Sunday, June 10, 2012

Vacation: Days 3-4

Day 3 -- Next stop after the Badlands was the Black Hills. We stayed in this cabin at Custer State Park. It's a gorgeous park with an unfortunate name. Custer was considered a hero way back when, but now we know better. He was in charge of a large group who were participating in ethnic cleansing. The park has a huge herd of bison (buffalo), known as Tatanka by the Lakota people. I wish they would re-name the park Tatanka State Park. Anyway, I'm probably one of only a few people who would feel hesitant about even visiting a park based on the history of its namesake. Sometimes I'm just too political for my own good.

Custer State Park is gorgeous! I loved it! We took the scenic route to the campground: a twisting, turning, skinny road through the park. Beautiful! And thank you, Hubby, for driving the whole time. I would have been a nervous wreck.

Bison roam freely through the park, sometimes right along the road where one can snatch a great picture. We are warned, though: "they have an attitude - do not approach!"

We did the touristy thing and stopped at Mount Rushmore. Again, I believe we are in the minority. We just don't see the wisdom in dynamiting a perfectly beautiful mountain and carving faces into it. It is a sign of our human hubris, believing we can do whatever we want, wherever we want, just to show that it can be done. It is a scar on the mountain. That's our minority opinion again, I suppose. Look at this photo, taken from a scenic overlook some miles away from Mount Rushmore. There it is -- the scar! Does anyone else think this is kind of un-classy, or are hubby and I the only ones? (We feel the same way about Crazy Horse and did not visit it, as it was not convenient on any of our routes, and we didn't really care to see another mountain carving.)

We got to our cabin at about dinner time, unpacked, moved in, made dinner which was supremely delicious, and spent the evening reading, knitting, and relaxing. I finished reading Dispatches From the Edge by Anderson Cooper and started reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. (See book reviews posted on Friday, June 8.)

Day 4 -- Our previous three days included a lot of driving time, so we were both in a mood to just veg out and relax. We did some reading, took a short walk, and we drove a short distance to Mount Coolidge Overlook. That was amazing. The view from up there was awesome! There is a ranger/fire station up there, and several huge towers.. cell phone towers? Electricity? I don't know what they are, but was amazed at their size and at the huge number of wires required to hold them in place.

See how big they are compared to our little car??

Can you see all the wires?

Gorgeous views from up here!

On the way back to the cabin we stopped at another overlook, pulled out our camp chairs and read books at this beautiful spot. It started to sprinkle on us so we went back to our cabin and ate dinner and relaxed/read/knitted/napped as desired. A wonderfully restful day. It rained overnight, but we slept peacefully in our little cabin.

Tomorrow: Days 5-7


Darcie said...

I wish I could explain...but I wonder if you caught the aroma that I always become intoxicated with down there. Mmmm...I can almost smell it just thinking about it. For the past 2 years we have gone down to the Black Hills in late July. I'm not sure if I smell the cedar or what type of growth, but I absolutely LOVE it!

So glad you and your man were able to get away together and just drive and take in the beauty and energy of the Hills. Fabulous, isn't it!

Marei said...

I love the Black Hills and have been there many, many times. Custer state park is truly a wonderful place and just seeing the 'buffalo roam' is a spritual experience for me.
I understand what you said about blasting the mountain for Mt. Rushmore, although I don't agree. Given how you feel I can't help but wonder why you would make a point of stopping and having yourself photographed there?

Carol E. said...

Marei, I always keep a photographic record of our travels. We decided to stop and look at Rushmore since we were right there. A guy offered to take our picture and we said yes. It's a famous place, so I took pictures. I would not have approved the carving if I were in control, but I wasn't, and there they are.. so we went and we photographed.