The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Road Trip: Day 5

Keystone, SD -> Sturgis, SD ->, Devil's Tower, SD -> Keystone, SD

 If you know Jac, you know he believes the hotel is the destination of every road trip. 

We went to Sturgis.  The rally isn't until next weekend, but things are amping up now.  There are Harley people everywhere we go.  And vendors selling Sturgis stuff.  Outside of Sturgis, even.  I did not get a picture (because I was driving), but we saw the funniest thing.  It was an old lady riding a tricked out, Harley wheelchair/scooter thing down the side of the road.  Who even knew Harley made those?
 We did not go to Deadwood.  It was on the agenda, but the people at the rest area told us the town was shut down for a parade and some kind of celebration and that we'd never get in there today.  No matter, I guess.  All these towns out here kind of look the same to me.  There are a couple of versions: economically depressed/falling down, all touristy with a semi-fake cowboys/Indians/pioneer theme going on or just genuine "minding our own business being a town in the west".  I'm guessing Deadwood is probably of the second variety.

 We have been pondering signs like this since the back woods of Minnesota.  So many towns advertise their double digit populations.  We wonder if these towns have a few signs with similar numbers at the ready for whenever a birth or death occurs.  What was interesting about this particular town is that there were more than 15 buildings.
A store in some other town (right next to Devil's Tower).  
 There came a point I realized I had stopped pulling off at all the pull-offs to photograph the scenery.  It's all beautiful.  I'd be taking pictures all day.

 Devil's Tower
 This is a picture of a park ranger talking about snakes and prairie dogs.  We only showed up on the backend of whatever she had to say, but I ascertained she is a fan of snakes.  All snakes.  And then she spent a little time on bubonic plague and fleas on rodents (prairie dogs) and that is why you should never touch a prairie dog.  Ahem...a day late on that message.  She didn't really seem to be a fan of prairie dogs.  How can anyone like snakes, but not prairie dogs?  I find that suspicious.
 Hiking!  We took the short trail.  Because it was hot and because we had other things to see today and because Devil's Tower is 2 hours away from our hotel and that other stuff we wanted to see today.  And because I'm out of shape and the 1.5 mile hike sounded like it would be enough.  Turns out, I could have gone longer.  And, we didn't see everything today we had planned on seeing.  (Which means we are off schedule...but who cares?)

 Jac climbing on the boulders at the bottom of the tower.  He was planning on sitting on that rock two rocks up from where he is in this picture.  But, he got close to there and saw a rattlesnake.  I was watching him and noted he was being really careful when he suddenly stopped.  He didn't exactly react in a scared way, but I could see that he clearly saw something he didn't like.  He backed down out of there and rejoined us on the path.

Of course, snakes live in there  It's interesting they come out of hiding during the day, though.  There are tons of people hiking around there and climbing all over everything.  It seems like snakes would shy away from all of that.  Guess not.  They are probably used to all those people.  I never thought of them being like other animals in that regard.
 Wouldn't you know we came upon another prairie dog town?  I was worried we wouldn't see any after I had told Alicia we would.  She was excited most about seeing the prairie dogs and I was wishing I hadn't said anything about it.  I needn't have worried she'd be disappointed.  There seems to be another town of them on the map of our itinerary tomorrow.
 Caves.  They have become a family joke.  We can't go anywhere without going into a cave. We've been to so many caves we can't even remember how many we've been in.  There are many cave options here.  The kids wanted to go in this old gold mine.  Which means I can probably check off the "Go into a cave." box on our list.

 Obligatory gold panning.  Each kid found a few flakes of gold.