Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Road Trip: Day 13

After last night's white-out conditions, we woke up to a calm, sunny Cheyenne morning, relatively speaking.  Apparently that area is pretty much always a little windy.  And since it was still around 20 degrees this morning, the first hour and a half of our drive was still pretty treacherous.  By the time we got out of the city into ranch country, the wind was blowing the snow across the road and causing some serious black ice.  Instead of the posted 65 mph, which basically means 70+, I could only go 50 or so.

Finally, by the time we were hitting a rest area around 11am in the middle of nowhere, the temperature had finally warmed up enough to start melting the black ice, speeding our progress.  We had lunch in the relatively large town (by Wyoming standards, population close to 10k) of Torrington, WY.

We followed US-85 a couple more hours north until heading east into South Dakota.  Shortly after, we stopped off at the Crazy Horse Monument.  The price is definitely a little steep for what you get.  It was $20 for us -- they charge $10/person... Calvin was free, which is good since he didn't get too much out of it -- to see a partially finished statue.  In fact, it doesn't really look much more finished than what I recall decades ago.  I appreciate that the scale is much larger than Mt. Rushmore.  But honestly, since you can't get very close to it (unless you shell out more money for a van tour), the scale doesn't really matter.

After that, we headed to Mt. Rushmore.  It was a much better deal at a flat $11, and that got us a pass that's good for the rest of 2013.  And Calvin thought it was pretty cool!

Then it was a short drive to Rapid City.  We had dinner at the Colonial House and then headed to our hotel.  When we asked Calvin what his favorite part of today was, it was "the mountain with the faces on it."