I was late leaving Rapid City, so I decided to go to Billings instead of Teddy Roosevelt NP with the rest of the group. I only had a couple of days, but did see a few things. I went to Pictograph Cave State Park.
As soon as I was in the Visitor Center, I realized I had been there before and been disappointed. This is what the cave is supposed to look like...
And this is what it really looks like! You can just see a little bit of the red paint.
I also visited the Western Heritage Center. It was nice, but seemed more oriented towards kids. This was my favorite piece.
Near Billings is Pompey's Pillar, named by Clark in honor of Sacajawea's son.
On the rock there is the only physical evidence remaining of Lewis & Clark's journey.
I then joined up with the group in Lewistown. Of course we had to visit the Yogo Inn and have our picture taken at the Geographical Center of the state of Montana.
That weekend the Pioneer Power Days were taking place at the airport, right near where we were parked. We saw lots of old equipment that still ran!
But of course, I liked the really old rusty stuff better!
There was a "race," where the slowest tractor won. If you stalled out, you were eliminated.
We also visited the Central Montana Museum, which was very good, but didn't have much about Lewis and Clark.
I really liked this old handmade violin made out of 2 cigar boxes!
Backing up a bit, on the way to Rapid City, I drove through Badlands National Park. The scenery was spectacular!
I even stopped for a few short walks.
And of course I had to stop at Wall Drug. Not sure why... Coming across South Dakota, there are hundreds of billboards for Wall Drug, so it must be good. Well, at least they had a parking lot big enough for RVs a block away.
I settled into a forest campground west of town, and went on several day trips. On my first stop, I started off on the trail around beautiful Sylvan Lake.
Awwwww, how cute!
Except for the fact that I had to watch where I stepped!
Unfortunately, the water was high and this part of the trail was under water, so I turned around.
And went on down the Needles Highway to the "Eye of the Needle."
You mean I have to go through there???
There are several of these tunnels, and 3 of them have views of Mount Rushmore.
From a distance, the heads look tiny, but still impressive.
The next day, I went into Mount Rushmore. But at the entrance, everyone was looking away from the monument and taking pictures. Why?
Four big military helicopters were getting a good view!
Inside the gate, you get a much better view of this amazing sculpture.
Afterwards, I walked around trying to get a view of the backside -