We drive about 240 miles on I-90 and crossed from South Dakota into Minnesota. It was farmland and farrow cornfields all the way. Today we start south on I-35 and will stop in Riverside, Iowa for to nights. The plan is to see some barn quilt blocks and a small museum. We'll see what else can be found in Kalona, Iowa. Weather is in the very pleasant 70's.
(we have been joined by fellow travelers at each Walmart. There were a dozen in Mirchell and two or three in Albert Lea)
We arrived at the Rapid City lodge at the height of a school event and parking lot was jammed. There were over a dozen school buses in the main area. Luckily the RV spaces were not yet blocked completely. We wedged ourselves in and hunkered down until the mass of hyped kids and families departed. It has been a lovely peaceful stay since then.
We drove the full loop around (and through) Custer State Park. It took a while with lunch at Desperadoes in Hill City. We were told that Alpine Inn would be a good choice but they are closed on Sunday. We checked out the towns of Custer and Keystone. We're not so anxious to buy more t-shirts so they were quick stops.
We were planning to visit Mount Rushmore to take the obligatory photos and get my National Park book stamped. We expected the usual NPS bookstore, etc. we were quite surprised when we arrived and found the site well managed and quite thought provoking and interesting. It's such an icon that we quite underestimated the artists vision and goal for placing these four Presidents up on a huge granite precipice. Democracy and Freedom! The story unfolds with hundreds of workers creating the picture. The presentation at the evening lighting is well worth your time. The final tribute to those veterans serving or who have served and seeing them lower the flag and fold it in proper 13 fold manner would soften even the most ardent anti conflict heart. So much sacrifice for the Democracy and Freedom we have enjoyed..up to now. I couldn't help think of the recent burning of our consulate and all the American flags in the middle east. It says much that the current president is so unwilling to call these actions what they clearly are and has chosen a stance that says we are just going to "wait" for those angry folks to decide they like us because we're properly chastened. It's really embarrassing and destructive to future generations.
We'll be on our way across South Dakota tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing some barn quilts soon.
Bear with me one moment readers. Or, if you don't care about our security abroad and here then move along to a happier post. I'm beyond outraged and this is my page so I'm spilling it...I'm furious that we have leaders who have pulled the wool over some Americans eyes. We have dead Foreign service people and our journalists won't ask a substantive question? It was 9/11 folks and recently a primary terrorist leader was eliminated by our technology. So.....some think a substandard vid caused the folks to take up their handy RPGs and storm a place that was supposedly secret (but unsecured) and torture and murder 4 American citizens. Oh, and they found documents with names of locals who assisted us. Oh my gosh! Could the news dweebs please ask some questions..and I do mean about why security was not heightened in the middle east when there was some high activity for several weeks! This article pretty much lays it out. It's probably going to make you angry if you care about your country. Sad indeed.
I looked for my post on 9/11 last year when we visited the Site of flight 93 in PA. I was surprised to see that I didn't post. I guess I was too busy remembering at the newly opened national memorial. I will find a photo I took and post it when I have decent Internet.
We are still in Idaho enjoying Yellowstone and and the just arriving fall weather. We'll start slowly toward home next week.