Theodore Roosevelt NP#43, North Dakota #34, was a small but pretty national park, sadly it was very over cast due to smokey skies yet again. Theodore Roosevelt moved here in 1883 to grieve after losing his wife and mother on the same day, the rugged landscape and strenuous life he experienced here helped shaped a conservation plan that we still benefit from today. Saw Prairie Dogs for the first time, along with Eagles and Coyotes.
Having photo issues yet again, putting up what I can , will add to it as I can.
From North Dakota into South Dakota #35, stopped in Buffalo for the night. Labor Day saw us passing the geographical center of the lower 48 in Belle Forche, really in the middle of nowhere !! Back into Wyoming (#27) and to Devils Tower (National Monument). An astounding geologic feature protruding out of the Black Hills, America’s first national monument. Lots of climbers , think Chris of feeling a twinge of jealousy. The Native Americans hold Devils Tower in high regard and is scared ground to them. They still come here to preform ceremonies such as sweat lodges and sun dances and leave prayer offerings, colorful cloths or bundles.
From Devils Tower we drove to Sturgis SD, motorcycle capital of America, sadly we missed bike week by about a month so was very quiet. But used the time to have new tires put on Minnie and new glasses for Chris.
Wednesday sept 6 stopped in Deadwood SD , caught up with Wild Bill and Calamity Jane.
Then onto Crazy Horse Monument, this is the world’s largest mountain carving and its mission is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians. It was started in 1948 and is still on going. We once again lucked out and were there on one of only 2 nights when they perform a Night Blast, lighting the carving all the way up with explosions.
Next day we took Piglet on a 70 mile ride though Custer State Park with amazing scenery and roads. Hiked upto some Cathedral Spires , another great climbing location. This park was a great surprise , had never even heard of it before. Well worth the visit and drive though.
Mount Rushmore was a little disappointing , maybe we have seen so much in the way of natural wonders of this country , that we were expecting too much ?? Anyway its checked off the bucket list.
Next up was Wind Cave NP#48 and Badlands NP#49, interesting landscape. One of the richest fossil beds in the world. They have fossils dating back 6,000,000 years. From here it was onto Minuteman Missile Silo NHS#50. Very interesting, also scary , showing you just how close man can come to annihilating the human race !!
From here on for a few days , it was just long days driving though Nebraska #38, Kansas #37, Iowa #38, Minnesota #39, Wisconsin #40, Illinois #41, Indianna #42 and Kentucky , back home to Knoxville for a few days before we head south to the Carolinas and Florida to meet up with family.
42 States, 50 National Parks/ Monuments and 17,000 miles.