Saturday, July 17, 2010
Day 5 - Saturday
South Dakota is a big state ... it took us a while to get there, but we finally made it to Mt. Rushmore around 1:00. On the way there, we enjoyed the terrain which was new to us. Lots of prairies and undulating hills leading up to the mountains of the Black Hills.
It was great to see Mt. Rushmore - the guy who started the Stone Mt. sculpture is the same one who did Mt. Rushmore. It took hundreds of workers, lots of dynamite, and 14 years to get the job done. Washington is the president on the left, then Jefferson, then T. Roosevelt, then Lincoln. But originally it was Jefferson on the left, but they didn't like how it looked so they blew the first Jefferson off of the mountain. Pee Wee thought he could have done the entire project in a few months.
We then went to the Custer Natinal Forest a few miles away. It is beautiful scenery and included a 10 mile wildlife loop where we saw various animals in the wild and near our truck. A herd of at least 50 buffalo were just a few feet from the truck, as were white tailed deer and several burros. Pee Wee made the mistake of opening a box of Waffle Crisp cereal in the truck. The burros smelled it and before long we had a few of them sticking their snouts inside the windows trying to get at the cereal. There was slobber on the windows, but no worse than we have done ourselves over the past few days. Pee Wee actually put a cracker in his mouth and a female burro tried to take it out. Somebody tell Teresa that I'll try to keep a better eye on Pee Wee around the women.
Two good deeds today - one of them related to the burros. For some reason, approximately 10 burros completely surrounded a car that was near us and were doing their best to get inside. There were a couple of little kids inside who were getting very upset. Pee Wee "risked life and limb" to get the burros away from the car. He successfully completed his mission and the kids were saved.
The other one involved tonight's hotel manager. She was extremely pleasant and kind when we checked in. We are staying in a tiny town called Alliance somewhere in northwest Nebraska. After we ate at one of the two restaurants in town, I got a coconut cream pie to go. When we returned to our home for tonight, I gave the pie to the manager - her face lit up, especially when it was explained to her that her pleasing personality gave us the idea for the gift.
The fact that we are now in Nebraska is both good and bad. The bad is that we are now on a path of an easterly direction. We have had a great time on our journey, but with this new direction, it means that we are over the halfway point and we are heading back. The good is ... that we ARE on that easterly direction. Even though we have had a great time, going east means going home, and no matter what or where we go, the best place to go is home.
Happy Sunday tomorrow everyone and God bless all of you!