents. We stood and sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and then all of the people that are or have been in the military came up on the platform and we stood and clapped for them. The flag was lowered with retired military members from the audience doing the honor. Afterward each person on stage introduced themselves and identified which branch of the service they served. It was very patriotic and a great way to end our day!

Tomorrow we start our fast paced trek to Ohio. How far will we get? Will Jim remember to follow his new moto HWJD? Stay tuned to find out!

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