The best view of Mount Rushmore we saw today is the framed photo in our motel room. The snow started about an hour before we reached the road to the Memorial and by the time we started up the mountain it was dusting the trees. When we reached the parking lot, snow was coming down so heavily that we missed the turn off. We braved the walk from the parking lot to the visitor's center then took the snowy President's Trail to get as close as possible. The best we could do was a faint outline. I took Rebecca's photo to prove we were there even though the mountain wasn't.
Both of us were happy to head east from Beach this morning because we were a bit depressed by the clouds, wind, and cold. With so much sky overhead, the gray seemed overwhelming. Just before we turned south on our way to South Dakota, we stopped to view the Painted Canyon in the Teddy Roosevelt National Park.
There was only one good sized town for 200 miles and only a few cars. The road was so straight and the land so flat that I could see the ribbon of road at least 20 miles in front of me. It was hard not to be lulled to sleep by the rhythm of the tires on the road. The land is uniquely beautiful and the sky immense - we even saw a herd of buffalo.
The scene changed radically when we arrived at the pine tree covered Black Hills in South Dakota. It reminded us of the mountains we saw near Lewistown in Montana. On our way to Rushmore, we went through a charming old town called Deadwood. Rebecca is in love with the setting and the architecture.
Tonight we are staying in the Rocket Motel in Custer. It is one of those cute 1950s one story buildings built around a parking lot with separate red doors into each unit. It is still snowing and supposed to continue all night. If the storm moves NW, we may be able to drive around it on our way to Nebraska and Wyoming tomorrow. One day at a time.