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Mount Rushmore, Black Hills and Badlands: Vanishing Trails

Program Number: 13160RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/29/2013 - 10/5/2013; 5/3/2015 - 5/9/2015; 5/10/2015 - 5/16/2015; 5/17/2015 - 5/23/2015; 5/24/2015 - 5/30/2015; 5/31/2015 - 6/6/2015; 6/7/2015 - 6/13/2015; 6/14/2015 - 6/20/2015; 6/21/2015 - 6/27/2015; 7/19/2015 - 7/25/2015; 8/9/2015 - 8/15/2015; 8/16/2015 - 8/22/2015; 8/23/2015 - 8/29/2015; 8/30/2015 - 9/5/2015; 9/6/2015 - 9/12/2015; 9/13/2015 - 9/19/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Price starting at: $1,149.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; History & Culture; Native American Studies Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

The land now shadowed by Mount Rushmore was, up until the 1870s, called the "last great unknown." Enrich your understanding of American growth in this vast wilderness as you immerse yourself in the discovery of Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Badlands National Park and Deadwood. Study the lives of gold seekers and sod busters, and discover the Old West before a handful of presidents made it famous.




Highlights

• Field trips get you up close to Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial and Custer State Park’s bison and begging burros.
• Experience Deadwood and its colorful history — Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok and The Homestake Gold Mine.
• Ride a historic 1880 steam engine train to explore the beautiful back country of the Black Hills.



Activity Particulars

Walking indoors and out along groomed paths up to one mile with some stairs. Elevations between 4,300 and 5,200 feet.



Coordinated by Black Hills Educational Institute.




Mount Rushmore

Massive granite faces overlook the forested treetops of the Black Hills, representing the first 150 years of American history in the sculptural representation of four U.S. presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. Mount Rushmore and the gateway town of Keystone attract visitors to this beautiful, storied region of the state.



Accommodations
Secluded timber frame lodge a short distance from Mount Rushmore nestled on 31 forested acres with a large meadow that is often a wildlife playground.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
John Esposti

Born and raised in central New Jersey, John Esposti made the decision at five years of age to go out west and meet his destiny. At 18, he enrolled at the University of Idaho and received a degree in education. He then moved to Valdez, Alaska to teach woodworking, drafting and electronics. After four years of working and experiencing all sorts of adventures in a wild and amazing land, he climbed onto a sailboat and sailed off into the sunset bound for Hawaii, and later attended the University of Hawaii. After marrying his wife, Cindy, John returned to the Black Hills to operate a family-run business named Rushmore Cave. After selling the cave business in 2008, John worked for three years at the renowned Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City, S.D. Today, he and Cindy are starting a new venture called GeoFunTrek, with a goal to provide stimulating visitor experiences in the form of day-long educational explorations in the Black Hills.
 
Stephen Yellowhawk

Stephen Yellowhawk was born on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in Eagle Butte, S.D., and was raised in Rapid City by his grandparents, Gerald and Johanna Yellowhawk. He was first inspired to dance by his uncle, Jim Yellowhawk, a world-renowned artist, and has been sharing his talents for traditional dance since he was 14 years old. Stephen received a bachelor’s in elementary education from Oglala Lakota College, and is actively pursuing a master’s degree in leadership and management, with the goal of becoming a leader in Indian education. He is currently employed at the Okiciyapi Wellness Center as a health technician, providing guidance to Native American diabetic patients, and serves as the board president for the Black Hills Powwow Association.
 
Paul Horsted

Paul Horsted has been photographing South Dakota’s people and places for more than 30 years. Early in his career, he was a staff photographer at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and later served as chief photographer at the South Dakota Department of Tourism. Now living in Custer, Paul has been an independent freelance photographer for the past two decades. His work has appeared in publications such as LIFE magazine, Reader's Digest, and Smithsonian, and he's a frequent contributor to South Dakota Magazine. Paul is co-author of the award-winning book, “Exploring With Custer: The 1874 Black Hills Expedition,” and of the more recent book, “The Black Hills Yesterday & Today.” In 2009, Paul and his research partners released a companion volume about the 1874 Custer Expedition's travels to and from the Black Hills, entitled, “Crossing the Plains With Custer.”
 
Lilah Pengra

A student of humankind, Lilah Morton Pengra earned her doctorate in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in anthropology, with special interest areas in sociolinguistics and American ethnic groups. She taught has taught extensively on the topic, worked as a medical anthropologist, and is the author of the books “Your Values, My Values: Multicultural services in developmental disabilities,” and “Sarah Campbell: The first white woman in the Black Hills was African American.” She also leads presentations for the South Dakota Humanities Council on topics designed to reduce racism. Lilah lives with her husband in a passive solar home near Buffalo Gap that they designed and built. In her free time, she creates unique art jewelry, works to restore native prairie in her yard, and enjoys studying local history.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   K Bar S Lodge
  Keystone, SD 6 nights
 K Bar S Lodge
Type: Hotel
  Description: The K Bar S Lodge, built in 2006, is located with a view of Mt. Rushmore. It is quietly secluded on 31 forested acres and away from busy streets. Battle Creek winds its way throughout the property and the large meadow in front of the Lodge is often the playground for deer and turkeys.
  Contact info: 434 Old Hill City Rd.
Keystone, SD 57751 USA
phone: 866-522-7724
  Room amenities: Each room is equipped with an ironing board and iron, in room coffee, hair dryer, and television with remote control. All rooms feature highest quality Serta Presidential beds. Rooms are not equipped with a mini-fridge but, the 24 hour manned front desk has a large refrigerator for any medicines that may need to be kept cool.
  Facility amenities: A beautiful lobby provides a spectacular view of Mt. Rushmore and nearby Mt. Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps service all other hotel room buildings. Free guest laundry is available on site.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: call for pricing Extra night room reservations may be made by contacting the K Bar S Lodge directly at 1-866-522-7724.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call for pricing Extra night room reservations may be made by contacting the K Bar S Lodge directly at 1-866-522-7724.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check in 3:00pm. Orientation in K Bar S meeting room at 5:30pm. You will be staying at K Bar S Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast at 9:00am. Hotel check out at 11am. You will be staying at K Bar S Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
There is free parking on site at the K Bar S Lodge.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Keystone, SD
  Nearest city or town:  Rapid City, SD
  Nearest highway: US Hwy 16A off US Hwy 16 from Rapid City
  Nearest airport:  Rapid City Regional Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Keystone, SD
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Rapid City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Rapid Taxi
phone: 605-348-8080
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$45.00 flat rate.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

30 miles

   

Please call no earlier than two days ahead for reservations. Credit card and cash accepted.

 

Rapid City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Car Rentals
Budget
phone: 605-393-0488
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

30 miles

   

Unless you require personal transportation during the week or you plan to extend your visit we recommend using the Taxi or Airport Shuttle service. All local transportation is provided during the program.

 

Rapid City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Airport Shuttle Company
phone: 800-357-9998
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$45 per person for 1 - 2 people. $23 per person for 3 or more.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

30 miles

   

Please call a week in advance for reservations. The Airport Shuttle Company accepts cash. Credit cards accepted at terminal desk only.

 

Rapid City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Car Rentals
Alamo / National
phone: 605-393-2664
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

30 miles

   

Unless you require personal transportation during the week or you plan to extend your visit, we recommend using the Taxi or Airport Shuttle service. All local transportation is provided during the program.

 
Driving Directions
  Denver The Black Hills are about 400 miles north of Denver in western SD.
  Minneapolis Rapid City is about 700 miles west, south west of Minneapolis. Follow I90 to Rapid City and then US 16 and 16A into Keystone.
  Rapid City The K Bar S Lodge is located just 1/3 mile west of Keystone, South Dakota on the Old Hill City Road. If you are arriving on Interstate 90 take exit 57, which becomes US Highway 16. Continue on Hwy. 16 south approximately 25 miles to a large arched wooden bridge that is the exit to US Highway 16A. This is well signed as the route to Mt. Rushmore. From this bridge continue south approximately 3 miles to Keystone. As you arrive in Keystone, you’ll approach a stop light. At this light, turn right on Old Hill City Rd. and go less than 1/2 mile to the K Bar S sign showing the address as 434 Old Hill City Road. Turn right at the sign and go onto the property. Arriving by plane at Rapid City Regional Airport, you'll drive west on US Highway 44 and into Rapid City. At the intersection with US Highway 16, turn left (south) and go approximately 20 miles to a large arched wooden bridge that is the exit to US Highway 16A. Continue as above. Driving from Denver there are many routes through Nebraska or Wyoming. If arriving through Wyoming, the best route is north from Lusk on US Highway 85 to US Highway 18 at Mule Creek Junction. Turn right, east, toward Edgemont SD. After 12 miles, turn left on US Highway 89 that will then merge 16 miles later and become US Highway 385 north. Follow 385 north through the towns of Custer and Hill City to US Highway 16. Follow Highway 16 east to 16A and proceed as Described above into Keystone and to the K Bar S. If arriving through Nebraska, the best way is through Chadron on US Highway 385. Simply follow 385 north into South Dakota to the intersection with US Highway 16 described in the Wyoming directions and come into Keystone.
Elevation Note: Keystone is about 4,300 feet above sea level. Several of our field trips will be near 5,200 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Comfortable walking / hiking shoes, a light rain jacket, and a leak proof water bottle are highly recommended.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals / Orientation
(Sunday, September 29)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in time at the K Bar S Lodge is at 3:00 PM. Collect your Road Scholar Program Welcome Packet at time of check-in. Orientation will take place at 5:30 PM in the Lodge.
 Dinner: K Bar S Lodge.
 Evening: Feel free to settle into your room after dinner.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Tatanka / Historic Deadwood / Homestake Sanford Lab / Presentation
(Monday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge
 Morning: We'll kick off the week by discovering the Black Hills and surrounding area's rich Native American history and culture with a field trip to Tatanka - Story of the Bison, a native interpretation center with live demonstrations and personal contacts with native Lakota Sioux interpreters. Here we'll also see the third largest bronze sculpture in the world. Commissioned by actor Kevin Costner after making his block-buster movie, Dances With Wolves, this sculpture features several Native American riders chasing buffalo over a cliff. Each piece is 125% life size and incredibly well done. Later this morning travel into Historic Deadwood City. Here learn about of the struggles of the early gold seekers of the 1870's. Jump aboard a trolley and travel to Boot Hill to hear about legendary characters such as Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Poker Alice who helped to create the colorful history of Deadwood
 Lunch: In Deadwood
 Afternoon: This afternoon travel to the historic town of Lead. The sister city to historic Deadwood, Lead has played a pivotal role in the history of the Black Hills. Home to the Homestake Gold Mine, the streets of Lead tell a tale as rich as the gold mined from its hills. The Homestake Gold Mine was one of the early enterprises associated with the Gold Rush of 1876. The mining of gold from Homestake ceased several years ago due to low gold prices but, has begun a new life serving as a laboratory 4,850 feet underground. The lab is working towards a revolution in physics by studying neutrinos.
 Dinner: K Bar S Lodge
 Evening: Tonight the instructor will lecture on related information to the Black Hills and its surrounding peoples and cultures.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Custer State Park / Needles Scenic Byway / Crazy Horse Memorial / Presentation
(Tuesday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at K Bar S Lodge
 Morning: The Custer Expedition of 1874 is contributed with the illegal flood of white settlers into Sioux territory and the Black Hills. Colonel George Custer spent nearly two months exploring and recording the area around and within the Black Hills. It was during this trip that gold was discovered in French Creek near the current Custer State Park, thus creating the gold rush of 1874. This morning explore Custer State Park. The Park's pine forests, grassy meadows and towers of granite offer spectacular views while also providing a lush sanctuary for the park’s four-legged residents. Nearly 1,500 magnificent bison, along with fleet pronghorn, elusive elk, sure-footed mountain goats and a band of begging burrows freely roam the park’s sprawling 71,000 acres.
 Lunch: Enjoy an outdoor Western Cookout at the State Game Lodge - 1927 Summer White House to President Calvin Coolidge.
 Afternoon: In an effort to honor the rich heritage and traditions of Native Americans, Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear set out to carve a mountain just south of Mount Rushmore. In 1948, the two men agreed that this monument would be carved without any federal funding. Korczak and a handful of others began blasting the mountain and removing the rock. Ziolkowski died in 1982 but his family, led by his widow Ruth, continues to work on his great vision. The face of Crazy Horse was dedicated in 1998 and today precision blasting is carving out the features of his horse. When completed, the mountain will be 563-feet high and carved in the round. Korczak Ziolkowski wanted more than just a mountain carving. His 220-page master plan included museums, a medical school and training center, recreation area and an Avenue of Chiefs that would be lined with sculptural portraits of great Lakota and Native American leaders. His family plans to continue to work until this vision is realized. Today, the Crazy Horse Memorial campus offers visitors breath-taking views of the ongoing carving from its viewing veranda. The campus also includes an Indian Museum of North America, gift shop, welcome center, and Native American Cultural Center.
 Dinner: K Bar S Lodge
 Evening: Tonight the instructor will lecture on related information to the Black Hills and its surrounding peoples and cultures.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Mount Rushmore Memorial / Journey Museum / Rapid City / Lighting Ceremony
(Wednesday, October 2)
   
 Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge
 Morning: Amidst the emerald carpet of the Black Hills, sculptor Gutzon Borglum looked out upon craggy pine-clad mountains and saw not simply granite, but rather nature’s foundation for a majestic monument. Borglum’s vision became Mount Rushmore National Memorial as the noble portrayal of four of America’s leaders gradually emerged from the enduring granite. The towering faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln embody the birth, growth, preservation and development of the United States. This morning immerse yourself in the shadow of Mount Rushmore. Learn about the monument, the land it occupies and the artist whose vision created a symbol for all of America. Optional ½ mile walk with numerous stairs down the Sculptor’s Studio is available.
 Lunch: K Bar S Lodge
 Afternoon: This afternoon continue your week of exploration with a visit to the Journey Museum. The Journey takes you on an incredible trek through time, from the violent upheaval that formed the mystical Black Hills over 2.5 billion years ago to the continuing saga of the Western Frontier. The Journey Museum brings together four major prehistoric and historic collections to tell the complete story of the Western Great Plains - from the perspective of the Lakota peoples and the pioneers who shaped its past, to the scientists who now study it. Get a close up look at the struggles settlers and sod busters went through to tame the vast and wild land.
 Dinner: K Bar S Lodge
 Evening: Tonight attend the lighting ceremony at Mt. Rushmore. This is a very patriotic program presented in the open, outdoor auditorium. SUBJECT TO SEASONAL DATES AND WEATHER.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Badlands National Park / Prairie Homestead / Wall Drug / Presentation
(Thursday, October 3)
   
 Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge
 Morning: The settlers and gold seekers of early days often struggled daily just to stay alive - in their very effort to live and eat. En route to the Black Hills many traveled across the Badlands. This morning, on the edge of the Badlands, we'll visit an original sod house on the prairie still owned by the descendants of hardy explorers. The Prairie Homestead Historic Site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and gives us a true sense of the rough life of settlers of this by-gone era.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field
 Afternoon: This afternoon we’ll tour Badlands National Park. Time becomes difficult to comprehend as we learn about the deep canyons, towering spires and flat-topped tables of the Badlands. An inland sea covered this area 68-77 million years ago. Layers of sediment deposited over the next 75 million years give the Badlands their bands of colors while erosion continues to expose the inner most secrets of these lunar-like deposits. This land of sharp ridges, steep gullies, pyramids and knobs has been so ruthlessly ravaged by wind and water that it has become picturesque. The Badlands are a wonderland of bizarre, colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes and deep gorges. The forces that carved these features have not only created a unique topography; they have given a strange beauty to this almost desolate land.
 Dinner: K Bar S Lodge
 Evening: This evening enjoy a unique look into the colorful past of those who blazed the trail expanding the western frontier.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Presentation / Historic 1880 Train Ride / Hill City / Black Hills Geological Institute / Final Banquet
(Friday, October 4)
   
 Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge
 Morning: This morning the instructor will lecture on related information to the Black Hills and its surrounding peoples and cultures. Later this morning travel back in time as you ride through the beautiful back country of the Black Hills on the Historic 1880 Train. You'll have prime opportunity to spot a plethora of flora and fauna. The train will take you to the neighboring town of Hill City. This afternoon discover creatures from long ago with a group tour of the Black Hills Geologic Research Institute.
 Lunch: On your own in Hill City
 Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy the local flavor of Hill City. Immerse yourself in the colorful art galleries and shops of this quaint town. Hop back on the iron horse for your return trip to the K Bar S.
 Dinner: Tonight enjoy wine, champagne and hors d' oeuvres before dinner. This is the conclusion of the program.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Independent Departures
(Saturday, October 5)
   
 Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Keystone, SD General Overview
There are many additional activities available during your visit to the Black Hills. This program will touch on many of the general areas of interest but can not dig deeply into all there is to see and do here. There is an interesting and detailed history about Native Americans, plains settlers, gold seekers and more. Many people come to the Black Hills for exceptional trout fishing, photography, bicycling on old rail beds, hiking, and the study of specialized interests such as geology and palaeontology. There are numerous museums in Rapid City, Deadwood, Hill City, Custer and other smaller towns in the Black Hills. There is an almost endless list of public and private attractions to visit as well. Places such as Bear Country USA, Reptile Gardens, the Wild Horse Sanctuary, Mt. Rushmore Gold factory (on-the-floor factory tours), Jewel Cave, and dozens of other fun activities await your visit. In Keystone there is mini golf, the Presidential Wax museum, Rushmore Borglum Story, places to get your photo taken in historic costumes, gold mine tours, and much, much more. You could travel to Devil's Tower in NE Wyoming and return to the Hills by driving through beautiful Spearfish Canyon, a National Scenic Byway. There is so much to do in the Black Hills, there is a good reason the Black Hills are dubbed "Beyond All Expectations". For additional information, visit www.blackhillsbadlands.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Exploring with Custer: The 1874 Black Hills Expedition


Author: Ernest Grafe & Paul Horsted


Description: General George Armstrong Custer's Journey to the Black Hills in 1874 was better documented than any other military expedition of the Old West. Not only did William H. Illingworth record superb views of the landscape and several camps, but at least fifteen men wrote diaries, reports or newspaper dispatches brimming with vivid detail. This book blends the Illingworth photos and their present-day counterparts with selections from all known accounts to paint a unique portrait of everyday life along the trail. Please order through Paul Horsted at www.dakotaphoto.com or 1.800.248.2194



Moon of Popping Trees


Author: Rex Alan Smith


Description: TheMassacre atWounded Knee was the lastmajor battle between whites and Native Americans.With parallels to concerns some have of today’s news reports, you’ll see that this massacre was largely a result of overblown news reports of the danger of the Native American Ghost Dance. Even more startling is the revelation in this book that the Ghost Dance had its origin in the Christian resurrection story. This book spans fifty years of the life and struggles of Native Americans as they try to maintain their lifestyle in the face of America’s westward expansion.



The Carving of Mount Rushmore


Author: Rex Alan Smith


Description: This entertaining and very readable book tells the fascinating stories of the people of Mt. Rushmore. Included are first person accounts of not only the carvers, the politicians and Borglum, but an almost unbelievable host of others who became part of the tumult and triumph that make this history read like a novel. If you’re only going to read one book about Rushmore, this is the one.



Pioneer Days in the Black Hills


Author: John S. McClintock


Description: A rough-and-tumble account of the early days of Deadwood and the Dakota Territory written by early day pioneer John S.McClintock. He provides material on the gold rush, skirmishes with Indians, exploits of road agents and outlaws, and appearances of celebrities such as Wild Bill Hickok and Deadwood Dick.





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