Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tales From the Trail - Day 13 May 27

Today is Lee's Birthday and he had a good one.

On the way to Rapid City on Thursday I was browsing through the AAA tour book for the Black Hills area and came across a tour to Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, the Needles Highway, The Iron Mountain Road, Custer National Park and all the sights along the way. Included with the tour was a cowboy breakfast, a chuck wagon dinner and a foot stomping country show. The price of the whole day (a 9 hour event) was $74.00. Sounded like a good deal to us so I made the call. We had to be at the Ft. Hays meeting place at 7:30 on Friday morning. What a great day it was. As stated above we started with a hearty breakfast of flapjacks, biscuits and gravy, and smoked sausage. Plenty of coffee, tea, hot chocolate etc. We boarded the bus at 9:15 or so and off we went. Our first stop was Mt. Rushmore where we spent a little over an hour. Then we drove the Needles highway where we went through tunnels so narrow there might have been 3 inches on either side of the bus clearance. The driver told us the new buses will not fit through the tunnels as they are 102 inches and that is what the tunnels are. I don't remember what this bus was but I want to say 96 inches. As we came out of the tunnels we could see Mt Rushmore framed in the tunnel opening. Just beautiful. Our driver stopped the bus and let us off for pictures. The road was a maze of switchbacks and steep grades. Lee was so glad he did not have to drive on these roads.

Back at the Chuck wagon center we had a chuck wagon meal of baked potatoes cooked in coals, barbecued beef or breaded, chicken, baked beans, chunky applesauce, biscuits and spice cake. Plenty of coffee, tea, and lemonade. Then the show where we had 4 male guitar players a drummer, steel guitar player who was the father of the drummer and an award winner and a young girl who played the fiddle. A great finish for a great day

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