Once again, back into Custer State Park, but this time, for a geology lesson. The Needles Highway winds its way through incredible rock formations and is just Joyce’s favorite kind of road ever: steep, narrow, windy and very distracting, between the formations themselves and the usual abundance of wildlife. Partway through, I just had to quit driving because her constant shrieking was too stressful. When she drives and I ride, it’s a lot quieter. The only problem is, she hates driving. I do most of it unless I’m too tired or it’s dark. But when she carries on so much that it’s a distraction, I quit. She says she can’t help it. I don’t get it, because when she drives, I sleep unless we’re looking at scenery. The last time I was even IN an accident was 1993, and I was rear-ended. So I don’t know why she’s so terrified.
So at least when she drives, I get to see a bit more. This highway deserves its own link, so here it is.
And here are a few of our photos:
The ranger told us, on the way in, it takes about an hour and a half to drive the highway. Yeah, if you go at max speed and never stop to look at anything, but then, why bother? So I guess it took us four or five hours. Just like the Wildlife Loop, you want to stop and see what shows up. And there are all the stunning vistas, too. Joyce says, "If there's a pull-out, there must be some reason for it." Naturally we didn't miss a one, and several required at least a short hike to get the best views. Along the way we saw a lot of animals, but the cutest was the Least Chipmunk.
We never got to see mountain goats or bighorn sheep, though, so it's lucky we saw them in Bear Country.
On the way back to Custer, we stopped to see Crazy Horse. They have been working on it a really long time, and only the face is complete, but it's still impressive and in an ethno-historic way, makes a lot more sense than Mount Rushmore. By the time we got here
Joyce was wiped out from the driving and conked out. But as you'll learn in my next entry, she had the last laugh, even though she never went inside the Visitor Center. I did go in, and read all the info and saw the movie and subsequently wanted to mortgage our house and send them all our money. I settled for buying a bag of souvenirs instead.
Rushmore is impressive for reasons I promise to discuss soon, but this is better. So go to their online store and buy something, and promise yourself you'll visit if you ever get out to the Black Hills.