Showing posts from November, 2022

Driving The Needles

Near Custer, South Dakota, a road winds left, sharp right, and goes up and down into tunnels.  Nominal risks, vehicle dependence, and preparedness provide a road trip experience called  Driving the Needles. The Needles of the Black Hills of South Dakota are a region of eroded granite pillars, towers, and spires within Custer State Park. Popular with rock climbers and tourists alike, the Needles are accessed from the Needles Highway, part of Sylvan Lake Road (SD 87/89). The Cathedral Spires and Limber Pine Natural Area, a 637-acre portion of the Needles containing six ridges of pillars and a disjunct stand of limber pine, was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1976. The Needles were the original site proposed for the Mount Rushmore carvings. The sculptor Gutzon Borglum rejected the location because of the granite's poor quality and the fact that it needed to be thick enough to support the sculptures.  I heard that The Needles attracts approximately 300,000 people annually. En