Summer Road Trip 2022: Part Five – South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa

From left: MaryAnn, Paula, Paulette, Danny; Back row from left: Me, Nathan.

Before we left Devil’s Tower, we took a group picture of our mini caravan travelers. Then we continued our summer roadtrip to South Dakota and Mount Rushmore.

Nothing like the open road.

Pics from the Road

Entrance to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota.

Gutzon Borglum is the artist who carved the images of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore. But do you know the history of one of the other carvings Gutzon Borglum has done?

Here’s a usurp from one of my earlier post, “I’ve Got Georgia on My Mind, Part Five – Stone Mountain” – “It was the bust of Lincoln that prompted Helen Plane, President of United Daughters of the Confederacy, to contact Gutzon Borglum (the same man who would later carve the images of Mount Rushmore) about the Possibility of doing a head of Robert E. lee on the side of Stone Mountain in Georgia. He agreed to visit the site in 1915 but upon seeing the size of the place he said, “Ladies, the head of Lee on the side of that mountain would look like a postage stamp on a barn door!” Having thus crushed their dream, he proceeded to give them a new one –a large group featuring Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis on horseback followed by a column of soldiers. Because of World War I, work at Stone Mountain did not begin until 1923. Carving was limited to jackhammers and chisels until a visiting Belgian engineer taught Borglum the use of dynamite for precise work. The head of Lee was unveiled in 1924. Soldiers in the audience who served with the Confederate leader were moved to tears by the likeness.

However, trouble had been brewing between Borglum and the businessmen directing the project, and Borglum was abruptly dismissed. He destroyed his models in order to protect his design and this so angered the directors that a warrant was issued for his arrest and he was forced to flee Georgia. Augustus Lukeman is hired to replace Borglum and Borglum’s head of Lee was removed. In fact, none of Borglum’s work survived when the carving was finally finished in 1970.”

Just an interesting back story of the man who carved Mount Rushmore.

The flags of all the states of the Union line the walk way to Mount Rushmore.
We live in Arizona!
I grew up in Ohio!
Another group photo, this time at Mount Rushmore. By now you should know who everybody is in our group. Don’t know who that is standing behind us.
One last photo at Mount Rushmore.

Pics from the Road

Who called this meeting anyway?
Looks like a good place for my monument.
A moose on the side of the road!
This dear has a tracking caller on it.
Entrance to Wind Cave National Park.
Prairie Dog at Wind Cave.

After leaving Mount Rushmore we stopped for the night at Wind Cave National Park. Situated just south of Mount Rushmore, the park is a must for every explorer. We have yet to see the cave do to lack of time and the fact that there are a lot of steps leading down into the cave and of course a lot of steps coming back up out of the cave. Because of health challenges we decided to continue down the road.

Camping at Wind Cave Campground. Very large sites so that we could park together.
Our tiny house at Wind Cave National Park.

More Pics from the Road

Mitchell, South Dakota. Bette’s RV Park. Our last night together.

Our mini caravan tour ended just west of Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the town of Mitchell. From here Nathan and Paula will go to Sioux Falls to visit a friend for a few days and then they will head out on their own to Wisconsin and parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and then on to Indiana to attend a wedding.

Danny and Paulette head east on a fast track to Massachusetts to attend a funeral. While we will continue on to Iowa then Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.

We parted with a word of prayer and then continued our summer roadtrip alone for the first time since we left home in Arizona almost two months ago. It was strange to be on our own again and seemed kind of scary with no one talking to us on the radio and no one to share our adventures. But, we did continue texting each other as our roads got further and further apart.

Pics from the Road

Wow! This guy has been out here for a long time!
Remember it’s a dry heat!

Visiting Minnesota and Iowa means we now only have Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio in order to fulfill our goal of visiting every state of the Union, except Hawaii of course, with our Leisure Travel Van! It’s taken us about 4 and a half years and over 80,000 miles to do it!

We didn’t spend a lot of time in Minnesota. Once we discovered Minnesota has a state law that all gas stations must sell bio-diesel. Also, no one could tell us exactly how much the percentage of bio-diesel was at the pumps, the sign says, “5-20% bio-diesel.” Our Mercedes engine can only handle 5%, any more than that is not good for our engine and we would need to change the oil as soon as possible after using 20% bio-diesel since it will thin out the oil. So we left Minnesota as soon as possible.

The entrance to our campground in Iowa.
The view from our campsite at Spirit Lake.
Our campsite at Spirit Lake, Iowa.
Luna, one of the Traveling Pups and in the back ground, our e-bikes.
Part of Spirit Lake from one of the bike trails.
The bike trails at Spirit Lake were awesome!
One of the docks onto Spirit Lake from the bike trail.
We road our bikes for twenty miles on the bike trails here at Spirit Lake.

The bike trails were great here at Spirit Lake. The trails made it easy to explore the area and visit the nearby communities. We road our bikes every day for about twenty miles a day. E-bikes of course.

The road of life continues on…

The road of life continues on through ups and downs, twists and turns. We don’t know what is waiting for us over the next ridge and there’s no way to be prepared for every possibility, good or bad the road never stops and there is no way we can prevent what happens next.

Fortunately there is someone ready to carry us over the mountains and through the valleys that the road of life may bring us. That someone is Jesus Christ. Only call upon His name in both the good, bad and terrible and Jesus will lift us up and carry us.

Next time the road takes us to Wisconsin. Where we battle mosquitoes along the banks of the Mississippi River and camp on the shores of Lake Superior. Until next time may the peace of Jesus Christ that passes all understanding be with you….

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