Wednesday, June 21st: Mount Rushmore and Climbing at Wrinkled Rock
- Breakfast, pack-up, then drive to Custer for coffee
- Visit to Mount Rushmore
- Set-up camp at Wrinkled Rock Climbing area
- great little camp area
- Short trail from parking lot to climbing areas
- After a big lunch and lounging in our hammocks, we headed out to climb at “Shipyard Rock” in “South Seas”
- Walked way too far and had to walk back down the road only to realize the climbing area had a trail from our camping area.
- Met Frank from “Frank and the Tower” without realizing who he was but knowing he seemed really familiar.
- Shipyard Rock
- Surging Waves (5.7)
- Waves (5.8) – pitch 2
- Hornets Nest
- Second Hand Rose Arete (5.6) – long climb at 155 feet
- We relax at camp before returning to Mount Rushmore for the lighting ceremony which included any members of them military being invited to the stage area prior to the lowering of the flag at the end of the ceremony.
Thursday, June 22nd: Climbing at Wrinkled Rock
- Morning of sport climbing in very pleasant weather
- Shark Breathe (5.7)
- Shark Bite (5.8)
- Way too Cold for My Asspen (5.9)
- Dirty Ernie (5.7)
- Pack of camp and drive to Spearfish, SD, where AJ and Liz have given us a hotel stay they wouldn’t get to use! WOOHOO for showers and comfy beds!
- Delicious dinner at Bucky’s BBQ
Monday, June 19th: The Badlands
- Leave AJ & Liz’s around 7am (after jumping the car…. Oops….) and head to The Badlands.
- Hike several short trails.
- See many goats and bison along the road through the park.
- Camp at Sage Creek Campground
- free primitive campground
- tent area surrounded by prairies of bison and prairie dogs
Tuesday, June 20th: Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park
- Talk with camp neighbors in the morning exchanging travel tips (they have a traveling cat!)
- Head towards Black Hills
- Stop in Wall and visit Wall Drug
- Pick up miscellaneous gear at a shop in Rapid City and see “Art Alley”
- Facebook comment prompts a visit to Custer State Park… which prompts a visit to Wind Cave National Park
- Luck day! Arrive in time for “Wild Cave Tour” AND there are spots open for us.
- 4 hour guided tour of Wind Cave
- Group of 8 plus a guide crawling and climbing through the cave by headlamp.
- This cave is HUGE, so we only see a very small portion of it.
- No cameras, so no pictures!
- Definitely worth $30/person!
- Head to Custer State Park and drive along the Wildlife Loop road.
- Animals seen: TONS of bison, white tail deed, prong horn deer, and the “begging burros”
- People were walking over to the burros to pet them and feed them carrots.
- Even though Alex has a mild obsession and wants a miniature donkey, she restrained herself from partaking.
- After seeing a biker struggling several times over the last few hours, we stop and ask if he needs anything… food, water, a ride…
- He takes the offer for a ride to his car, so we make some room for him to “sit” and get his bike on the bike rack and strap Dave’s to the back of the car.
- We see his friend riding ahead and we stop to talk to him and get their car keys.
- Driving, driving, driving… WOW! he had a while to ride yet!
- Spend the night near French Creek trail.
Note: We are taking a break from longer posts this year and are keeping it simple summaries and pictures. :o)
The start of summer was more chaotic then normal with both Alex and Dave having to travel for trainings for work and ultimately ending up with AJ, Liz and Quinn outside of Madison, WI. As usual this involved bike riding, game playing and pizza making.