Tooleing Around: Day 10

Pure Bean on Main Street, Rapid City has to be my favorite breakfast to date; a homemade biscuit with bacon, egg and cheese and excellent house blend coffee.

Delightful Destiny, from Rapid City, recommended I stop at Keystone on the way to Rushmore and told me to eat at Grizzly Creek. Her family owns it. Grandma works as the hostess sometimes. She also recommended Powder House Lodge as a good place to stay. Destiny works there as well. I’ll start looking into lodges as well as hotels.

Nathan was also generous with local info. He’s from Bismarck ND. He was a roaster for the coffee shop before the current job and his uncle is partner in the business. Pure Bean is located in the old creamery building , the coffee is resident in the old milk lab with the drains covered up. Cool brick floor. The Uncle/Owner was involved in the Portland coffee scene and his business partner the only Q Grader in SD – a coffee sommelier.

As a North Dakotan, Nathan recommends a very brief visit there, if at all. I may Nebraska it.

Their coffee was great. I had 3 cups. I stayed too long.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the biggest bike event in the world, brings in around a million bikers annually to the general region. Those weeks are a huge contributor to the local economy. That explains last night’s odd Wi-Fi password – sturgis67.

Continuing my local bookstore quest, I found Mitzi’s on Main Street a sweet little shop. Heather, behind the counter, had a broad breadth of book knowledge. We agreed on a lot (Little Fires Everywhere) but I don’t share her love of science fantasy. I appropriately bought a small novel called The Bookstore.

From there the half hour to Rushmore.

My natural cynical expectation was to be underwhelmed by Mt. Rushmore, but man when you round that highway and see it up there for the first time it really is a sight to behold. Again, with the movies – I remember as a child watching Carey Grant hang on up there in North by Northwest. Remarkable to think some hair brained stone carver’s idea turned in to this cash cow.

I was hoping to use “behold” in a sentence sooner rather than later.

Well, I got a tiny bit carried away in the gift store.

A folding Mt. Rushmore knife with my name on it (nothing ever says Karl); a Mt. Rushmore keychain nail clippers (it’s a keychain and a nail clippers) ; a Mt. Rushmore T-Shirt (Maroonish) and a glow in the dark Mt. Rushmore Christmas Tree Decoration .Bonanza!

And as Granny would say, what you spend on the swings, you save in the roundabout. Or something like that. Cheap lodgings tonight, no gas needed today.

John Oliver is responsible for my next set of nightmares. If I thought fiberglass Jesus was creepy, it was nothing compared to the National Presidential Wax Museum.

On the positive side, Pat, a retired Accountant from Custer, who now works at the museum, was a pleasure to talk to. Her husband, who she’s been with 50+ years, had a kidney replacement recently and is doing well. They had bought a RV in the last while and hoped to take advantage of that soon, though her new job kept her busy this year. Pat was nice enough to capture some of my stunning poses at the museum.

I’m noticing much more this side of the country that the RV culture is prevalent.

Ear popping trails brought me through the Black Hills National Park on the way to Custer. I’m not sure these 15MPH roads were designed for Escalades, with their spectacular one way mini-roads and tunnels through the rock face. There were great views from the stops up top of the mountain.

Then further on for a bit of a ramble through Custer State Park.

I did see a very small herd of Buffalo (one) and a number of mule and white tail deer, a couple of four pointers.

Not as much fun driving back along those narrow lanes at sunset as it was exploring in daylight.

Holy Smoke Cabins in Keystone is where I’m booked in tonight, with an attached RV Park.  I needed to get there by 8PM before the office closed and was pushing the clock a bit.

Fun song that popped up today: The Heat is On – Glenn Frey. Name that Movie for 10.

As an interesting development on this trip, no one sells club soda – my usual drink. I’m being forced to drink water. It’s not bad, similar taste.

I had a very good Filet Mignon at The Powder House Lodge (I couldn’t get a room there), a recommendation from Destiny this morning.

Carter & Me
Carter & Me

Not in a hurry to go back to the shack, I dropped into Buddies Bar, Keystone for an OJ, the kind of establishment I used to haunt back in the day. Joined in on a “why did we ever go to Wall Drug “conversation with some other tourists. We were all fooled by the endless miles of signs.

I started a natter with Devon & Kim from Novi, Michigan at the bar counter. They told me to avoid North Dakota like the pox. They spent time with relatives there yesterday and escaped in a hurry to Keystone.

Devon showed me photos of prairie dogs and buttes and told me that was the full ND story. They also convinced me not to bother seeing the Crazy Horse Monument as it’s not finished and never will be and shared a photo of that too. Devon & Kim are doing more to destroy the tourist industry than that hurricane.

Saves me a lot of hours and the price of a Crazy Horse ticket.

A correction for fellow traveling buddies, I met yesterday. Pam and Michael – Wisconsin not Wyoming.

Some Iowa based recommendations having departed that State

Movies: Bonnie and Clyde; The Straight Story; Field of Dreams ; Star Trek (Kirk’s home)
Books: The Nix; Grasshopper Jungle

Today’s Cost:

Hotel: $90
Dinner: $31
Cheesy Souvenirs: $72

10 thoughts on “Tooleing Around: Day 10

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