At 06.00 my eyes are already open. It seems I’m still living on my dutch schedule here, hopefully after today things will be different.
The continental breakfast we have this morning is better than yesterdays’ (there is even peanutbutter!), but Leo thinks otherwise. Luckily for him we make a stop at the Subway later on (we both like that place so they have two good costumers next 2 weeks). In the morning we drive past Mount Rushmore again, this time in more sunny weather. To clarify something; yesterday we didn’t pay for the parking (of 10 dollars) because we thought it was too expensive for just a few photos. Instead we parked alongside the road on a prohibited area where we could also see and photograph the four faces. I see my previous post was not very clear on that topic. This morning we parked our car alongside the road again for more nice pictures and that worked out really well (see photoalbum).
After saying goodbye to Mount Rushmore for a last time we head to Sheridan, the place where we will be sleeping tonight. The scenery we experience along our way in Black Hills National Forest is beautiful. Rough rockformations are combined with lots of pineapple trees and other greenery. The curving, hilly landscape makes me think of the Ardennen, but is also a bit different.
On the way we pass Jewel Cave National Monument (somehow that name attracts me…) and decide to take a look at the visitorcenter. We find out there are several cavetours we can join today, but the pictures we see about the caves are so similar as yesterdays’ that we don’t think about paying 20 dollar again. Instead we walk the 3,5 mile (about 5,6 kilometer) Canyon Trail, a scenic tour through the Jewel Cave National Monument Canyon (kind of logical maybe). The trail is very nice, maybe because there are lots of burned and leaveless trees. This may look strange but the presence of the death trees create a special environment that I never saw before.
The rest of the day we drive through amazing prairie landscapes with very wide and far views. Leo repetedly sees the native american people driving around here on their horses, something we know from movies. It’s interesting to imagine how it would be to drive on your horse through this for miles and miles abandonned landscape. Only thing we missed today was the tumbleweed we saw yesterday!