Our plans for Thursday were changed when the Jeep would not run. We had it towed and the tow truck driver told us about Rapid City, and the trolley we could ride and view different sights within the city. So after dropping the Jeep off at the repair shop, he took us downtown on his way to the next tow job. We had a great time on the trolley!! For seniors (both of us now qualify) it was $1 each with on and off privileges, best deal we have come across in a long time!!
A few years ago, there was a lot of flooding in Grand Rapids, and a lot of the homes were not allowed to be rebuilt in the same place because they were in a flood plain. A lot of the gardens and parks in Grand Rapids were formed in these areas, and gives the city a unique flavor. Stops we got off to see include the park with Storybook Island, a park for children with storybook characters. Included was the treehouse with the Pooh characters
The Wizard of Oz crew,
Snow White and the seven dwarfs,
and the Three Little Pigs!
How much more fun if we had the grandkids with us!!
Another stop we got off to see was the Stavkirke Chapel. This is an exact replica of famous 850 year-old Borgund Stavkirke church located near Laerdal, Norway. Permission and plans were from the Norwegian Government. It was beautiful!
16,000 shingles were hand cut,the ceiling is constructed like a Viking ship turned upside down
leper window, where the lepers were able to participate
Included on the grounds was a museum that depicts Norwegian life.
The ride took us to Dinosaur Park, another child-oriented park. However, because we were hungry and it would be a half hour before another bus came, we did not get out, but did get a picture.
When we got back down into the downtown area, we had lunch at the Firehouse Brewery Company, which is located in the old firehouse. It was a great atmosphere (especially when the electricity went out caused by a direct lightening hit at the powerhouse we found out later)!
After lunch, we walked around the downtown area, which has statues displayed throughout. I was able to get pictures of most of them (25). Currently, there are 39. After they place three more this fall, and when President Obama leaves office and one will be made of him, they will be caught up. In the future, they will be made as presidents leave office. They all picked up a personal feel of the president’s personality. Guess who these statues represent:
When we found out the Jeep was not going to be repaired the same day, we rented a car to get back to the RV. We were located within just a few miles of Mt. Rushmore, so decided to see the lighting at 9:00. We got there early enough to look around a bit and just enjoy sitting under this awesome mountain. Lots of changes at the site since we saw it over 20 years ago!
The program included a Ranger talk, a short film, the lighting, and then calling up of veterans or current armed forces. The flag was brought down, and folded by boys from a boy scout troop from Oklahoma, and passed to each military person on stage. It was very patriotic! Can you find Paul? He is there…..umpteenth from the left in the back row!
We found Rapid City to be a very friendly, hospitable town, and we spent a great day there. We would welcome the chance to return! Still need to get picture of the rest of the presidents!!