The next day of the trip we spent in Keystone, S.D. Think how Main Street in Park City looks, and you have a pretty good picture of Keystone. We did a round of miniature golf. It sufficient to say we all sucked at a course with steep hills. The Presidential Wax Museum was next to it, and the next stop. Not surprisingly, the boys were bored with it. They have wax figures of all 43 Presidents, as the billboard puts it “From George W. to George W.” They also have some famous Senators and other figures such as Sitting Bull, Custer, and Crazy Horse. There is even a death mask of Napoleon. April, Rachel, and I found it interesting. We then went panning for gold. This is a tedious, boring process, made difficult by the fact mica looks like gold from some angles. We did find a few flakes. We headed back to the Badlands campsite. I cooked dinner, and then built a fire to do smores on. Patrick went to blow out the flames on one marshmallow, and whipped it right into his nose. There was only a little burn, but it was a scary moment.
The next day we packed up and headed to camp in Custer State Park. We stopped at Wall Drug, advertised as the largest drugstore in the world. It’s more of a shopping mall to me. That evening we drove up Iron Mountain Road to a chuckwagon dinner. That was a mistake, because it took a lot longer than we thought, and we were late. The drive was beautiful, I just wish we could have enjoyed it more. There were wild burros on the way. We needed to get there by 4:00 to make the horseback ride, but didn’t make it until 4:20. They managed to get Rachel and I on horseback (Patrick decided not to go after seeing the size of the horses). Rachel’s horse was good, but mine didn’t want to do the ride. She tried twice to turn around, and stopped several times. It was fun anyway. Patrick did some shooting with a six-shooter that shot plastic caps. Dinner was beef, chicken and buffalo. Not the best, but good. We headed back, and just short of the park entrance a doe and baby were in the road. I ended up hitting the doe as she jumped in front of the car. There’s a dent in the front right quarter panel. The ranger station was closed for the night, but April told the camp host, who called the rangers. Patrick and I went fishing after we got back. He caught one, and a little later I handed my pole to April to hold so I could help Patrick get untangled, she caught one. The fish slipped off before we could get it out of the water.
Friday we started to head back. We did part of the wildlife loop, and saw some bison, antelope, and prairie dogs. We drove down through Nebraska and stopped at Sydney. Saturday, and Sunday were a somewhat leisurely drive back home. We got back Sunday morning around 11. The cat, toads, and hamster were still alive. I retrieved Leo from the pet boarding Monday as they were closed on Sunday. He was overjoyed to be home again.
End of Entry