After the long drive to Rapid City, SD, we needed a little fresh air but weren't in the mood for much more driving. In the past, we always enjoyed the Black Hills and Mickelson Trail. This time we stayed closer to the city.
We found nestled at the foot of the Black Hills, in Rapid City, the Chapel in the Hills,
, which is a quiet place to stretch our legs. The chapel itself is an exact reproduction of the famous Borgund Stavkirke of Laerdal, Norway and was built in 1969.
The Meditation Trail winds its way into the hillside behind the chapel, complete with benches and statuary.
We were greeted at the "Stabbur," which is an authentic grass-roofed store house, built in Norway and assembled on site.
Also on the grounds is an authentic log cabin museum. Built by a Norwegian prospector who came to the Black Hills during the gold rush, it houses articles brought over from Norway or made by Scandinavians in this country during the 1800's.
Just down the hill from the chapel was Canyon Lake Park, one of the oldest city parks in Rapid City and a nice place to continue our walk along the river.
Rapid City's downtown has the City of Presidents, a series of life-size bronze statues of our nation’s past presidents up to George HW Bush, along the city’s streets and sidewalks.
Douglas has been a stop off on our way to somewhere else. This time, the forecast was predicting strong winds and stronger gusts for our drive. We delayed our trip and checked out what Douglas had to offer.
We made a stop at the Douglas Railroad Museum and Visitor Center, housed in the historic
FE & MV Railroad Passenger Depot to find a geocache. It turned out to be one of the better train museums we have visited.
Dining car dates back to 1886.
Old sleeper car
Then we headed to Camp Douglas
During World War II, Douglas had the primary prisoner of war (POW) camp for Wyoming. The U.S. military held 1,900 Italian and 3,011 German prisoners at Camp Douglas from 1943 to 1946, when allied POW camps in Europe and North Africa grew overcrowded. The camp was one of 155 built in the U.S. during World War II, the site chosen for its relative isolation.
Many of the POWs worked in the town and ranches. Appreciating the way they were treated by the US, many returned to become US citizens after the war, relocating in Douglas. (I bet a girl may have been involved.)
Finding a campsite available on an August weekend in Colorado can me frustrating. We were fortunate to find an overflow spot for two days in Wellington just north of Fort Collins. After finishing our honey do list, we headed over to the Bud Brewery for a tour, lunch and music on the patio.
The Clydesdales and Dalmatians were out on tour. We used our imaginations.
We had our 6 ounces complimentary Shock Top and a sample of their Copper Lager that is aged in Jim Beam barrels. Mike purchased a 6 pack of the Copper Lager to go. He said he should have got a case. It would take him a year to drink it.