U.K. to U.S.A. Fantasy flydrive

This is a fantasy fly drive that is being created on the message board of the yahoo travel group uk2usa. Follow the growth of the holiday fantasy as it grows on the group pages or on this web site. Enjoy !

part 4 South Dakota

Day 74 We fly into Rapid City South Dakota via Denver. The fleet of open topped mustangs is fuelled and ready to go and we set off to Keystone and Mount Rushmore. Arriving fairly late in the day we go up to see the lighting ceremony and reflect upon the losses suffered on September 11th and in the shadows of this magnificent monument we also reflect upon what a marvellous country and people make up America.

Day 75 In a less sombre mood we wake up for an early morning helicopter ride above Mount Rushmore before driving up again to see the monument in the daylight. We visit the excellent museum in town in the afternoon. In the evening we take the cable car up the local mountain to get yet another vantage point of this extraordinary sculpture.

Day 76 Most of the club gets into the Mustangs. Debs roars off on her Harley with her husband in hot pursuit in a Corvette. We all head north through Lead to Deadwood. Yes the place the Doris Day song in Calamity Jane the 'Deadwood stage' is about. It was the gold found in the in the Lakota Souix's sacred hills in the valley with the dead trees in it (Deadwood) that resulted in a gold rush that swamped the area resulting in the wars that included the battle of the Little Big Horn and Custers last stand. The place is steeped in western history.

Days 77-78 We spend time in Deadwood. A guided bus trip to the cemetery overlooking the town is a must to see the graves of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane and to have the history of the town narrated to you. A trip to the Number 10 Saloon where Wild Bill met his end playing poker, shot in the back with 'dead mans hand' in his grasp is also on the agenda. We visit Kevin Costners Casino and view the costumes from his many films but most importantly for this area 'Dances with wolves'.

Day 79 We set off driven out of Deadwood by the chinking of the slot machines and go to Sturgis. This is the place where there is a massive Harley Davison ralley every year. Debs is right ot home. We drive on to Spearfish.

Day 80 We chill out in Spearfish, visit the Plains Indian museum and the trout hatchery.

Day 81 We head south via Newcastle and head east towards Custer stopping off at Jewel cave. We spend the night in Custer.

Days 82 - 83 Using Custer as a base, we explore the area. Firstly we set off at better-be's recommendation and see the Crazy Horse Memorial being blasted from the mountainside. The scale of this activity in both time and size truely take your breath away. On to Sylvan Lake for a picnic lunch before descending into Hill City from where we catch the spectacular return railway journey through the untouched Black Hills to Keystone and back. On the 2nd day we drive along the needles highway before returning to Custer to visit the National Museum of wood carving.

Day 84 We set of south, driving through Custer state park and seeing the wild Burros and the herd of Buffalo running wild there. We visit Wind cave, finally stopping in Hot Springs we have a swim at Evans Plunge, a swimming complex in geothermally heated water.

Day 85 An early start takes us to the Mammoth Hot Springs visitor centre. A breathtaking display of Mammoth remains uncovered during a house building project. Many of the bones are still in the position they were discovered in. We head north back towards Rapid City. We take the Iron Mountain Road through Keystone along the way getting many spectacular views of Mount Rushmore and driving down the amazing figure of eight loop road down the mountainside. At Rapid City we head east and overnight at Wall

Day 86 We have a look around the 'World famous Wall Drug'. Apparently this started out as a small drug store with a good marketting idea offering travellers across the hot dry state a glass of ice water free. It grew from there, with signs saying how many miles to Wall drug springing up all over the plains states. In the 2nd world war homesick American GIs posted signs around europe saying how many miles to wall drug. Nowadays it takes over just about all one side of the main street in Wall and sells just about anything you can think of plus some.

Wall is named after the wall an escarpment in the badlands produces. We see this as we drive on through Badlands National Park. This landscape is awsome and has to be seen to be believed. We drive on along to Mitchell and see the Corn Palace, a building covered in corn cobs before heading north to DeSmet where we overnight after a very long day.

Day 87 We look around all the 'Little House on the Prarie' attractions and wonder in awe about the pioneers like the Ingalls who carved a life from this land. We drive down to Sioux Falls, leave the Mustangs and Debs Harley at the airport and take off.

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