South Dakota welcomes you!


The Black Hills … Mount Rushmore … The Needles Highway … Deadwood … Sturgis … Hill City … Wall Drug…

How could I not blog about our visit with the Langerman’s who live in Hermosa, South Dakota? Hermosa is about 20 miles south of Rapid City. Here is a photo of a map of the area I took with my i-Phone. You can see how close Hermosa (center right of map) is to Mount Rushmore (center of map).


We had visited the Mount Rushmore National Memorial on a previous visit here. This time we decided to drive through the Black Hills around Mount Rushmore – into Custer State Park, on the Needles Highway, through the tunnels … Do you want to join us on our tour around Mount Rushmore through the Black Hills ?

We pass through Keystone driving parallel to this 1880 vintage steam- powered train


owned and operated by the Black Hills Central Railroad.

Click on this site to learn more about the train:

Buy a ticket and board the train for a 2-hour and 15-minute round trip ride through the Black Hills between Hill City and Keystone!

Or … (as we did) drive yourself to Hill City so you have time to lunch at at the Alpine Inn


on a hearty helping of fine authentic German food.

From Hill City we wind south on Highway 87 – on the ‘Needles Highway’… through the first of several tunnels carved through the rock.


We’re at Sylvan Lake now – you can take the short hike around the lake through interesting rock formations and stop at the lodge to eat, drink, or crash a wedding (option 3 for us, since they had closed off the patio because of a wedding).

We did manage to stake out a table …

The Langerman's - Mike, David and Kristen

The Langerman’s – Mike, David and Kristen

And a good time was had by all.

Back on the Needles Highway now



Past Cathedral Spires



Through another tunnel.


We’re headed up Iron Mountain Road now, toward Mount Rushmore.


Hey, are we looking at Mount Rushmore through the clearing?


I zoom my camera.


It is Mount Rushmore! Awesome!

Look. Tunnel ahead!


We’re passing through now.


Whoa! We open out to a view of Mount Rushmore!


What an engineering feat. Did they build the tunnels first, or the monument first, to achieve this awesomely contrived special view of Mount Rushmore as you exit the tunnel? It couldn’t have just magically turned out this way, however, they didn’t exactly have the option of moving mountains to achieve the effect, either.

We’re getting closer to the Memorial now


Wow! It’s really coming into view!


We’re staying in the lane for ‘thru traffic’…


Three of the the Presidents in plain view now!


It’s very surprising how well you can see the Memorial just driving past. But then it is carved into the top of a mountain.


Can you name the Presidents?

‘George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abe Lincoln’

Click on this link for your ‘real-life’ virtual tour of Mount Rushmore![group_1]-[Var_1]-S-[mount%20rushmore%20monument]&xts=510259&gclid=CJe-n6KNnLkCFeV7Qgod2EwAdg


Awwww. The Memorial is behind us now. Wait a minute! I know how to deal with this! (Remember the Tetons?)



We round a curve and glean one last view out David’s window.


Headed back now


Are you sure this isn’t August and we’re in Sturgis???

Back at the Langerman’s house now.

We are greeted by a pot of blooming iris that were handed down to Kristen over the generations from her great-grandmother.


In the Langerman’s kitchen now – gazing out at the view over their back patio from their kitchen window.

Thomas Kinkade would love this

Thomas Kinkade would love this

Juxtaposed against the magnet on their fridge.


In this setting? I’ll say.

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2 Responses to “SoDak!”

  1. Rene Says:

    loved the virtual trip to South Dakota with you.

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