Sunday, September 10, 2017

DAy 5 - Denver CO to Rapid City SD

September 2017 - Rapid City SD

Day 1 - Toronto to Chesterton IN
Day 2 - Chesterton IN to Rochester MN
Day 3 - Rochester MN to Lincoln NB
Day 4 - Lincoln NB to Denver CO

September 9

We wake up in Denver and have a hot breakfast due to Hilton Honors although this Doubletree was adverse to honoring the Gold members' entitlement to breakfast but I got a coupon.

Parking! Wikes! The worst I have ever seen in the States and we have paid some outrageous fees. BUT this $36 US self park $42 valet. At this price we valet park.

We check out a few more floors and head to breakfast. It turns out she had only given me a coupon for one breakfast so the server said to go and get another one which I did. Breakfast here was minimum $14 US per person.

We take a short walk over to the Performing Arts Centre, which is absolutely gorgeous.
The Denver Performing Arts Complex (sometimes referred to locally as "The Plex," "The DPAC " or simply, "Arts Complex") is one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States. The DPAC is a four-block, 12-acre (49,000 m2) site containing ten performance spaces with over 10,000 seats connected by an 80 ft (24 m) tall glass roof. It is home to a theatre company, Broadway touring productions, contemporary dance and ballet, chorales, a symphony orchestra, opera and more.

We get our car out of hock and set out around 10.

We cross into Wyoming and are greeted by this buffalo.

 The complete capitol building was under renovations. windows removed, doors boarded up.


Granite statue of an American soldier  TAKING THE OATH
On the front of the pedestal:
erected to the memory of the heroes of the Spanish American war
by the state of Wyoming and the Ladies Volunteer Aid Society

Bronze statue of Elling William “Bill” Gollings, by artist Jerry Palen of Saratoga.

Bill Gollings was a Wyoming working cowboy and renowned artist. Four of Gollings’ large oil paintings, from 1918, hang in the State Capitol Building.

Attack on the Overland Stage
Attack on the Overland Stage

Bronze relief of a Wyoming cowboy and three soldiers before an American flag, mounted on a granite stone.
eternal gratutude to the men and women who have served and sacrificed in the
Wyoming Army and Air national guard.

We headed to the West Museum but it is only open Monday to Friday.

So we chose the Frontier Days Museum which will get its own post. It is a great museum with an entry fee of $9 each for seniors.

From the sculptor and author, Veryl Goodnight:

"No Turning back is without a doubt one of my most significant works. It seems to be timeless in that it has been reproduced on the cover of a CD album in which a song was composed from the accompanying poem I wrote. Arizona Highways used an image of the sculpture on the cover of a book titled "Stalwart Women".
Every major western art magazine has used an image of "No turning Back", and it was featured in "Sculptors of the Rockies", a book produced by Southwest Art magazine in 2009. The life-size version of "No Turning Back" is now on the cover of a book on my work of the same name.

No Turning Back

Too young and naive
to think they could fail
Too full of visions
for the end of the trail
They stored their silk dresses
and donned calico
To join in the cry
of Westward Ho
Their diaries tell
of the endless hours
The vast sea of grass
and bounty of wildflowers
They tell of children
conceived and born
And of those who were buried
in the gray silent morn
Still the wagons rolled on
and the ruts got deeper
The column moved westward
as the route got steeper
Teams dropped from exhaustion
in the summer heat
As the emigrants pressed on
defying defeat
They met Indians who were friends
and many that were foe
They saw days of drought
and blinding snow
Only one thing was certain
along this wagon track
There was absolutely
No Turning Back


Other than gas/bathroom breaks and a soft ice cream we don't really stop again.

Another sculpture, a cowboy and his dog.

Going through Lusk.

Rapid City is our destination and we saw several signs and firetrucks on our way.

Rapid City named after Rapid Creek, on which the city is established, it is set against the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range. Known as the "Gateway to the Black Hills" and the "City of Presidents", it is split by a low mountain ridge that divides the western and eastern parts of the city. The historic "Old West" town of Deadwood is nearby. In the neighboring Black Hills are the popular tourist attractions of Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park.

We stop for groceries before we check in.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Rapid City, conveniently located off I-90 in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. just 35 minutes from Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park.
This is the latest addition to the Hilton chain and it was very impressive. Breakfast is provided.

Dinner was cold cuts and fabulous fresh sourdough bread (for me)!


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