Friday, July 16, 2010

Our South Dakota Adventure

We had such an eventful time in South Dakota that I thought it warranted its own individual blog entry. I will continue my Premier summary in a separate post.

Anyway, the first big event we had in South Dakota was kind of a bad one. We believe Cali was bitten by some kind of bug, probably a spider. Whatever it was she developed a tennis ball-sized lump on her neck that was swelling fast and clearly very painful. So, we made an emergency trip to a local vet in the middle of the night to have it drained and treated. She's now sporting a rubber tube in her neck that will have to be removed in a few days, but she's looking and feeling much better. Just the same we figured it would be best to cut our trip short and try to get back home by Sunday or Monday. Cali's a trooper but even she gets stressed and at her age I think it's best to get on home and let her really rest.

Here's a gory picture for those who enjoy that sort of thing:

We hit the road for Rapid City around 7:00am. There were all kinds of funny sites along the way, including an 80 ft dinosaur statue. South Dakotans really seem fond of giant animal displays, real and fake.

After a few hours on the road we finally made it to Highway 16 which would take us to Mount Rushmore. Before heading on up we decided to fill up our gas tank at one of the roadside stations. We picked quite a station to stop at; this one had a "free wild animal exhibit" which consisted of a very large collection of taxidermy. Some of the pieces were quite well done; I think the best one was of the Nile crocodile pulling an antelope under water.

Once we were filled up we started the journey up Highway 16 towards Mount Rushmore. The monument is about 30-some miles off the main interstate and the Black Hills landscape along the way is just beautiful.

It's been a big dream of mine to visit Mount Rushmore and I was so excited to finally be able to see it. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on top of the mountain but our RV was parked in the perfect spot for a doggie photo-op with the monument right in back.

After we finished at Mount Rushmore we went about ten miles further to go see Crazy Horse Mountain. I really hope they finish it in my lifetime; it's going to be something else when it's done!

We are now at a campground in Hardin, Montana. We got to see part of the Little Bighorn and a beautiful Montana sunset. Now I know why they call this "Big Sky Country."

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