Monday, July 31, 2006
Cruising around Custer all day
Wow, the Black Hills are awesome.
High temp today was 80, but most of the day, high up in the mountains it was 75 almost all day. A far cry from yesterdays blistering 111. Rapid City had its highest temperature EVER yesterday (110 degrees) right as we went through it around 3:30. But the heat wave is moving East, and the area of the country we are both in and headed to have cooled to normal temps. Riding in 90 degree temps anytime the rest of this trip will be "butta" compared to the two days above 108.
Ok, well today, from downtown Custer, it was a short drive to "Custer State Park" and Sylvan lake, the trail there was the best we have ever walked. 3 miles of bliss up and down the mountain among boulders and streams and crazy rocks to navigate.
From there, we drove Needle Highway, named for the rock with needle eye in it. Lots of cool rock climbing to great views there.
Then to the "wilderness loop, then the Iron Mountain ride where you see Mount Rushmore and ride crazy "pigtail turns" where you circle around a tight corner and go over a bridge back over the road you are on. One comes out of a tunnel, onto a wooden bridge, then wraps under the wood bridge and tunnel.
We then had a late 4:00 lunch in the strange town under Rushmore called Keystone and called it a day.
I finally caught up on your dairy today - the trip sounds awesome. Best of luck for cool-er weather and safe driving.
Scott at Needles view stop
Somewhere up at the top of a rock climb along Needles
One of many one way tunnels
Needles was 14 miles of this, about 6000-7000 feet elevation
Pigtail out of tunnel, over wood bridge, and back under it after a super tight turn
The Wilderness Loop ride was prairie lands
Iron Mountain had 30 turns like this over 18 miles
Mount Rushmore in the background, view from Iron Mountain
The town of Keystone