STARS travelled as a group to visit one of the most well known and spectacular national treasures, Mt. Rushmore from May1 through May 5, 2021.
We had the opportunity to stay at the Custer State Park Resort. The State Game Lodge is a gracious native stone and wood lodge built in 1920 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It served as the “Summer White House” for President Calvin Coolidge in 1927 and was visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. This is where we had breakfast and dinner daily, featuring such meals as buffalo eggs benedict, buffalo tenderloin, buffalo ravioli and pheasant stew. Yum!
Day 1- Full Day Private Guided Tour of the Black Hills
The Black Hills of South Dakota are home to both Mount Rushmore National Monument and Custer State Park. We visited the famous faces of Mount Rushmore and learned about the rich history, stories, and secrets behind their creation on our private full day tour. We visited the Sculptors Studio and learned about Gutzon Borglum's vision and how the monument was created.
The rugged landscape of the Black Hills features striking scenery, interesting geologic formations, and rich fossil beds. We hiked the Presidential Trail which meanders through the
wilderness and offers some most unique views.
After our hike we visited nearby Crazy Horse Memorial which is an active carving project. Crazy Horse is the world's largest mountain carving in progress and is dedicated to preserving the culture and heritage of Native Americans. Currently they are working on the "finger" of Crazy Horse and completion is expected in 50 more years!
Custer State Park is one of the best places in the United States for wildlife viewing. The park is home to a large free-roaming bison herd, elk, big horn sheep, mountain goats, pronghorn antelope, deer, and a variety of birds. On our way back From Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse, we took the Wildlife Loop scenic drive to observe some buffalo and pronghorns.
Day 2 - Hike to Devil's Tower Wyoming
This day we took a drive to Wyoming to explore and hike this unique geologic formation. No aliens spotted.
Day 3 - Minuteman Missile Silo and Badlands
We visited the Minuteman Missile silo and hiked into the nearby Badlands National Park with a stop at a local Western town. Many pocket knives were purchased here!
Upon our return back to camp, we were fortunate to have private tour of the State Game Lodge which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It served as the “Summer White House” for President Calvin Coolidge in 1927 and was visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. We also got to see the Secret Service underground tunnels and even a ghost tour! Shown is the the actual room occupied by President Coolidge for 3 months during the summer of his first term.
This was an incredibly successful first STARS trip and wee hope to take more trips and tours to explore our national history. If you have ideas, please let us know and we can make it happen!
If you would like to learn more about STARS please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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