Summer 2009 tour - day 17 (506 km)

Lusk's (pop 1400) Best Western may just be one of the bests ones we've been to for a long time! It's been updated with lots of attention to detail - little granite blocks for the room number (complete with braille), excellent breakfast, BIKE WASH!, complimentary microfibre cloths for the bike wash.

Today we toured the Devil's Tower, Spearfish, Spearfish River Canyon (wow - awesome sweepers!), Deadwood, Sturgis, ending up in Rapid City.

What a treasure trove for anyone with even a teensy interest in geology or archeology - the landscape changes often and is absolutely glorious.

More highways where you have to slow down to 60 for the corners ... And magic roads where it looks like you're going downhill, but really you're going up - the elevation on the GPS shows you climbing!

Devil's Tower National Park has a haven for Prairie Dogs - cute little devils - popping up all over the place. One poor thing was barking and barking at the people.

While at the visitor station, discover that there are climbers on the tower - two of them that we can see making progress on their way up. Good thing there are people in the world who want to do this (not me!). Info at the site talks about farmers early in the century tackling this mountain, hammering in wooden pegs to climb up.

Found a cute little town of Aladdin (population 15) where we had to turn around to get back on route.

My little faithful ipod suffered something mysterious today - was frozen and wouldn't do a blasted thing. Tried to 'jolt' it into life on the road (plugged it in to the laptop) but that didn't work. At the hotel, wiped it and restored factory settings :( Then of course my finger slipped and managed to select one of the languages with glyphs, so had to do it again! Well, at least I got practice at it, and now it seems to be working aok. Whew! The radio stations way out here don't have very reliable reception ...

The Spearfish Canyon River scenic byway has a few cottages, and their firefighter station is built into the hills!