May 23, 2012

Distance today = 53.46 km; Total distance = 6666.58 km; Location = Mount Rushmore – 43 53.011′ N, 103 26.847′ W; Start time = 0809, Finish time = 1659


Today was about 20C cooler than yesterday, and that suited me just fine.

After running the 20 km from Pringle to Custer, I headed off to the Crazy Horse Memorial. It’s the biggest mountain carving in the world, and has been under construction since 1948. There still appears to be plenty to do, so it may not be complete until the second half of this century. All the same, it’s very impressive already.

One of the great joys of today was running on the Mickelson Trail, a converted rail line. I have run and cycled many “rail trails”, including the Otago Central in NZ and several in the French countryside. I reckon this one, however, is the pick. It was so picturesque – and quiet. I only saw two cyclists during my 30 km or so that I was on the trail. The babbling brooks and mountain streams were especially beautiful.

I did strike a bit of rain while I was on the trail – just the third time I’ve experienced rain since the beginning of the year. Still, I can’t complain, particularly as it only persisted for about half an hour.

Once off the trail, I headed toward Mount Rushmore on the US 244. This was equally as breathtaking, and with little traffic, it was a real joy to run. Anyone visiting Mount Rushmore must drive this road – fantastic forests and mountain scenes.

I finished at Mount Rushmore, but didn’t get much of a chance to look at it. I’ll report on that particular monument tomorrow, as I start from there in the morning. My official position is about a mile back up the mountain from where the Tracker is showing me.

PS We had a great time last night at The Naked Winery in Custer, where we met some really nice people – check out the photos in the Home section.