The "needles" are all along the highway and can be seen from all directions.
The road is a mere 14 miles but is spectacular to see. It was carefully planned by former South Dakota Governor peter Norbeck who marked the entire course on foot and by horseback.
Construction of this road was complete in 1922.
Marcella, Landon, BJ, Wayne, Lexie, Ozzie and I traveled the Needles Highway as part of our trip to see Mount Rushmore this day.
Wayne told me later that he enjoyed the scenery along this highway as much or more than any he can remember. That could have something to do with seeing some of the leaves turning yellow. He likes autumn.
There is a unique rock formation along this route where a particular opening looks like the "eye" of a needle. This rock is called, naturally, the "Needle's Eye".
|The approach to the Needles Eye|
Needles Highway has several narrow tunnels and the first was the only way out of the small congested area that contained the bus and it's tourists. I learned later that this particular tunnel was a tight 8'4" wide and 12' high. Yes, the tourist bus DID eventually go through this tunnel. It was quite a sight. We watched it come through from the other side.
|The driver of this truck ahead of us stopped to pull in his side mirrors before going through.|
|Difficult to see in the picture, but this is the other side of the tunnel. |
Another large bus is just about to emerge from the tiny opening.
The cars going up the hill are waiting for the bus to clear the way.
|The Wayner and me -- Lexie and Ozzie wait in the car.|
The huge rock formations continued to be seen as we drove. Some could only be seen from a distance while others seemed so close the road could only wind around them.
|Wayne gives some tasty treats to Chip.|
|I'm feeding a whole family with one hand!|
The ride today would ultimately take us over to the Iron Mountain Road where we'd travel through three more tunnels, around some pigtail bridges and ultimately to Mt Rushmore -- another place I've never been.
Whether or not you've seen Mt Rushmore, I hope you'll travel with us to see it in late afternoon and at night.