Thomas, in Keystone, South Dakota. Carrie Ingalls lived and died here. Only a couple shops were open in November. It was the first time ever I was able to park on the main drag. We had planned on eating lunch here, but no restaurants were open!
Mountain goats at the exit of Mt. Rushmore. I have been to Mt. Rushmore probably 100 or more times. Never have I seen mountain goats! As we were leaving, I spotted one crossing the road. Since there was zero traffic at Rushmore, I just parked the car in the road and we watched. What a delight this was! One came up to the car and had I been in the passenger side, I could have rolled my window down and touched him. (I wouldn't have, though, as they are wild animals.)
Can't see this too well, but it's a bison. We drove half of the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. We pulled over to watch the bison. I think there were five. Thomas was delighed as one stood up, stretched like a dog or cat would extending its hind legs, and then proceeded to produce a buffalo chip. Thomas laughed about that for the next half hour. No wonder I have so many gray hairs!
The stage at Mt. Rushmore. Thomas had tons of energy so I told him to run to the bottom and I'd snap his picture. He did, twice. There was a lady sitting on a bench and I told her if I had to run up the stairs as he had just done, I'd die. She laughed and said she was thinking the same exact thing.
Thomas getting up close and personal with Mt. Rushmore. Dig those white socks! I had just bought four new pair of jeans for him, but he threw on an old pair. I didn't notice until I snapped this picture.
Thomas at Mt. Rushmore. Don't know who that little boy is to the right.
It was a beautiful day, warm. We both wore light jackets. Mt. Rushmore had so few visitors, we had front-row parking. I must admit that since they redid the grounds at Mt. Rushmore, I don't enjoy it. It used to be so beautiful. Now it just seems cold. Parking used to be free, now it's not. I think Gutzon Borglum wouldn't be happy with what they did. He was a genius and it is my humble opinion that they detracted from his work with their cold, ugly granite empire they built. Notice I didn't take any photos of the ugly pathway or the ugly granite pillars?
We had a late lunch at the Olive Garden, my favorite restaurant, in Rapid City. We then visited Toys R Us and Hobby Lobby. Then home to my inlaws' house.
This trip was made before the cowboy died, on our first visit.