Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dakota Bike Tours Black Hills Monument Tour-Day 1 Palmer Gulch Resort

The Black Hills Monument Tour is a four day cycling adventure exploring the South Dakota Black Hills, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Needles Highway, Custer State Park Wildlife Loop, and part of the Mickelson Trail. The tour started at the Palmer Gulch Resort which is located 25 miles from Rapid City, between Hill City and Mt Rushmore along SD Hwy 244. The KOA Campground at Palmer Gulch has it all: campsites, RV sites, cabins, lodges, swimming pools, mini-golf, water slides, chuck wagon rides, horse rides, and even Wi-Fi.
The little "town" of Palmer Gulch-pizza, ice cream, wine, coffee, laundery, convenience store and a 90 horse stable.

The Ponderosa Restaurant overlooks the campground and features steaks and seafood-just in case campers get tired of hot dogs.

The campground includes a stable and Laurel found time to get in a ride on a four-legged animal named "Walter".

The Palmer Lodge accommodated most of the riders.

We were fortunate to stay in the 3 bedroom Grand Executive Lodge-our home for two nights.
Not bad at all.

This was the view from the deck of our cabin. Mt Harney rises 7,242 feet in the background framed by evergreens and the black rock.

After settling in and a quick bike check we do our first ride-a 9 mile downhill along Deerfield Road through Hill City.
All smiles as Laurel tackles the first official hill climb of the ride, just enough to build up an appetite for dinner.

Stuffed with gourmet pizza and two servings of brownies the evening winds down in anticipation of tomorrow's ride-my first view of Mt Rushmore and 3,500 ft of climbing at 5,400 feet elevation.

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