Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 12 - Cheyenne & Rapid City

One of the many "bluffs" near Scott's Bluff, Nebraska

Chimney Rock, Nebraska - this was a well known and welcome beacon for those wagon trains that traveled from the east to the west in the 19th century

The sign says it all - at Chimney Rock, Nebraska

Leaving Chimney Rock - just like those half million pioneers of yesteryear

Our "Ralph" in the Chadron city park, Nebraska

Soldier's fort in the Black Hills of South Dakota

A furry critter in the Black Hills of Dakota

Travelling along State Road 87 - the Needle Eye Highway, Black Hills, South Dakota

Tunnel ahead along the Needle Eye Highway

It is a tight squeeze going through this tunnel along the Needle Eye Highway

Another one-lane'er tunnel - Needle Eye Highway

This is why they call it the Needle Eye Highway - this rock formation has an open eye thin enough to thread a needle!

Our great Holiday Inn Hotel, Rapid City - the main internal courtyard. In South Dakota

We left Cheyenne early and drive eastward into Nebraska. This is a first state this trip in which we never been to. The wind in this part of the country was extremely strong and later in the day it rained. Along with this the temperature was cold. Jumpers had to be donned and the wind factor was almost unbearable outside. Nevertheless the sites we wanted to see was during the period when it wasn't raining and at least we enjoyed its features. We were only in the Nebraska state known as the panhandle (because of the thin strip of the state running north to south). The countryside was prairie country, however we did stop at a place called Chimney Rock and visited the visitor's centre. This is a famous rock formation welcomed by those pioneer travelers who had either succumbed or successfully made it to Oregon or California. It was tough in those days. Apparently over half a million wagoners had seen this feature before the railroad was built. Many died from rattlesnakes, Indian attacks, self-inflicted gunshot wounds but the majority died from Cholera. From Chimney Rock we headed north to South Dakota. Had lunch at a place called Chadron in Nebraska - here it was raining and we ate in our warm "Ralph". We made into the Black Hills of Dakota at a town called Custer (yes it was named after that famous General). This is the point in our journey where we had traveled last year. From Custer we drove along the Needle Eye Highway and climbed the rugged mountains basically in the centre of the Black Hills and in fact near Mount Rushmore. There were many one-lane tunnels but the highlight was the rock formation where there was a monolith with a very small aperture looking like a needle eye - very impressive. We continued into Hill City where we stayed last year and reached Rapid City about 5:30 pm. Checked-in to our great Holiday Inn accommodation and settled in for the night. We are here for two nights - tomorrow we are visiting Deadwood, Lead and probably Mount Rushmore. We hope the weather will improve. The locals are amazed that the temperature is well below what is expected. Until tomorrow - ta ta.

No comments:

Post a Comment