I was fresh off a 200 mile thru-hike and not looking forward to what would have to come next; getting back on my feet in a metaphorical sense. Luckily, an opportunity arose from a close friend. He was going on his yearly road trip and wanted some company. I warned him that I was almost out of money. He replied, “I have to get hotel rooms and food anyways, I’d rather have some company along the way.” It was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
We started from Northwest Arkansas and headed to Mount Rushmore.
Next we headed down to see the Crazy Horse Monument not far away, which is still in progress. The tour guide told us the hair is expected to be completed by 2070.
We were back on the road enjoying the beauty of South Dakota.
We stopped in at Deadwood and stayed at the famous Bullock Hotel. Then we wandered the graveyard where Seth Bullock, Calamity Jane, and Wild Bill Hickok are buried. Wild Bill and Calamity Jane are buried together. A cast iron fence protects the monuments that are now scattered with tiny whiskey bottles. Seth Bullock’s grave is at the top of the hill on it’s own patch of land.
I looked out over Deadwood above the graveyard and took the Deadwood Leap before we jumped over to Devil’s Tower.
Devil’s Tower monument rises from the South Dakota landscape with flowing vertical hexagonal columns. We walked the trail through Ponderosa pines and bounced across boulder fields, soaking in the warmth of sunlight.
We were back on the road again and stopped to enjoy the beautiful sunset on one horizon and the moon over darkening skies on the other before heading to snow covered Yellowstone National Park.
Next Installment: Yellowstone in Winter
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