Sunday, July 11, 2010

Trip to the Black Hills

Last week Rick, Kaitlyn and I took off on a road trip. Our destination was to see Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills. Although I was excited for the trip I certainly did not know what a great time was in store. We began our trip Monday evening after Rick got home from work. We drove as far as Rock Springs and overnighted there. The next morning we headed up the middle of Wyoming. Martin's Cove was right on our way so we stopped for a few hours and took the hike into the cove. (no handcarts) It was a long hot walk but it sure gave us an appreciation for all the handcart pioneers who suffered so greatly in this place. There were missionaries along the way to give us actual accounts of the pioneers' experiences.
There was a very peaceful feeling in the cove. That night we drove the rest of the way into South Dakota. We stayed in Custer that night and headed out the next morning. Our first stop was to the Crazy Horse Monument. It was very impressive. It has been in the works for 50 years. It is completely privately funded so it is taking quite a long time. With the invention of modern equipment the process has been speeded up through the last 10 years. There is still a long way to go.
This is the actual model of what the mt. will look like when it is completed. I love the comparison of the model to the real thing.

Our next stop just a few miles down the road was the reason for our trip in the first place. Neither Rick nor I have ever seen Mt. Rushmore (except in pictures of course) so we thought we would make the trek to see it. Long Drive. But totally worth it!

A close up. So MAGNIFICENT!

That night we made reservations for a chuck wagon dinner and show.
We ate at the Circle B Ranch.

Rick and Kaitlyn were brave and tried the buffalo that was on the menu. I played it safe with chicken and beef. Afterwards we were entertained by some cowboy singing.

The next morning we headed back to the Circle B for a trail ride. Rick looks quite dapper as a cowboy don't you think?

Later that day we traveled up to Deadwood city. We started our tour at Mt Moriah cemetary (otherwise known as Boot Hill) We saw many infamous graves including "Wild" Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Truly, throughout the whole trip we caught ourselves humming "Take me back to the Black Hills, the Black Hills of Dakota" (ya know, the song that Doris Day sings as she plays the part of Calamity Jane......a true classic) One thing I was not expecting on this trip was the sheer beauty of those Black Hills. So incredible!

Having fun on main street.

We left Deadwood at 1:00 and drove all the way to Jackson Hole. Nine Loooong hours. This is the part I did NOT like about the trip. I can't stand being in the car for that long. The good thing though was we counted over a hundred antelope, almost a hundred buffalo, about 50 elk, lots of deer and 1 moose. I'll tell you though, there is a lot of desolate country in WY!
This is our cute little cabin in Jackson.

Our first day in Jackson we went on a river rafting trip. Can I just say...........totally worth that 9 hour drive. Those rapids are soooo much fun!
Afterwards we did a little shopping and bought a few souvenirs.

Before we left Saturday morning we had to stop at the Snow King Resort and take a ride down the Alpine Slide. Here comes Ricky!

Overall we put over 1700 miles on our suburban! I'm not much of a get in the car and drive kinda girl (my husband is totally into this) but I must say this was truly an unforgettable trip. It will be looked upon in many years to come as a wonderful memory:-)


  1. We've talked about going to Mt. Rushmore several times, but never made it. It looks like a really fun trip. I have gone river rafting...that's a blast! I'm glad you guys had fun!!

  2. Oh how fun! I had a mission comp who went to Rapid City on her honeymoon. She said it was perfect -- so beautiful and relaxing. I haven't been there since I was 9 -- time to revisit, after looking at your fun pictures. I have to say, they haven't made much progress on Crazy Horse since I saw it, hmm. :) Sounds like a great trip.

  3. Janell, What a wonderfully FUN TRIP you had!! I'm glad you got to do all those things! Ending up at Jackson Hole sounds like a nice ending to a lot of enjoyable experiences, and I'm glad you thought the River trip was fun. It sounds SCARY to me! We've done lots of the things that you got to do, but we missed Boot Hill and the trail ride and chuck wagon dinner.

    Did you get to be at Mount Rushmore at night and see the lights and hear the Patriotic Program? We were there summer-before-last w/Brad & Ruth, and Dennis was pretty impressed when they called all the Veterans to the stage. He stood there with hundreds of others and tears came to his eyes.

    In 1985 we took our five kids on a 5000 mile driving trip--including Mount Rushmore at the end. As we drove in, a lady hollered out her rolled-down car window, "What a Let Down!
    there's nothing special there at all! Don't waste your time!" After being there, we thought she was CRAZY! It's Magnificent!

    Twenty Five years ago we helped "contribute" to that Crazy Horse Monument and we were pretty impressed with their efforts (but we're now thinking--after FIFTY YEARS--that it's likely just a nice way to collect Money.) ha. Thanks for these nice pictures--(helping reviving pleasant 'old memories'!)
    Love, Karen

  4. What a fun trip! We went through South Dakota and the Black Hills and Mt Rushmore years ago on our way to Nauvoo. Loved it! It is a long drive, but I'm glad you had fun with Rick & Kaitlyn. Sounds like a fun getaway!

  5. Oh hooray! We went to Mt. Rushmore the summer before last and absolutely loved it! I love looking back on the pictures of that trip because it was so much fun.
    About river rafting, I've never been and I'm too much of a chicken to actually ever do it. Sounds like you had a great trip with Kaitlyn!