Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Day in the Black Hills

There’s so much to see and do in the Black Hills – I doubt we’ll be able to see everything we want to in our remaining time here.  On each break from our volunteer duties we try to take at least one day trip.  On this trip, we drove back into the Black Hills to explore the rest of the Peter Norbeck Scenic Highway, this time the Eastern loop.  This is another narrow, winding road with a narrow tunnel; big signs warn of the low clearance, but we wonder how many RVers fail to see them and end up trapped and trying to turn around.  An unusual feature of the road is the “Pigtail Bridges”, tight-turning loops that are necessary to gain elevation in the small confines of the canyon.  Along the way, viewpoints provide incredible views of Mount Rushmore in the distance: 
Rushmore in Distance
Rushmore through Trees
Rushmore View
Traffic was light, and we were able to stop in one of the tunnels and get this picture (nice of the builders to line it up with the memorial):
Rushmore Through Tunnel
Leaving the Black Hills, we headed north to Belle Fourche (bell-foosh) to see their museum and the “designated” geographical center of the U.S.  Geo Center of USThe actual geographical center is about 20 miles away in a pasture, with hand-written sign and red post to mark it’s location, so Belle Fourche decided to capitalize and bill itself as the “center”.  There’s a nice visitor center and museum, and in the back, surrounded by state flags, is a 27-ton marker using South Dakota granite.  We of course resorted to our basic tourist instincts, and now Brenda can truly say she’s a ‘centered” individual:
Brenda @ Geo Center
We’re still exploring – stop back and we’ll show you more of our travels!


  1. great photos of your day trip!..Mount Rushmore is amazing!!..Glad to hear that at 'least Brenda is the centered one'!

  2. I love the Norbeck Scenic Highway and how the tunnels frame Mt. Rushmore. The builders put a lot of thought into creating the best experience, didn't they?

    We have a friend who has been traveling solo since her husband died around 18 months ago - though she now travels in a car instead of the RV. When she was in Belle Fourche, after reading the sign, she drove out to the ACTUAL geographic center! She always amazes me with her desire to "see it all"!

    Safe travels,