Now that we got the craziness of Crazy Horse out of the way, it was time to get in to Custer State Park and do some wandering. Luckily, Custer State Park was only about 15 minutes from Crazy Horse – so at least felt redeemed that we didn’t go out of our way much to stop at Crazy Horse….
Now, on to mountain stuff now that we had our Hill City experience complete with parrots! On our way to Custer State Park, we stopped by Crazy Horse….
After dinner at Deadwood, we drove to Hill city through treacherous deer country. When we got to the Super 8 in Hill City, the doors were locked and we had to tail some other guests in. The front-desk area was closed and locked off, and no hotel manager was anywhere in sight. We used the phone to call the hotel number, but all it did was ring the front desk that we were standing next to. The other guests told us that the manager said she was leaving at 8PM for the night. We were livid! not only did the reservation say “check-in until midnight”, but the manager didn’t even bother to call us (or the other guest that showed up a bit later) to let us know what the procedure should be. Total lack of customer service. There wasn’t even an emergency number we could call to reach SOMEONE – ANYONE!….
After we stopped at Devil’s Tower, and took our leisurely time walking around and taking it all in, we had to pick up the pace if we wanted to be at our hotel (and have dinner in Deadwood) by 11PM. The goal was to stop for dinner at Deadwood, SD, and then continue on to Hill City, SD, where we would be packing it in for the night. Here was our route:….
After the Oregon Trail Ruts in Guernsey, we made for the nearest back roads to reach Devil’s Tower in time for sunset. It took us about 3 hours, but it was some beautiful countryside – mountain roads with lots of curves and switchbacks. Ponderosa pines lining the mountains, with signs of controlled fires that undoubtedly protected both the ecosystem and the homes. Incidentally my new Acura RDX also loved these roads 🙂 As we approached Devil’s Tower, we were immediately stunned but its sheer magnitude compared to everything else around. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Ayers Rock outside of Alice Springs, Australia. A lot of nothing and then…BOOM – a huge, towering formation….