Sunday, July 9, 2017

June 27 - July 3, 2017 Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park

From Wall we got to Southern Hills RV Campground in Hermosa on June 27th and settled in. That first night we had a welcoming thunderstorm with up to 70mph gusts and sideways rain which blew into our furnace vents and leaked under the cabinets. We also had to close the full-length slide as we were getting buffeted and the slide awning was arcing. However there was a beautiful rainbow the next morning. The next day we went shopping (Wally World Super Center, Safeway, Best Buy, etc) in Rapid City, which is about 16 miles away from the campground.

Then, the next day, June 29th we drove through the Mt. Rushmore Rd (Hwy 16) which was breathtaking,  and offered many scenic photo opportunities. After that Mary showed Bill the famous (or infamous) Hwy 16 A, with its loopty-loop turns and low-clearance  (< 12’-4”), and narrow (< 9’-6”) tunnels, clearly impossible for our motor home to get through.  In one passage there was barely 4-6” on either side of the side mirrors, and on another a large 3/4T pickup truck’s mirrors almost clipped ours coming out of a tunnel. We have included some photos and videos to give you an idea of this area.



The next day we took it easy and stayed at home, resting from the previous day’s events and hikes… and preparing for the following day, July 1st, when we went to Custer State Park earlier hoping to see some critters, which we did. We saw bison herds, antelope, prairie dogs, mule deer, beggin’ burros (but we had no carrots or apples to give them, so they snubbed us).  We took a small hike but the terrain was too rough and rocky so we cut it short.



The only 'Bobcat' we saw.

Then, the next day we had a brainstorm. In two days it would be our nation’s birthday… the 4th of July and in planning our day’s activities and meals, we knew that the area’s attractions would be swamped with tourists so obviously we did not want to add to them. So in planning to stay at the campground we thought  that most of the other campers here (30 campsites) were from out of state (several even from Florida, like us) and included several men and women who were alone. So we took up Safeway on their advertised specials of Bratts and Hot Dogs (Buy 1, Get 1 Free) and Potato Chips (5 lg bags for $7), etc., and printed out a 4th of July Party invitation that we made copies of and took to each camp site.

The Party... next.

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