Day 42 - Last day at Custer State Park

Trip Start May 01, 2013
Trip End May 01, 2014

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Monday, June 10, 2013

If you ever get a chance to be in this area, Custer State Park is a must.  If you are not a camper, there are 3 or 4 Lodges to stay in through out the park.  The closest to us was the State Game Lodge that I had mentioned earlier, where Coolidge and Eisenhower spent time.  It is said that the Secret Service built what is now the Grocery Store and also built a tunnel over to Game Lodge so that when President Coolidge was in residence they could move freely between there and what was then the Secret Service place of residence.

Peter Norbeck (became a Senator of S.D) was a visionary who helped to make Custer what it is today and he designed many of the roads to be intentionally winding so that people would slow down and view the scenery.  One is the Needles Highway which goes up to a height of 5112 feet.  As it climbs up, it goes through a Ponderosa Pine forest and at the top becomes very rocking with many spires and it is aptly named the Cathedral Mountains.  Along the way you go through small rock tunnels or beautifully built wooden bridges.  You are just in awe of the beauty of these "structures" of rock.

After a quick stop for lunch in Hill City, we headed over to the Ellsworth Air Force Base for a tour of their facility just outside of Rapid City.  The boys, of course, including the big boy - Nick - enjoyed all the airplanes and the history in the museum.  One of the things we toured and actually went inside was another missile launch silo (now that's 2, is Nick planning something here that I don't know about - I'm beginning to worry - if we get to a third, I'm outta here)!!

Just one more campfire!

Once back the kids went to a musical show at the barn and Heather and I headed off to Game Lodge for a little girl time and a drink at the bar.

We all hated to leave such a wonderful place.  But we had to move on.  Next stop, Devils Tower in Wyoming.

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Arlen on

It's not a "rocket head". It's a "nose cone". You'll never make it as a missile launch officer.

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