Day 22 was a grind. Though hard to believe with all the mountain passes we have climbed so far, today was the second most climbing of the tour. The first climb was a steady climb of 36 miles to the view of Crazy Horse. After a downhill we climbed to Mt. Rushmore and then after a decline into Keystone another climb out of there. The last two climbs had grades of 10% or better.
The Black Hills are unique and beautiful. Formed millions of years ago, they seem to almost rise up out of plains as a garden of beautiful forests and lush fields along with spectacular rock formations. They were considered to be sacred territory to the Sioux tribes which lived and hunted in the area and were related to the wars that took place between the tribes and the settlers and US Army. Now they are alive with tourism led by the Hills, Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. Kim and I took the kids here a number of years ago for a week and Morgan I biked part of the Mickelson Trail after his sophomore year in high school. The Mickelson Trail is a limestone bike trail that runs 100 miles one way from Deadwood through Custer State Park. The first picture is of Crazy Horse. The second of Mt. Rushmore and the third looking into the valley from Mt. Rushmore.
I had my normal low fat chocolate milk and two meals when I got in. Even though I am eating a lot, the reality is I am never really hungry and nothing looks good to me. Though we are eating at a lot of different places, I am pretty sure all the food comes one from big vat in the back of the kitchen with different faucets. Turn one faucet and there is scrambled eggs, another has muffins, another sub sandwiches, another has pasta salad and one has snack bars with the paper wrapper on it. When I get done with this, unless I am traveling, it will be hard to get me into a restaurant for a long time.
Tomorrow, we go to Wall Drug. It was supposed to be an easy day, but we will be battling a headwind and again a chance of t-storms so will be more difficult.