Eastern Wyoming was not as interesting as Western Wyoming. Something about missing those mountains... It was in interesting to watch the land gradually change as the flat prairie ran up to the foot hills and the Black Hills of South Dakota. I can see why the Indians would have sought them out to get protection from the winds and snow in the winter.
It is a little dry in eastern Wyoming. The colors though are still pretty.
And then the land begins to change some more.
We drove into Custer, SD, and found the Passport America Park.....French Creek RV Park, turn right at 4th Street and it is right there on your left. If you miss your turn at the next driveway which is a neighboring RV park, wave at the man and drive back to French Creek. You will be met by "Rock" the owner/manager of the establishment. He wasted no time informing me that no, I didn't want to stay for just one night but that Nan and I needed to stay at least two and I will give you my phone so that you can talk with my friend who will give you a good deal on a rental car so that you can drive all around the parks.....
This park was small...less than 15 spots probably but several times "Rock" reminded us that he didn't have customers...he had guests and family stay with him. He started to bet Nan who was the oldest. He was going to wager the price of her stay. She declined but he was surprised to find out that he only beat her by a few months....
He was right about the rental car. We drove around Custer State Park that afternoon and got in the visits to the dead presidents and Crazy Horse before the evening was over. I will say that both Nan and I kept waiting to hear the crunch of the bottom dragging as we drove into and out of some of the lot. But wait...we weren't driving our rigs!
There are Buffalo in Custer State Park, too.....
And trees and woods. It took us a while to figure out waht was going on with the woods. I would see large piles of cut trees and smaller piles of branches and trees. Later, driving through other parts of the park you could see large stands of dead trees among the living. Someone can research it for me but my guess is that there has been either a beetle infestation of other disease attacking the forest and they are trying to take out the effected trees.
Across the smoky valley those rocks aren't just any old rocks. Those are the presidents.
These rocks on the other hand are just nice SD rocks.
The wall listing all the workers names. Quite a few of the workers were women.
Then on to Crazy Horse. As most of you probably already know but I had forgotten is that this monument is being created totally by private donations. They use no federal monies. They started in 1948 and the list of workers probably looks a lot different that Rushmore's. The pictures in the visitor's center said that it did start to move forward a little faster when the sculpture was able to get a road dug out to the top of the mountain. Oh, and finally having a front loader to help haul away the blasted away rock worked out better, too.
We got to listen to and watch some dances.
And we were in time to join in the final circle dance. These were the Lakota Dancers from Rapid City.
And that was only our first day in South Dakota. We had one more day to run around without our rigs. Sturgis coming up!
Stuart wanted me to share that Herschel had had several long serious talks with him about taking over this "navigator" position. I didn't doubt Stuart for a minute when I saw how serious he looked when he got to assume the position for the first time.
Apparently he had been watching Herschel these past months also as Stuart tried out several of the other navigator positions.
"What do you keep looking at me like that for?" sighs Stuart. "This is a very demanding assignment. You are just lucky I was trained by the best!"