June 19, 2012

The Hills, Part 3: Needles Highway

Our final day in the Hills was our favorite, by far. We started out that morning with a visit to The Chapel In The Hills and then drove southwest through Custer and then back up to Needles Highway. They call it needles highway because the mountains are shaped like needles.

And the road is a bit, um... treacherous.




Once you wind your way up 7,000 feet, your husband nearly passes out from the beauty of Sylvan Lake. He camped there with his family when he was little. It was definitely somewhere we'll visit again. Like, with sleeping bags and a cabin rental (you don't want to go without the cabin these days; mountain lions and such).








Needles.






Also on Needles Highway, a variety of tunnels that were almost exactly as tall and wide as the Suburban. With water dripping from the snow above. Really. SO COOL.




Because at the top? Well, the oxygen was low. But also, it was like God sitting up there Himself.




On the way back down the mountains, we went through Custer State Park.




Raise your hand if you knew that wild donkeys roamed in Custer State Park to keep the mountain lions away.





And then it was back UP the mountains again as we approached Keystone.




Let me tell you something. I had some mental imagery of what I thought seeing Mount Rushmore would be like. All National Treasures, Part 2 and stuff. I suppose if we'd taken the regular road up into the park and then paid admission to get out, if THAT had been my first glimpse I would have thought it beautiful.

But that is not what we did. Husband drove up through the mountains again, along another 20 mph road that wound around and around [where we never did see any wild goats] and then suddenly, he stopped the truck. "Look!" he pointed across me, as we both peeked through the trees.

Well, hello Forefathers! It wasn't beautiful; it was BREATHTAKING.




Once we drove back down into Keystone, visited the Wax Museum and taffy shop, we did finally make it to the actual park. We listened to the presentation and we hiked all the way up to the guys. It was truly amazing.





Thank you, my love, for the best vacation. I can't wait to do it again!

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