Ok, I think I’ve got a better handle on what our plans are for our mid September trip west! I’ve got some questions along the way so please advise in anyway you all are extremely helpful. Thanks for your patience as this got pretty long.
Day 1 (Wed) – Early start from central MN. First stop in De Smet (I’m a huge Laura fan and the dog will need a walk by then anyway). Does anyone know about this 16 point driving/walking tour? I’m hoping for no more than an hour walking the dog and seeing some of the points mentioned in the book. Travel on and do the Badland Loop and Wall Drug then on to Keystone for check in and anniversary dinner at Powder House Lodge.
Day 2 (Thurs) – Leaving the dog behind today. Be at Mt. Rushmore when they open for some pictures, hiking and the museum. Then back into Keystone for the Alpine slide with an early lunch at the top. Take 244 and 16 for a Crazy Horse drive by (this doesn’t interest us enough to look into the museum) for a 2:00 or 2:40 Jewel Cave Scenic Tour. Then back to the Lodge and probably back to Mt. Rushmore for lighting ceremony is the entrance fee just good for one day?
Day 3 (Fri) – We plan on bringing the dog along so let us know if that wouldn’t be a good idea, if we add in the horseback riding and depending on the weather we’ll have to re-think it. I know the backtracking is unavoidable but I’m hoping this isn’t too bad. We’ll get an early start and travel down Iron Mt Rd and do the loop (clockwise) early. When we get to 87 we’ll go down and explore Wind Cave National Park area. I think we’ll decided after Jewel cave whether or not to do another tour. Then on to option #1 – lunch and horseback riding at Blue Bell stables or #2 continue on to State Game Lodge for their lunch buffet. Then in the afternoon we’ll head up to the Sylvan Lake area and play there for the remainder of the afternoon. We’ll head back to Powder House Lodge taking Needles Hwy South and then North on Iron Mt Road for the views through the tunnels.
Day 4 (Sat) – Pack up the dog and head North on 385 to Lead and do the Spearfish Falls Scenic Byway hitting all the good stopping points. Then, depending on how sick of driving we are (which is doubtful as we just got a new Acadia ;)) we’ll decide about Devils Tower. If we decide to go on to Devil’s Tower should we head there first and then Spearfish falls on the way back or as previously mentioned? That will also dictate where we have lunch…I’ve heard good things about Cheyenne Crossing. Does anyone have good suggestions our in the Devil’s Tower area if we’re there around lunch time? Actually, no matter how we do it I don’t think we’ll be in the Cheyenne Crossing area over lunch. Anyway, we’ll probably just make the loop and take 90 back into Rapid City. We’ve got relatives there and that will maybe be a good night for us to meet up and do dinner or something. However, if we meet them at a different time it could be open to head back to Custer as I think that will be a highlight!
Day 5 (Sun) – Heading back East early. If we can swing it at work I’m hoping to spend the night at Cedar Pass Lodge. If that’s the case we’d adjust a few things like making it a quicker stop on the way out and not get such an early start this morning. I sure would love to see the sunset/rise!
So, what do you think? Thanks much again for your opinions!