Jeff Goeke-Smith

November 28, 2021

The Montana Trip (Part 2)


Traveling during the second week of November is a mixed experience.  On one hand, crowds are not a problem, but sometimes places are just closed when I show up on a Tuesday.

The South Dakota Air and Space Museum is one such place, located right on the edge of Ellsworth Air Force Base.  Thankfully, a lot of the exhibits are parked outside and they are open enough for you to go do the self guided walking tour of the aircraft.  And it's not a bad selection at all.




I do hope to return when the interior exhibits are open to enjoy the rest of the museum.  The outdoor tour was still worth the visit.


I don't have many photos of the Crazy Horse memorial.  It's under active, but very slow, construction. A very ambitious project and it was worth the trip to go see that level of ambition in person.  The story of the memorial's process is worth hearing and understanding, and I will not attempt to summarize it here.


Devil's Tower is a natural wonder that is best experienced in person.  Photos can give you a vague idea of what you are getting into, but they can not provide the sense of scale that happens in person.




Again, traveling in November leads to some interesting experiences.  I both entered and exited the monument before staff had arrived for the day.

I am an infrastructure nerd.  For me, it's interesting to see what signage was deemed most important.


Okay, that is an obviously useful sign.  A sign that it's time to press forward rather than turning back.

Viewing tubes?
I have to admire the simplicity.  No, I did not pick out the wooden stake ladder.
This was a dead end trail spur, that leads to a great picture spot. A spot so good the sign, guard rail, bench or something has been cut down and removed.

From 30 years ago, I remember the National Parks did a passport book.  Even with everything closed, that's still a thing, but a little more DIY than I remember it from my youth.

And with that, I departed and finished the drive to Montana.