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Our Philipsburg, MT Trip - August 2014

Sadly our stay in Philipsburg came to an end so at 6:00 AM Mountain Time we departed Philipsburg headed east for Keystone, SD. Our original plan was to take I-90 all the way to Deadwood and then south to Keystone, but a large sign pointing to Mount Rushmore and Keystone by way of US Highway 16 caused us to change plans. So we left I-90 at Moorcroft, WY and followed US 16. The speed limit on this two-lane highway was 65 MPH so we made good time until we hit construction. But overall it was a good way to go as we avoided all the heavy tourist traffic driving south from Deadwood.

Travel Map

As we left Philipsburg and as far as Big Timber, MT we noticed a lot of snow on the higher peaks that was not there on our trip out to Gary's. We suspect the long weekend of rain at 6000 feet was snow at the 10,000 foot level of these high peaks. We aren't exactly sure on the name of the mountain range we saw near Livingston but think these are the mountains of the Absaroka Range.

Snow capped mountains

Along Highway 16 we did not find a lot of scenery that peeked our interest, but did stop to take a picture of this oil well that is part of the Osage Oil Field. A sign mentions that this oilfield was the result of a single well drilled by Sinclair Oil company in 1919. This oilfield is still in production today.

Osage Oil Field

Entering the Black Hills from the south we drove right past the Crazy Horse Monument, which is still under construction. We did not have time to get into the grounds so stopped at the entrance and took this shot using our long range telephoto lens. We forgot to bring the tripod so the hand held shot is the best we could do from a distance of a couple miles.

Crazy Horse Monument

After checking into our motel, The Powder House Lodge and having dinner at their restaurant we drove to Mount Rushmore. Our primary reason for choosing this location for our night on the road was to view this monument during the evening lighting ceremony. We arrived about dusk so lighting for picture taking was a big issue.

Mount Rushmore about dusk

The ceremony began with a very nice video tribute to the sculptor as well as Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. Following the video the lights were turned on and all the current and past veterans were asked to come down front to be honored for their service. Sandy counted 102 veterans down front out of the estimated 1600 people in attendance at the ceremony.

102 Veterans

Again, without a tripod picture taking of the lighted memorial was tough, so this one will have to do until we return another time with the proper equipment. The ceremony began at 8:00 PM sharp and was over by 9:00 PM. The parking ramp was full but we managed to get out in a reasonable time.

Lighted Mount Rushmore

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