|Did I mention it was dry and dusty out here.........|
|A grass fire on the interstate across from our RV park really slowed down the traffic.|
The sculpture was created by Gutzon Borglum aided by 400 workers. It cost $989,992 to make and took 14 years from 1927 to 1941. Scientists say the rock erodes at a rate of about 1 inch per 10,000 years. No erosion has been detected since 1941.
|The entryway with the state flag for each state represented.|
|A back view of the main entrance showing an amphitheatre.|
Gutzon Borglum was an established sculpture long before he began Mount Rushmore. He studied in Paris and lived and worked in London and New York. He completed more than 30 public commissions worldwide during his lifetime.
The last model made by the sculptor in 1936 midway during the construction process. Because of a variation in the rock formation, plans did not include the lower portion of the model.
After the inspiration of Mt Rushmore we decided to drive to the monument to Chief Crazy Horse that has been in the works since 1948. Not exactly what we expected.
|There are only a few men working on this monument so it is a very slow process. The white figure represents what the horses head will look like.|
|This is what the completed sculptor will look like when finished..|
After the tour of the Crazy Horse monument we decided we needed some refreshments and drove to a nearby town with a winery.
|On the way we saw this warning sign along the road.|
|They weren't kidding. A whole bunch of them raced across the road just outside of town.|
|They were very frisky, kicking up their heels and racing onto people's yards.|
|We arrived at the winery which specialized in Kick-Ass Rhubarb wine. Hey, that is what they called it.|
|There were some nice sitting areas outside.........|
|and some of the visitors were really getting into it.|
We drove through the old western town of Deadwood, South Dakota, which is now mainly a tourist attraction with restaurants and casinos.
The Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of amazing terrain. The French trappers called them les mauvaises terres 'a traverser - bad lands to travel across.
|Strange terrain that almost makes you feel as though you are on the moon.|
|Many years ago the rock layer you see was not rock but the muddy bottom of a stream bed. Over time, the sediment hardened into thick horizontal bands of grayish red stone.|
|Several areas we were allowed to hike through and it was amazing how strange the sediment was.|
|There aren't a great deal of critters that live around here although there were several signs we noticed along the trails.|
|You were careful to walk very carefully. Did I say careful?|
|Over time water has sliced through the earth exposing sedimentary rock layers. These layers continue to erode today into dramatic canyons and spires. Look closely on the upper right of this photo and you can see the park road.|
|This is the road in the previous picture. The opposite side of the road is still prairie land. In time the road will be destroyed by the advancing erosion.|
|Some big-horned sheep grazing on the prairie.|
|The rock formations had many different hues.|
|This is one of my favorites.|
|A very unique place.|
|This is a much advertised, well-established store that has become a tourist stop for many visiting South Dakota. We drove past but there were so many tourists and buses we chose not to stop.|
|Driving through eastern South Dakota.|
|Nebraska was a beautiful state......I was thinking of you Karen R. as we drove through.|
|The Missouri River.|
|One blade of a windmill we saw driving down the interstate. They are huge.|
|Passing through Iowa we saw an exit for West Des Moines which reminded me of Iowa Farm Bureau, the last account I worked on before retirement.|
|It was great to see grass and trees again and fall was coming to the Midwest.|
|The Mississippi River.|
|Fall colors where we stayed in Elgin, Illinois, while we visited with Brett's friend Randy and his family.|
|We had to stop in Algonquin and enjoy a real Chicago pizza.|
|The Captain starting to enjoy the meal and some good brew.|
|Wow! Was that ever good!!!!|
Randy and Valerie Arndorfer, the friends we stopped to visit with in Illinois. We had a great time and Brett and Randy waxed philosophical over their days in the Air Force. Ah, sweet memories.....
|Coming into Tennessee we ran into rain, something we hadn't seen since we were on the Pacific coast.|
|And more rain as we entered the mountains.|
|The sky and mountains painted a beautiful picture.|
|Woohoo.........we made it!|
|Home, sweet home.|
And that is all for this trip, folks. We had a great time for four months but now it is good to be home. Hope all of you are having a wonderful fall and we wish you the best throughout the holidays. We will begin again in January........next stop southern Texas.