Good friends and beautiful weather--what more could we ask for? A great ride together past some magnificent scenery. Scenic route 16A, the Iron Mountain Road took us through Custer State Park where the buffalo roam,
the wild phlox is gorgeous,
and the small lakes inviting.
It also provided our first sight of Mount Rushmore through the famous Scovel Johnson tunnel, one of many on this route. This is also the first view of many along this road.
Brock and Leola on their Spyder (2 wheels in front, 1 in back) clearing the tunnel.
At a rest stop/overlook Duane does his civic duty protecting the innocent from grave danger.
Trees growing out of the granite.
There are two levels to the Monument complex. On the top is the colonnade of state flags. An inscription below each flag identifies each state and its admittance date into the Union. At the end of the colonnade is spacious viewing platform. Also on this level is a restaurant, an outdoor hot dog stand, information station (where I stamped my National Parks Passport) and a gift shop.
On the lower level is another viewing platform, and scads of information about conception and building of the Monument. Several large murals made from photographs adorn the level.
There is a wonderful gallery full if interactive video displays, and lots of information about all of the people involved in the creation of the Monument, from politicians to workers.
Final view of the the Monument--profile of Washington.
The next leg of our ride was along the Needles Highway. These tourists were headed the same way.
In addition to the scenery, the high point of the route is this stop. It is a circle of rocks with an overlook and a view of
the eye of the needle.
The road continues through this tunnel, the smallest of all.
The rest of our route down the mountain was like this.
Exiting the mountains into the valley
Before we went home we decided on a visit to this place in Custer. It came highly recommended. I was looking forward to some good hand dipped ice cream. Inside I found disappointment. They offered only Blue Bunny, some of the cheapest ice cream on the market. Everyone else isn't as picky (ice cream is ice cream). I bought a piece of strawberry-rhubarb for my bedtime snack.
I'll let you know tomorrow how that turned out.
Louise and Duane