Tim's Black Hills Trip (June 2005)

I was lucky this year to be able to take a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. I flew from Orlando to Denver on Friday, 3 June, where I rented a ride (the blue Jeep Liberty you see in some of the pictures). I was unlucky in that Mack couldn't go, too, but seeing the Black Hills was something I'd wanted to do since I was a teenager, so I took the opportunity anyway.

I spent two nights in Denver, just being in a different city. I like Denver: It's got a nice feel to it, from the times I've been there. Sunday morning, 5 June, I got in the Jeep and headed up I-25 into Wyoming. I stopped in Douglas, Wyoming, and visited with Mack's Aunt Julie (his mom's sister) and her husband Russ. I really regret not taking any pictures there. From Douglas, I drove to Hot Springs, South Dakota, where I spent Sunday and Monday nights. There, on Sunday and Monday, I visited Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument.

On Tuesday, I drove through Wind Cave National Park on the way to the Crazy Horse Memorial, then I wound my way through Custer State Park on my way to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Then I drove through Rapid City to hit I-90, then east to Wall, South Dakota, where I spent the night.

Wednesday morning, I visited Badlands National Park, which was one of the most awesome places I've ever seen on the surface of the earth. Wednesday afternoon, I saw the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, where you go down into the command capsule from which nuclear-warhead-tipped missiles would've been launched in the event of a thermonuclear exchagne between the USA and the USSR. After that, I stopped back in Wall at the world famous Wall Drug Store, then drove to Deadwood, South Dakota, for the night, where I played a little blackjack and pulled a few handles.

Thursday I saw Devils Tower National Monument, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary as such next year. It, too, is awesome. Thursday evening I drove back to Denver, then caught a flight out Friday to Atlanta, where Mack picked me up so I could go to my mom's family's reunion on Sand Mountain in northeast Alabama.

The following is an index of the individual parts of the trip: