Mount Rushmore was one of the most anticipated sights of this trip, and it didn’t disappoint. But even before Mount Rushmore we got to do some cool things. The drive out of Worland was pretty cool. We passed through a canyon that had some of the oldest rocks in the planet visible, some over 3 billion years old. I bet if we had more time to wander we would’ve seen some dinosaur bones. In the morning we made a short detour to Devil’s tower monument. We were too cheap to pay the entrance fee. I was regretting not buying the Interagency Federal Pass earlier this year. If we had that, we could’ve explored Devil’s tower for free. Instead we just took a few pictures and went to the gift shop. I bought a bottle of sarsaparilla, which I’ve always wanted to try, but was kind of disappointed. It tasted just like regular root beer. We bought a 6 pack of Devil’s tower beer too. That ended up being the worst beer I ever had. Tasted like spoiled root beer. So in short we got pwned by the tourist traps here.
Next we stopped at a biker town called Sturgis. Apparently it’s famous for its yearly biker convention where thousands of people come every year and bring their motorcycles. We bought souvenir bandannas and took a picture at the famous Knuckle Saloon. We thought we were going to get our butts kicked by this guy that was standing outside the saloon, but he turned out to be cool and offered to take our picture.
My time in Wyoming changed my thoughts on bikers. I thought before that most were rowdy gangs. Now I realize that most are pretty harmless guys, out just exploring the country. The biggest trouble they get into is fighting with their wives at the gift shops over what souvenirs to buy and what ice cream flavors to get.
Mount Rushmore was pretty amazing but a lot smaller than I expected. I thought that the heads would take up the entire mountain. In fact they only carved out the upper third of the mountain. It was still cool to see in person though.
We spent the night on the eastern border of South Dakota in a town called Sioux Falls. We drove pretty late into the night. There was a thunderstorm, and during the entire drive there we could see flashes of lightning arcing across the horizon. It was pretty amazing.