Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Natural and Manmade Rock Formations Sturgis, SD, Monday, 12 September 2011 8:02pm

Jewel Cave is fascinatingly different from Wind Cave, despite their proximity. Wind Cave is mostly small passages with unadorned walls and some boxwork. Jewel Cave has huge caverns and walls covered with crystalline deposits. You can see places where the wall has cracked, revealing the crystal underneath. It's like being in an enormous geode.

After the cave, I had lunch at the Purple Pie Place in Custer, which had a very tasty bumbleberry pie.

I headed north to look at the Crazy Horse Mountain Memorial, a work-in-progress attempt to sculpt a mountain into a statue of Crazy Horse. It's somewhat interesting to see the photos of the progress they've made since the 50s, but it feels a little scammy to pay admission to park.

I felt the same way at Mount Rushmore. $11 to park, but nothing to get in to the monument itself. I'm not sure what I was expecting there, but seeing the mountain from the viewing area is very like looking at a photo of it.

I decided that, as long as I was in the area on a motorcycle trip, I kind of had to go to the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Of course, since I took the scenic route (Needles Highway again) to Mount Rushmore, there was no way to get to Sturgis before the museum closed. So I took the scenic route to Sturgis, passing through Deadwood along the way. We'll see tomorrow if the detour was worth it.