Vacation Photos Day 3: Mt. Rushmore


Mt. Rushmore
Originally uploaded by Jvstin

On Day Three of my adventures, my adventures were in stone: Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Wind Cave. This is the classic photo view of the famous Gutzon Borglum carved Mt. Rushmore. I took the loop and got a lot of pictures around the mountain at different angles, and even found a turn off on the road west that allows a profile of George.

However, I thought it was most appropriate to choose the classic look here for my picture for day 3

Vacation Photos Day 2: Spearfish Falls


Spearfish Falls
Originally uploaded by Jvstin

I’ve been accused of loving waterfalls. No bad thing in my book.

As you might have heard from the phone post and other methods, on my second day of the trip, my car battery died not long after a climb on a path in the Badlands. Once I got a new battery, the auto parts place strongly recommended that I drive for at least an hour.

So rather than “stop and go” driving in the badlands, I got myself on the highway and drove more than an hour west. I found myself in Spearfish, South Dakota, at the head of the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. I naturally took pictures, especially once I learned there were waterfalls to see…like Spearfish Falls, as seen here!

Vacation to South Dakota: Stats and Facts

Stats and Facts from my Vacation:
Total Mileage: 2975 miles
Amount of Gas bought: 98.098 Gallons
Average MPG: 30.32
Number of Batteries changed in my car: 1
Number of Engine Overheats: 4 (all homeward bound)
Number of Wind Turbine Trucks Passed on the Highway: 4
Number of States Visited: 3 (South Dakota; Wyoming, Iowa)
Number of Interstates Clinched: 1 (I-90 in South Dakota, drove its entire length)
Number of National Parks Visited: 7 (Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, Minuteman Missile Site, Pipestone)
Number of Scenic Byways Driven:3 (Spearfish Canyon, Needles Highway, Badlands Loop)
Number of State Parks Visited: 1 (Custer State Park)
Number of City Parks Visited: 2 (Memorial Park, Rapid City; Falls Park, Sioux Falls)
Number of Cabela’s Passed: 3 (Owatonna, MN; Mitchell, SD, Rapid City, SD)
Number of State Capitols Visited: 1 (Pierre, SD)
Number of Museums Visited: 2 (SD Air and Space; Museum of Geology on campus of SD School of Mines)
Highest City Reached: Custer, SD (Elevation 5300 feet).
Highest Elevation Reached: Not sure, some of the points on the Highway were higher than Custer. It’s less than 6300, I never got a chance to go up to a driveable peak because the gravel road looked poor after the storm…
Number of Hailstorms Witnessed: 1 (it left deposited hail that looked like snow in the morning!)

New 35W bridge to open at 5 a.m. Thursday Sept 18

New 35W bridge to open at 5 a.m. Thursday
by Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio,
Melanie Sommer, Minnesota Public Radio
September 15, 2008
Minneapolis — The new Interstate 35W bridge will open to traffic early Thursday morning, state officials announced today.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, along with Minnesota’s two U.S. senators, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, and U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, announced details of the opening this morning at a news conference at the site of the bridge.
The $234 million bridge was fast-tracked to restore a traffic route that accounted for 140,000 trips a day. The old bridge collapse into the Mississippi River on Aug. 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring nearly 150 others.
Pawlenty thanked officials at the federal, state and local levels who helped get the bridge constructed in a short amount of time.
“Minnesota’s congressional delegation has been outstading,” he said, saying members from both parties displayed incredible teamwork and bipartisanship in pushing to get the bridge rebuilt.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced plans for a memorial garden to remember the victims of the bridge collapse.
“We’ve been working very quietly but very hard for almost a year with the families of the victims of the bridge collapse, to come up with a memorial that they found was appropriate,” said Rybak.
Tom Oslund, a landscape designer who designed Gold Medal Park next to the Guthrie Theater, described what is being called a remembrance garden.
“Simplicity is the key,” said Oslund, in describing an 81-foot square site with a 65-foot circle in the middle of it. The area will feature a 13-foot diameter fountain in the center.
Oslund and Rybak said the choice of Gold Medal Park as the site of the garden is appropriate, because of its role as an impromptu gathering spot when the bridge collapsed. Rybak said Flatiron Construction and Trivent Financial Services have already provided grant money to partially fund the memorial.