Solar Eclipse Trip 2017 travel blog

Can't get enough of that tower.

Trying to inflate the tire--the little compressor just can't get it donw...

Saying goodbye to Devil's Tower

Ag Co-op to the rescue

Aladdin General Store

The outside of the store.

Sign in the store.

Aladdin Cafe-the entrance was adorned with beautiful flowers.

Entrance to Crazy Horse Memorial

This is what it looks like now.

This is what it is supposed to look like when finished.

Yep, we were there.

They do have a pretty gate there.

Indian Hoop dancer-23 hoops around her body

Indian hoop dancer- she managed to get all 23 hoops off.

August 23, 2017

Back on the road again, this time to a park near the Crazy Horse Memorial. But we had to make a little stop in Hulet again. Turns out we have one of our new tires (from our last trip to End of Trail) that was developing a slow leak. I try to check the tires regularly to assure that they are at the right pressure, and this tire was consistently lower than the others. I have a tank that we carry that we can use to fill up the tires, but it was running low, so I decided we needed to get this fixed.

Luckily Hulet has an Ag coop with a mechanic’s shop with lots of driveway room. So we pulled in, backed the trailer up, and had them repair the leaking tire. Turned out we had put a small nail through it that was causing the leak. After about 30 minutes we were fixed and on our way.

Our next stop was the Aladdin General Store. This is touted as the oldest continually operating store in Wyoming, having been established in the 1890s and running ever since. It has little local to keep it open—the whole town of Aladdin (named after the hero of the Arabian Nights story) only has 15 people. But it has a regular run of tourists who stop by. It was a nice store with some good souvenirs (have to have that lapel pin), clothes, and other items for tourists. It caters to the motorcycle crowd too, as could be expected this close to Sturgis and on the road to Devil’s Tower.

We ate lunch at the Aladdin Café next door. It, too, has been there a long time. When we first walked in it appeared that the entire male contingent of Aladdin was there eating and drinking coffee in the front section. Susan and I retired to the sunroom where the cheerful waitress took our strange diet order. The food delivered was delicious—fresh lettuce and vegetables and excellent chicken and bacon. We got more and better than we expected—well worth the stop.

We drove through Spearfish and Deadwood but only stopped in Deadwood for gas. Deadwood, the modern part, had changed a lot since we were here in 2004. It looked a little more upscale and inviting than the last time we were here, but the old Deadwood I am sure was pretty much the same and we did not feel a need to see it again.

After a lot of struggle up and down mountains (they do have some serious grades here) we made it to our campsite at the Horse Thief RV park around 3:00pm. We set up then took off for the Crazy Horse Memorial. We were awed by this place in 2004 (they were planning a massive carving of Crazy Horse using an entire mountain bigger than the pyramids), and we decided we needed to go back to see what progress had been made. As it turns out, they had made a lot of progress is fulfilling the vision of an Indian museum and University. There were new buildings housing a nice collection of Indian artifacts and they do have a University there now. But the mountain work hadn’t moved a whole lot that we could see. They completed Crazy Horse’s face in 1998, but they are still working on the arm, although they have blasted away a lot of the rock where the horse will eventually emerge. This I really a long term project. But it had a lot of folks visiting, so they are still going strong.

While there we looked over the museum. I have to admit that I get bored pretty fast with Indian artifacts (unless they are guns). There is only so much beadwork, bows and arrows, and jackets I can look at. We did stay for a presentation on the hoop dance made by a hoop dancer and her niece. The hoop dance uses hoops to tell a story. This isn’t hula-hoop stuff; the hoops are used around the body to make different images. The young niece used only 6 hoops, but the aunt and host did a 23 hoop dance that was pretty impressive. She made a hoop tail, hoop wings, and other arrangements that simulated bears, spiders, and buffalo.

The Memorial also features a laser light show. But we were tired and decided to go back to the RV. We did get a raincheck pass to come back within three days, so we may go back tonight. (But we didn’t)

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