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BLACK HILLS 5 DAY TRIP REPORT

THE BEST PLACE EVER! BLACK HILLS SOUTH DAKOTA
SEPT. 11, 2008-SEPTEMBER 15, 2008

DAY 1-DROVE FROM IOWA TO HOTSPRINGS, SD ABOUT A 13 HOUR DRIVE HAD TO MAKE A STOP IN SCOTTSBLUFF, NE TO DROP MY PARROT OFF AT THE BIRDSITTER. ARRIVED IN HOT SPRINGS, SD AROUND 7:30P.M. WE ACTUALLY GAINED AN HOUR WITH THE TIME CHANGE. SPENT THE NIGHT AT THE RED ROCK RIVER RESORT, HOT SPRINGS, SD. WONDERFUL PLACE; STAYED IN ROOM 210 THE PRAIRIE FLOWER ROOM, $270 WITH THE COUPLES MASSAGE PACKAGE-INCLUDED THE ROOM, 1 HOUR COUPLES MASSAGE, AND SPA USAGE (SAUNA, HOT TUB, GRANITE ROOM, SAND ROOM, SHOWERS, ETC.PER NIGHT GREAT RATE FOR THE ROOM- HUGE ROOM THE BATHTUB WAS LIKE 8 FEET LONG, THE LONG LONGEST TUB I'VE EVER SEEN. SHOWER TUB COMBO, NICE BIG FLUFFY TOWELS, GAVE US SPA ROBES, NICE SIZE BATHROOM, HUGE BEDROOM WITH THE MOST COMFORTABLE FLUFFY BIG QUEEN BED. HUGE CEILING FAN EVERYTHING WAS OVERSIZED IN THE ROOM. TV ABOUT 30 INCH MAYBE DIDN'T WATCH, NOT SURE HOW MANY CHANNELS, NO PHONE, ALARM CLOCK, SOFA, WINDOW AC, COFFE TABLE, REALLY TALL WINDOWS SURROUNDING THE WHOLE ROOM I DIDN'T MEASURE THEM BUT THEY LOOKED AT LEAST 8 FEET HIGH, SOME STREET NOISE DUE TO THE WINDOWS NOT BAD, ROOM WAS LOCATED ON THE 2ND FLOOR. ASKED THE LADY AT DESK FOR A IRON AND BLOW DRYER NOT IN ROOM, SHE HAD ONE TO MY ROOM RIGHT AWAY, SLIGHT WEAR AND TEAR IN HOTEL NOTHING MAJOR, YOU CAN TELL THEY HAVE DONE SOME REMODELING IT'S AN OLDER BUT FABULOUS HOTEL IT WAS SO LOVELY, VERY NICE. WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND. THEY DO NOT SERVE BREAKFAST AT THE RED ROCK RIVER RESORT, THE ONLY MAJOR DOWNSIDE AND THEY DIDN'T HAVE VERY MANY FAST FOOD BREAKFAST STOPS THAT WERE ON OUR ROUTE. THEY SERVED DINNER A PRICEY MENU, I THINK A STEAK DINNER WAS $29. AFTER WE CHECKED IN WE ASKED WHERE WE COULD FIND SWIM TRUNKS, MY HUSBAND FORGOT HIS AND WE WANTED TO USE THE SPA, THEY SUGGESTED EVANS PLUNGE DOWN THE STREET WHICH CLOSED AT 9:00P.M. I BELIEVE. WE RUSHED DOWN THERE, TO FIND OUT THE GIFT SHOP WAS CLOSED SO WE COULD NOT BUY TRUNKS EVEN THOUGH THE TRUNKS WERE SITTING RIGHT BY THE CASH REGISTER WHERE AN EMPLOYEE WAS ATTENDING. SHE SAID SHE COULD NOT SELL US THE TRUNKS. ANYWAY LOOKED AT EVANS PLUNGE IT WAS A REALLY BIG HOT SPRINGS, POOL WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE IF WE HAD BROUGHT THE KIDS. ANYWAY LEFT THERE ON THE WAY BACK TO THE HOTEL SAW A PLACE DOWN THE STREET CALLED SPRINGS STEAKHOUSE IT WAS LOCATED JUST INSIDE THE BRAUN HISTORIC HOTEL ON NORTH RIVER STREET JUST NORTH OF EVANS PLUNGE-MY HUSBAND HAD A RIBEYE STEAK WITH BAKED POTATO, VEGGIES AND SALAD BAR, FOR $15.95 WE SHARED A DRINK, I HAD A FILET MIGNON WITH SOME GREAT MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY, ROLL AND SALAD BAR FOR $10.95 MY HUSBANDS RIBEYE WAS THE BEST WE HAD ON OUR WHOLE VACATION HE IS A STEAK FANATIC, MY FILET WAS ABOUT A 7 OUT OF 10, BUT HIS STEAK MADE IT WORTH IT. WE SHOWERED WENT TO SLEEP. BEST SLEEP THE WHOLE VACATION FOR MY HUSBAND.

DAY 2-WOKE UP AND HAD A COUPLES MASSAGE AT 8:00A.M. A FEW STEPS DOWN THE HALL FROM OUR ROOM WALKED DOWN THERE IN OUR ROBES FILLED OUT A SHORT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR LIKES FORM-I HAD GENIE MY HUSBAND HAD KRISTA, I HAVE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AND THIS WAS MY 1ST MASSAGE EVER, I WAS VERY HESITANT TO GET IT HURT SO BAD WHEN JENIE STARTED SHE TOLD ME TO BREATH WITH HER INSTEAD OF AGAINST HER, I HAVE TO BE HONEST AND SAY I WAS IN A LOT OF PAIN WITH MY CONDITION BUT AFTERWARD I FELT LIKE A MILLION DOLLARS, OH I FELT GREAT, SO GOOD IN FACT I IMMEDIATE BOOKED ANOTHER MASSGE WITH GENIE, MY HUSBAND WAS HAPPY WITH KRISTA TOO BUT HE GETS MASSGAES ALL THE TIME. IMMEDIATE AFTER OUR MASSAGES WE HEADED TO BLACK HILLS WILD HORSE SANCTUARY, MARK OUR TOUR GUIDE $104 WITH TAX-I WAS REALLY HESITANT TO DO THIS, BECAUSE OF THE COST, OUR 2 HOUR TOUR TURNED INTO THREE, IT WAS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL THEY DO ASK FOR SUPPORT AND OFFER TO SALE SOME OF THE HORSE, POPULATION CONTROL IT WAS NOT ANNOYING OR OVERWHELMING AT ALL, SEEN WILD HORSES ROAMING WAY UP ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE, BEAUTIFUL LANDS BEAUTIFUL HORSES, WE TOURED ON A SMALL SCHOOL BUS, I DON'T KNOW IF IT HAD AC IT WAS A COOL DAY, WE BOTH LOVED THIS TOUR CAME VERY CLOSE UP TO SOME OF THE WILD HORSE HERDS, ONE OF THE HORSES TOOK A LIKING TO ME AND MY HUSBAND AND CAME REALLY CLOSE TO US. A LITTLE SCARY, IT WAS WORTH EVERY CENT. WE HEADED TO OUR B & B AFTER THE WILD HORSE TOUR. OUR B & B WAS IN THE MOUNTAINS OF KEYSTONE AT THE BUFFALO ROCK LODGE, WE STAYED IN THE CC GIDEON ROOM THE 1ST NIGHT, TWO QUEEN BEDS, VERY COMFORTABLE, NICE ROOM WITH SOFA IN IT. MARILYN WAS HOSPITABLE ART WASN'T FEELING TO GOOD NOT AS HOSPITABLE, HUGE WHIRPOOL IN ROOM ALONG WITH A CLAW FOOT BATH TUB, NO SHOWER, NO TV, NO PHONES, NO EATING IN ROOM, THERE IS A GUEST FRIDGE OUT ON DECK TO STORE THINGS IN. AND A GUEST TV AREA WITH SOFA AND CHAIR; AN EXCERCISE BIKE, TWO HUGE DINING TABLES, A FIREPLACE, MARILYN AND ART FIXED A WONDERFUL BREAKFST EVERY MORNING, OUR 1ST MORNING WE HAD RASPBERRY FRENCH TOAST, ART MAD HIS DELICIOUS SIGNATURE HASHBROWNS AND BACON, SCRAMBLED EGGS, PEELED ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT, OJ ALL VERY VERY GOOD. HAD TO CHECK OUT THEY ONLY HAD A ROOM AVAILABLE ON OUR 2ND AND 4TH DAY. MET A WONDERFUL COUPLE FROM CALIFORNIA BILL AND SUE. SO AFTER WE CHECKED OUT WE HEADED TO BEAR COUNTRY USA, SUE AND BILL WERE RIGHT BEHIND US, BEAR COUNTRY IS SO NICE, IF YOU ARE NOT USE TO A LOT OF WILDLIFE, THE BEARS ACTUALLY WALK RIGHT UP TO YOUR CAR, THEY HAVE SOME MANY ANIMALS YOU MAY HAVE NEVER SEEN WOLVES RIGHT OUTSIDE YOUR CAR DOOR, THE BABYLAND AT THE END IS ALSO GREAT AS OTHERS HAVE REPORTED. IT IS WORTH THE $15 EACH FOR ENTRANCE FEE, I PURCHASED THE BLACK HILLS DISCOUNT CARD AND GOT $10 OFF OUR ADMISSION FEE NOT BAD. AFTER THAT WE HEADED TO WALL DRUG, IN WALL SD RIGHT BEFORE THE BADLANDS SCENIC LOOP-1 HOUR RUSHING TOTAL TIME, BUT IT IS A WAY FROM RAPID CITY ABOUT 1 HOUR I BELIEVE, WE WERE IN A RUSH, SO WE SKIPPED WALL DRUG IT KIND OF LOOKED LIKE A CHAIN OF SHOPS RATHER THAN ONE BIG STORE? I'M NOT SURE DIDN'T GO IN. BADLANDS WERE SO BEAUTIFUL VERY BEAUTIFUL RUSHED THROUGH BUT TOOK LOTS OF PICTURES. HEADED TO THE ROO RANCH IN DEADWOOD, SD, IT'S ACTUALLY A LITTLE BIT BEFORE DEADWOOD PERFECT FOR US, ANOTHER GREAT ATTRACTION VERY NEW A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT. LOTS OF ROOS TO SEE AS WELL AS SOME OTHER ANIMALS, TOOK A PICTURE WITH A BABY JOEY, HIGHLIGHT OF MY TRIP. THEN WE HEADED TO DEADWOOD TO GET ANOTHER MASSAGE, A ROMANTIC COUPLES PACKAGE AT STRESS RELIEF MASSAGES, NOW YOU KNOW WHAT WE WERE IN A HURRY FOR. $212 FOR THE PACKAGE, 30 MINUTES IN HOT TUB, IT'S OUTSIDE IN A GAZEBO IN DOWNTOWN DEADWOOD, GOOD PEOPLE WATCHING, BUT YOU BARLEY GO OUTSIDE TO GET IN IT, THEY GAVE US SUITS WE FORGOT OURS, THEN AFTER THE HOTTUB YOU GO INSIDE TO A REALLY WARM ROOM WITH 2 RECLINERS WHERE THE GIRLS MASSAGE YOUR FEET WHILE YOU EAT CHEESE AND CRACKERS VERY GOOD WITH SPARKLING WINE, AFTER THAT YOU HEAD TO A ROOM THAT HAS A VERY SEDUCTIVE SETTING AND GET YOUR COUPLES MASSAGE, AGAIN WORTH EVERY PENNY, I'LL JUST LET YOU KNOW I WASN'T DISAPPOINTED WITH HARDLY ANYTHING ON THIS VACATION. AFTER OUR MASSAGES WE HEADED TO OUR NEXT B & B IN HILL CITY, SD EMERALD PINES REFUGE B & B, MARILYN AND AL WERE OUR HOSTS-THEY WERE THE BEST HOST OF ANYPLACE I'VE EVER STAYED, BOTH MARILYN AND AL WERE SO FRIENDLY THEY WERE LIKE LOVING PARENTS MARRIED 44YEARS THEY WERE GREAT MARILYN FIXED US A REAL FRESH FRUIT CUP TASTED LIKE THE RASPBERRIES AND BLUEBERRIES, PEACHES, GRAPES HAD JUST BEEN PICKED, THEN SHE MADE US HOMEMADE BREAKFAST PIZZA GREAT! HOMEMADE BLUEBERRY MUFFIN, OJ. OUR ROOM WAS IN THE BASEMENT; THE KNOTTY PINE ROOM NICE SIZE ROOM WITH QUEEN BED SELECT COMFORT, MY HUSBAND HATED THE BED I LOVED IT WE MADE BOTH OF OUR SIDES SOFT BUT HE IS 260 POUNDS, 6 FOOT, HE DID NOT ADJUST IT RIGHT (MY OPINION) THEY HAD SO MANY EXTRAS, A HOT WATER POT WITH A BASKET OF TEAS, HOT CHOCOLATE, COFFEE, CANDY DISH, MARILYN MADE HOMEADE BROWNIES AND SET THEM BY THE COFFEE CUPS IN OUR ROOM, THERE WAS A SNACK BASKET WITH DORITOS, CHEETOS, A CAN OF STRAWBERRY COUNTRY TIME LEMONADE, AND WILD CHERRY PEPSI, BOTTLED WATER, COTTON BALLS, AND QTIPS IN BATHROOM, THERE IS A SEPERATE BATHROOM SINK AREA, AND THEN A HUGE ROOM WHERE THE JACUZZI IS, HAS A SINK, JACUZZI BATH SOAP PACKAGES, THE HOUSE ITSELF WAS REALLY BEAUTIFIL LOOKED LIKE A LOG CABIN, THEY ONLY HAVE 2 ROOMS, A HELPFUL TIP WHEN YOU TURN ON EMERALD PINES DRIVE JUST GO STRAIGHT BACK UNTIL YOU CAN'T GO ANYMORE YOU WILL GO RIGHT INTO THEIR DRIVEWAY. THE GPS HAD US STOP AT THEIR MAILBOX WHICH IS NOT BY THEIR HOUSE! IT IS EASY TO FIND. I WOULD STAY THERE ANYTIME AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE. NO TV IN ROOM BUT THEY HAD A BIG TV ROOM RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR ROOM WITH MOVIES TOO TIRED TO WATCH IT. THEY HAD A PHONE/ALARM CLOCK COMBO IN ROOM, MARILYN GOT ME A IRON AND IRONING BOARD RIGHT AWAY WHEN I REQUESTED IT. YOU CAN HEAR LIGHT FOOTSTEPS ACROSS THE CEILING BUT IT WASN'T AFTER 10:00P.M. I AM AN EXTREMELY LIGHT SLEEPER AND THIS WOULD NOT DETOUR ME FROM STAYING THERE.


DAY 3-HEADED TO BIG THUNDER GOLD MINE FOR OUR ALL DAY TOUR WITH GREYLINE TOURS, CALLED THEM LAST MINUTE THE NIGHT BEFORE AND THEY AGREED TO PICK US UP AT THE GOLD MINE OTHERS HAD LOADED THE BUS IN RAPID CITY, WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE GREAT FOR US I THINK IT ONLY TOOK US 15 MINUTES MAX TO GET THERE FROM EMERALD PINES B & B. I CHOSE THIS LAST MINUTE BECAUSE MY HUSBAND WAS TIRED FROM DRIVING AND HE DESERVED A BREAK AND A CHANCE TO RELAX AND UNWIND, WHAT A GREAT CHOICDE FOR $113.70 FOR THE BOTH OF US, STARTED WITH A QUICK TOUR OF THE GOLD MINE VERY INFORMATIVE AND INTERESTING. THEN WE WENT TO MT. RUSHMORE, DID THE PRESIDENTIAL TRAIL VERY STRENOUS AT THE END OF THE TRAIL, BUT WORTH IT GREAT PICTURES, MAKE SURE YOU DO IT AS SOON AS YOU EXIT THE BUS THEN YOU HAVE ABOUT 20 MINUTES TO SPARE. DID CRAZY HORSE (YOU MUST SEE THE FILM OR YOU WILL BE IGNORANT TO WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT) I SAW SO MANY NEGATIVE REVIEWS ON IT. LEARN THE HISTORY OF SOMETHING BEFORE YOU JUDGE, THAT WAS GREAT, THE BUS DRIVER THEN TOOK US TO A BUFFET LUNCH INCLUDED DESERTS AND DRINKS INT EH PRICE NOT BAD FOOD WAS DECENT, THEN WE DID CUSTER PARK (NOT THE WILDLIFE LOOP) NEEDLES HWY THE BUS SQUEEZED THROUGH TINY TUNNELS AN ADVENTURE IN ITSELF, IRON MOUNTAIN ROAD FED THE WILD BURROS (LOVED THAT SO MUCH) LOTS OF SCENIC DRIVING. WORTH EVERY CENT AGAIN! THE BUS DRIVER'S NAME WAS RANDY FOR GREYLINE TOURS. THEY DROPPED US BACK OFF AT THE BIG THUNDER GOLD MINE, AND WE HEADED BACK TO THE BUFFALO ROCK LODGE B & B FOR OUR FINAL NIGHT WE SPENT OUR LAST NIGHT IN THE PETER NORBECK ROOM BOTH ROOMS WERE $135 PER NIGHT PLUS TAX. IN THE MORNING WE WOKE UP TO ARTS FAMOUS BACON AND HASHBROWNS SCRAMBLED EGGS, STRAWBERRIES AND BANANAS AND ONE OF MARILYNS SPECIAL APPLE BAKED ENTREES. UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS TIME FOR US TO HEAD HOME SO WE DEPARTED AT AROUND 8:30A.M. WENT BACK TO PICK UP THE PARROT IN SCOTTSBLUFF, NE THEN HEADED HOME WE ARRIVED HOME AROUND 10:30P.M. THE END

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