If I can ever get on-line again, you will hear about Bear Country, USA and the drive from Rapid City to Custer. One of the joys of travelling, along with bag drags and crazy, nasty people, has been the spottiness of WiFi availability. My computer and/or AOL may be part of the problem, too.
We were advised to go to Bear Country as far back as Glenn’s Tire in Clear Lake, where we had our headlight replaced. Very nice people!
So we headed there, after Wall. It was quite a short, and pretty, drive to Cedar Rapids, And Bear Country was right there on the road (along with the Cosmos, Reptile World and a place that sells huge busts of every president. Makes you grateful there’s no more room on Rushmore).
You drive through and see all the animals you hope to see in the Black Hills, just in case. The best part is the bears, which you wouldn’t want to meet outside your car anyway, and the mountain sheep/goats which are not usually visible.
The drive-through was a good deal, but at the end there’s a small zoo full of smaller animals and shrieking kids, so we skipped it, except for the adorable bear cubs, and this one big one, and drove on toward Custer.
We had a choice of two routes, and we chose 16A, which was a totally coincidental stroke of luck. It takes you in through the Iron Mountain road through Custer State Park. It’s all the things Joyce hates in a road: windy, narrow, slow. But spectacular, and not too much traffic, either, considering we were beginning the Memorial Day weekend. I guess everyone else went the other way that day, which is much faster. Here are some shots we took along that road.
Popped out the other end in Custer, which I guess wouldn’t exist except for Rushmore and Crazy Horse. The only chain restaurants are Subway and Pizza Hut, and we fell back on Subway frequently. We pulled into Super 8 and the fun began. Joyce went in to register, and reminded them about the dogs. They said we "should have told them” and paid for them, in advance. Really? How? Hotels.com doesn’t offer that option. They take pets. They don’t NEED any notice. Then they tried to put us on the second floor, and Joyce had to argue them down to the first floor. With three dogs, cages and gear for seven weeks, we are not climbing stairs! And no, there’s no elevator! So she asked where the luggage carts were, and they don’t have one! So major schlep by main force. On her way out, they reminded her the dogs can never, ever be left in the room. So how do we eat, or use the pool, or do laundry, or get the continental breakfast? Uhhhhh . . . okay, you can be around the hotel. Gee, thanks.
After a long ride and arguments Joyce went to Subway and got us sandwiches. They recommended we go across the street, and it was a cowpuncher dive. Several places that offered delivery don’t deliver until June. A lot of places allow smoking, also until June, when a new law takes effect.
And it will come as no surprise that the weather deteriorated overnight, and when we saw how awful it was the next day, we just went back to bed!