Saturday, September 12, 2015

Needles Drive

On Thursday and Friday we had two good long driving days, each over 450 miles, and made a much shorter run today of only about 144 miles. We will be stopping in Henderson NV, jut south of Las Vegas, so we can get together with a couple of other Alfa RV owners, Joe and Betty. We met them this summer, and have exchanged emails several times. We are really looking forward to seeing them this evening.

Now, to catch up with our travels in the Custer State Park area: On Monday we drove the Needles Highway and took a hike around Sylvan Lake.

The park road winds through the forest and along the edge of the mountain. From it, your first view of the needles is a wall of upthrust rock spires in the distance.

As you get closer, there are many pull-outs along the road so you can admire these huge formations. Note how tiny I seem, standing at the base of this one.

I really don't have time to compose many words about them, but here is another neat image.

There are five tunnels through the rocks, some as narrow as 12'. We had stopped for lunch near this one and we were startled when we say a Class C RV heading toward it. We couldn't see the tunnel at the time, but the RV seemed to have gone through just fine because it never came back.

This rock had a name: The Eye of the Needle. I wanted to get the sun shining through the hole, but couldn't get the right angle.

Sylvan Lake is small with a lodge and boat/kayak rentals. There is also a swimming beach, and quite a few children were having fun in the water.

The hike around was about a mile and a half, partially paved, with a few challenging spots. I have learned that even if a walk is short, and starts level and paved, I should take my hiking poles along. I really need them for confidence and balance in rough spots.

The lake was perfectly calm and the air was cool. Wonderful!

We took a different route back to camp, and along the way we stopped to take pictures of several longhorn cattle grazing in a field. After the buffalo herds were decimated, a herd of 4000 wild Texas longhorns were driven up to the South and North Dakota grasslands. They in turn were almost all killed in the bad winter of 1886. 

We passed this sign every time we left the park. Turtles or not, this is the way I prefer to move across this vast country of ours!

Except when I need a new tooth!


  1. GREAT pictures ! Welcome to Henderson, NV. The longhorn caught my attention on the "Living the RV Dream" site. Grew up in west Texas, so that made me homesick I guess. If you have any questions about the Henderson / Las Vegas area, let me know.

  2. I love your photos! I don't think we've been along that road, but I'd sure like to do it some day... fantastic scenery!

  3. Love those spires! Looks like you had a great hike at Sylvan.


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