Our last adventure in Custer, South Dakota was a car trip to Mt. Rushmore and then to Deadwood. Mt. Rushmore was, as advertised, a magnificent sight. We loved seeing it in person even though we have seen so many pictures of this iconic place. The visitor center was huge with a lot of displays and a video presentation explaining how it came to be. I especially liked the part where they explained how they chose the presidents and the quotes from these men showing, in their own words, their greatness.
Deadwood was quite a different experience, but worthwhile in its own way. It really is a well preserved historic old town. We had always known this was a hard place to live–so lawless and wild, but we learned how it related to Custer’s Last Stand. Deadwood was actually part of the Sioux Nation Reservation and suppose to be off-limits to settlers. Of course when gold was discovered there, the people came anyway. Custer and his soldiers were sent to Deadwood to keep the miners out but were unable to stop the flow. They ended up chasing the Sioux and many other tribes of the area, all the way from Deadwood some 300 miles to his famous last stand in Little Big Horn River, Montana. It was a hard time to be alive–speaking of which…we also went to the local cemetery to see Wild Bill Hickok’s and Calamity Jane’s graves. The cemetery was filled with graves of people with an average lifespan of 30 years. Deadwood is worth a visit for fans of the HBO show-Deadwood. By the way, with all the great winding, twisting roads in this area, it is no surprise bikers love it. This is the week leading up to the big event in Sturgis (really close to Deadwood) so a lot of bikers enjoying the open roads and shops.
So a lot of driving in our future–next stop Billings Montana, halfway between Custer and Glacier National Park. We plan to sneak in a quick visit with cousin Denise while in Billings-hope she’s home!