FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Spearfish Canyon & Devils Tower, WY

August 23, 2018 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Spearfish Canyon & Devils Tower, WY 

Devils Tower National Monument

…52 miles from Belle Fourche…

…this massive rock monolith…

…stands 867 feet high…

& escalates to 1,267 feet…

…above the Belle Fourche River…

…& rolling landscape…

…than the Black Hills…

…and a whole lot prettier scenic drive…

…than Hwy 44 to the Badlands!

  • Return via I-90 took us to…

Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway

…a stunning 19-mile cruise…

…through towering limestone walls…

…& dense deciduous forest…

…flowing next to Spearfish Creek with multiple waterfalls.

FUN-fact – President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower National Monument, the first national monument in 1906.

FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Deadwood

August 18, 2018 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Deadwood 

  • Just 13 miles west of Sturgis…

…makes it a great place to stay…

…as the entire city is a National Historic Landmark District…

…for its well-preserved Gold Rush-era architecture.

…sitting high atop a plateau…

…overlooking Deadwood Gulch…

…featuring grave sites of…

Wild Bill Hickok & Calamity Jane.

FUN-fact – It was named after the dead trees found in its gulch.

FUN-travel: Badlands National Park & Hot Springs, SD

August 11, 2018 by · 2 Comments 

Badlands National Park – rolling prairies & grasslands…

…make up the scenery on the two-hour drive via Hwy 44.

  • The Loop Road winds through 25 miles…

…of multi colored layered rock formations…

…steep canyons, towering spires & parched basins…

…that preserve the world’s greatest fossil beds…

…of animals from the Oligocene Epoch…

…that’s like 34 million years ago!

  • Today bison, bighorn sheep, & prairie dogs inhabit the sprawling grasslands.

Not so FF – They list Hwy 44 as a scenic route and in my opinion it didn’t live up to it! It took twice as long as I-90.

…contains the greatest concentration…

…of mammoth remains in the world.

  • Bones were found in 1974…

…when the site was being developed for a housing subdivision…

…which turned out to be a…

…26,000 year old sinkhole.

FUN-fact – As of 2016, the remains of 61 mammoths, including 58 North American Columbian and 3 woolly mammoths had been recovered. And the first time both species have ever been found together.

FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Crazy Horse Monument & Hill City

August 10, 2018 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Crazy Horse Monument & Hill City 

FUN-fact – South Dakota’s unique landscapes spawned one of the most unusual and complex railroad histories in our nation.

…the world’s largest mountain carving…

…& memorial for all Native American tribes.

  • Rising over 563 feet high…

…Crazy Horse Memorial dwarfs…

…the carved portraits of Mount Rushmore…

…by nearly 10 times.

The Black Hills are alive…

…with the sounds…

…of motorcycles…

…& mostly Harley’s.

Today’s Treat – A Yellow Bellied Marmot! And ever so delightful as he stood and posed for us appearing to love all the attention.

FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Needles Highway

August 9, 2018 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Needles Highway 

Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway – 3rd leg – Needles Highway

  • Yet another windy road…

…weaves through Custer State Park…

…deemed “impossible” to construct by its critics…

…was completed in 1922…

…& includes 14 miles of sharp turns…

…low tunnels…

…impressive tall granite peaks & spires…

…aka needles…

…which makes for lots of crazy rock formations…

…& epic landscapes…

…incredibly spectacular…

…& my #1 favorite drive on this trip!

  • The most famous part of the drive…

…the Needle Eye Tunnel…

…is one-way tunnel only  8′ 4″ wide by 12′ high.

FUN-fact – The roadway was carefully planned by former South Dakota Governor Peter Norbeck, who marked the entire course on foot and by horseback.

 

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