Saturday, June 21, 2008

Iron Mountain Highway

We actually did more yesterday than just drive Iron Mountain Highway, but this drive is one of my favorite things to do here in the Black Hills. We saw the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen on our way home and this is the first picture I am posting. Both Joshua and I feel that we have never seen a rainbow so bright and vivid. And it was a double rainbow and we could see the entire arc and both sides. Couldn't find the pot of gold, but it was a gold star rainbow for sure. The picture just doesn't do it justice.

You can just barely make out the double rainbow here.

We also visited Reptile Garden. Although I don't like to see snakes in the wild, I love visiting reptile zoos. And since I spent 4 months in the Everglades telling kids about alligators and such, I also enjoy these creatures too. But this kid above made me nervous. He did the snake show and the alligator show as well as the bird show and I guess he does them 4 times a day. We missed the bird show since it had started raining quite hard about that time. In the snake show he actually took out 3 poisonous snakes: a water moccasin (cottonmouth), a prairie rattlesnake which is common to SD, and some type of mamba I believe. Did I tell you he made me nervous? He did have on boots, but no gloves or even a long sleeve shirt. You probably can't tell, but he was a young kid too, I would say in his early 20s. But he was good. He told jokes and kidded around while giving the show. You could tell he really loved these creature. Now for the story above, here he was in a walled enclosure with 30+ crocodiles and alligators from all over the world. He explained why it is relatively easy to hold a croc or alligator's jaws closed with your bare hands and then proceeded to show us. He said they have to learn to do this, not for the purpose of alligator wrestling for shows, but in the proper care and handling of these things. Like when they have to move one or something. Did I mention this kid made me nervous?

Here we are at the top of Iron Mountain Highway where we stopped at a lookout. Of course Joshua thinks it is necessary to show his strength by holding up this hole in the rock. Good job Joshua!

This picture is here for the contrast. It isn't the best picture because it is dark and blurry, but Joshua was in the middle of the tunnel, I was sitting in the car right at the edge of the tunnel and right in front of us was Mt. Rushmore. I had Joshua snap this shot so you could see the outline of the tunnel and the car with Mt. Rushmore in the background.

We also stopped at Custer State Park Visitor Center and got a state parks pass and picked up a map showing all the biking and hiking trails. Saturday we are going to do some hiking and biking. And on our way home we stopped in Hill City at the Alpine Inn for dinner. I had heard about this place when I was here several weeks ago, but never made it then. You see, they have no dinner menu. During the day at lunch they specialize in German food, which I did try and was very good. But at night you have 2 choices, 6oz or 9oz fillet Mignon, and how do you want it cooked. Every order is served with baked potato, butter and sour cream, a wedge of lettuce with house dressing (a great homemade ranch) and Texas toast. And don't try to ask for anything extra like cheese for the baked potato, because they don't have it. But the steak was good and it was fun way to close out the day.

1 comment:

Barbara and Ron said...

Did the kid really make you nervous?

Funny and interesting post. I've made a note drive the Iron Mountain Highway when I get to the Black Hills. I'll skip the Reptile Garden, though - my nerves can't take it.