Custer City, SD June 2014

Tuesday, June 18, 2014 We had thunder early this morning. The Internet was out last night and still out this morning. We left the campground at 9:00 to see Mount Rushmore. As we took the highway to Mount Rushmore, we got another look at Crazy Horse.

It was a sunny, warm day. We took part of the scenic drive to Mount Rushmore and arrived at 9:30. It was already busy.

So much has changed since we had been there years ago. I had been here as a child and again in 1981 with a friend. Bob and I visited on our motorcycle trip in the 1990’s. There are two parking garages with 3 levels each. There is a huge amphitheater for their evening shows.

The entrance to the monument is also new. This is called the Avenue of Flags. We found the flag for Wisconsin, but had a harder time finding the flag for Florida. Neither one of us knew what it looked like! We’re bad!

We spent 3 hours at the monument taking the Walk of Presidents around the base of the mountain.

We spent some time in the museum relearning the story of the carving. It’s amazing to think that no one died in the carving of Mount Rushmore and that it was completed in 14 years. If you count just the time spent on the carving it amounts to about 6 1/2 years. Crazy Horse was started in 1948 and is still so far from being done. Both monuments rely greatly on donations. It was all very interesting and I took more pictures than you can imagine from every possible angle.

We left via Highway 244 which takes you behind the mountain and provides a profile view of Washington that not everyone knows about. It is a must see!

We enjoyed our visit immensely! From there, we took the short drive into Keystone to have lunch at the Grizzly Creek Cafe. We could see the presidents from where we sat at our table. It never gets old!

We headed back to our campsite where we made more reservations for the next part of our trip. We took Auggie for a walk and got back to the camper as dark clouds rolled in and we heard thunder. Auggie sat outside for awhile guarding our flamingos and watching people pass by.

Around 4:30 it started to rain and then hail.

It stopped for a few minutes and then it came down again….and again with bigger and bigger pieces of hail this time. All those white specks are hail balls.

Auggie took cover under the dining table inside because the sound was deafening!

During the hailstorm our neighbor’s dog broke loose from his rope and ran for cover under their camper. The people weren’t home and left their dog outside while they were gone. That’s a no-no. The dog hung around near their site, but then she wandered off. A few of us tried to round her up, but she just ran off. I went up to the office to ask them to contact the people to let them know their dog was loose. They did and the people were close by and on their way home. When they did return, they spend the next two hours calling her name and looking for her, walking the campground and driving the area. The kids were crying. I felt so bad for them. They had many campers helping them look for her. Finally, they brought her home in the truck. We were all relieved. I bet they won’t do that again! I took Auggie for his walk later and worked on my blog up near the office where there was a stronger signal. The Internet here is really slow and weak. I went back to the camper around 8:00 as it started to rain. Good thing I did because our area had just been issued a severe thunderstorm watch with 60 mph winds and golf ball sized hail predicted until 10:15. We started to secure everything we could at the campsite and Bob moved the truck under some trees for better protection. We didn’t want to have any hail damage or have things ripped up or blown away. We waited until the warning expired and we had barely had gotten any rain, let alone wind or hail. In watching the weather radar on TV, we saw the the severe thunderstorm cell had just passed to the south of us and we were in the clear. That was exciting, but a little nerve-wracking. I hope that’s all the big excitement for this day. We had a beautiful day at Mount Rushmore with more good days to come.

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