Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On the Road - day 3

Monday morning we filed out of the hotel into the tour bus and headed out of Denver.

First stop was Cheyenne, Wyoming where we visited the Capitol building. Here is a blurry picture taken from the bus of a typical street in Cheyenne. The reason I took it is because the town seemed to be pretty laid-back and peaceful and I wondered what it would be like to live in a place like that. Also, it was clean.

From Cheyenne it was a long ride into South Dakota where we stopped at the Chief Crazy Horse National Monument. The main attraction here is a gigantic rock carving of the Chief, a carving that will be larger than the four presidents on Mount Rushmore combined when finished.

We saw a short film about the making of the carving. It is really amazing how much work has gone into this project and the dedication of the people who have and are working on it.

Here are some pictures. When completed, the carving will resemble the white statue but that estimated date is years away. The 4th picture below will give you an idea of how closely the carving resembles the original statue. Everything is funded by contributions, mainly from visitors to the monument; they do not accept any government grants because they don't feel it is proper to accept tax money for the project. Gee, if only other people could have the same attitude instead of constantly having their hands out! (click any picture to enlarge)

From there it was a short jaunt to the more famous Mount Rushmore. Again, we saw a movie about the making of the carving and again, I was amazed at the dedication and perseverance of the human race as far as what they can accomplish.

The next stop was Bear Country, not too far from Mount Rushmore. This outdoor drive-through park featured animals native to the area. After taking a driving tour through the habitat, we were able to walk around in another area to see other fenced-in animals. Those little creatures in the tree are bear cubs. A few posts ago Donna asked where their mommies are, and you can see them lying around like grass potatoes, living the life of Riley. I thought it was pretty funny how there were three of them in a row, all lined up the same way and equidistant from each other.

Our overnight destination was Deadwood, known primarily for being a gaming town. The casinos are housed in buildings that go back to the turn of the century and it really was quite picturesque. It consisted pretty much of just a main street about 5 or 6 blocks long, lined with different gambling establishments. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures. It was sprinkling a bit and I didn't want to get the lens wet. I wish I had taken some pictures, though, because I really liked the way the town looked.

That evening we finally had a good dinner in a steak house on the second floor of one of the casinos. For $17.99 I got a good cut of ribeye steak that came with a salad, baked potato, fresh veggies and a piece of "Texas Toast." Such a deal! We had to rush through our meal because the bus was leaving for the hotel at 10:00 (we didn't pull into town until a little after 9) so there wasn't enough time to really savor things.

It was around 10:30 when we got to the hotel, the most memorable feature of which was they had only one slowww elevator. And stairs that had no exit onto the 1st floor, for some reason, so that wasn't a viable alternative. You still had to take the elevator from the 2nd to the 1st floor, meaning you still had to wait.

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