Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 20 restdayinrapidcity (no time for spaces in the words)

BEST: The giant heads (also known as Mt. Rushmore)

WORST: Having to clean the bike drive train again.

MOST UNEXPECTED: Listening to a quasi rock band concert at the Main Square in Rapid City.

Our tour leaders arranged for a 12 person van for us to go see Mt. Rushmore in two groups. I went with the early group and we stopped in downtown for breakfast at the Silver Spoon and then drove about 25 miles to see Mt. Rushmore. There is a lot of cheezy development which has occurred around the area similar to Orlando around Disney World. There was a zipline, Reptile World, Big Bear world, water slide park, tram to a slide down, krappy looking fake historic town (Keystone) with its touristy shops, min golf, mazes, and well I think you get the idea. Plenty of places to lose your money if you want to. Parking was $11 and the rest was free at Mt. Rushmore. Besides the view, there was a museum downstairs, a hiking path, and some concessions. Just looking at the monument was inspiring as it went in and out of the fog and the moods of the heads changed. Some cool facts learned: Jefferson was originally to the left of Washington, but the artists didn't like it so they basically scrubbed it out, 90% of the work was done by explosives, there was a large crew of men who did the work under Borglum who designed and supervised the work, Borglum died just before the work was completed so his son finished it off, and the big pile of rubble you see under the heads was actually debris from the work. The granite was pretty fractured to begin with, and Jefferson's head is 75 feet from the original surface of the cliff.

We drove back to town and I got dropped off in downtown to check it out. There are statues of the Presidents all over the main streets, but I did not take pictures of all of them to make sure they were all represented. I did see a statue of Bush, so they must be pretty up to date. My favorite was of Taft who you can see from the front is hunched over, and the back you can see he is going to throw a baseball. I found the Main square just in time to hear a semi rock concert which was interesting. It turned out to be a Christian band with a drummer who looked like a Sonny Bono wannabe. When they started playing Amazing Grace, I took the cue to leave and head back to the Armadillo Cafe for food. I ordered a panini and their speciality which was a peach cobbler sundae: Vanilla softserve, pecans, fresh peaches, and hot caramel. They took about a minute to make the sundae, and the panini came out about 10 minutes later. What would you have done? I ate the ice cream first, and my sandwich second of course.

Back to the dorm room to pick up my bike to do the ritual cleaning and oiling of the chain and drivetrain. Now I am resting because it is a rest day, and if anything fantastic happens tonight, you will be able to read about it on my Sunday blog. Of course the weather is gorgeous today with 68 degree temperature and no wind. My prediction for tomorrow is 112 degrees with 50 mph headwinds. Tomorrow we will roll out of Rapid City with the full complement of 18 riders for the first time.

Traveling by van to see the giant heads gave me an epiphany: I enjoyed watching the scenery from a car and it requires a lot less energy than riding a bike. As Scarlett O'Hara says" Tomorrow is Another Day". Or maybe it was "I don't know nothing about birthing no baby"


  1. You are so funny! You don't know nothin about birthin no baby? What?

    Love the foggy photo of Mt. Rushmore. Let's hope you are wrong about tomorrow's weather.

  2. Taft seems to have been a bit of a cheeky fella, eh?

    Rushmore looks so very surreal! I can't wait to make my own trip there.

  3. Is that a statue of Taft's body double? I thought he was like 400lbs. I hope i get memorialized as 6'6 with lots of muscles..