Tesla Model S - Devil's Tower
Devil's Tower Model S
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Days Charging at
Destination   Supercharger
0 1
Devil's Tower National Monument






After a quick stop at the Gillette Energy Car Wash, breakfast at the Hampton Inn, we were off to our next destination with great anticipation.

TimeEventRange Remaining
9:31 amDeparted Gillette228
10:47 amArrived Devil's Tower Parking150
Range/Distance ratio: 1.18

It was a one-hour drive to Devil's Tower National Monument, an unmistakable portruding geologic feature enhancing the allure of stories since prehistoric times through to the famous Steven Spielberg movie, which we made a point of watching before we left home.

We picked up Junior Ranger booklets and took the loop hike to circumnavigate the Tower and take pictures. From below we could see people climbing the Tower. We looked for but couldn't find the landing strip that welcomed the aliens. Upon our return we attended a Ranger talk about the geology of Devil's Tower so the children can earn their Junior Ranger badges.

Family Pose at Devil's Tower

Panoramic view of Devil's Tower

The predominant wildlife we saw were prairie dogs perched in their little holes surveying their surroundings, collectively called a Prairie Dog Town. The girls in the car were fascinated.

Devil's Tower Prairie Dog Devil's Tower
Devil's Tower Prairie Dogs

After leaving the Monument boundary, we had lunch at Devil's Tower Gulch where we could see the Tower out the window while eating. Devil's Tower Gulch Window


Throwback Thursday
Lunch with a view of Monument Valley
August 8, 2016: That isn't a picture hanging in the dining room where we ate; that's the real thing through a window. So awesome! #TBT

South Dakota
We left to venture out onto rolling green farmland as far as the eye could see.

Highway 24
Highway 24 outside Hulett

South Dakota Sign

We left via highway 24 and shortly crossed into South Dakota, a first time for everyone in our family.

Spearfish Supercharger
TimeEventRange Remaining
2:58 pmDeparted Devil's Tower Gulch147
3:52 pmArrived Spearfish Supercharger86
Range/Distance ratio: 1.07

Our sole Supercharger stop for the day was at Spearfish, a relatively new station, so new it was the first I found that had squeegees. I used one. We took a bathroom and snack break at the Phillips 66 and picked up a few maps.

Spearfish Supercharger
Spearfish Canyon
Rather than continue on the highway (and visit the Supercharger in Rapid City), I drove my family south into Spearfish Canyon as our entry into the Black Hills National Forest.

Spearfish Canyon

Bridalveil Falls
Bridalveil Falls

Considering that only yesterday we were in arid Wyoming, it was surprising and refreshing to see lush thick forest flush with water.

Black Hills National Forest
TimeEventRange Remaining
4:14 pmDeparted Spearfish163
6:12 pmArrive Pactola Dam82
Range/Distance ratio: 1.07
Conditions: 73°F

We explored southward through winding roads surrounded by green hills and farms. After we crossed Nahant, we discovered the Tesla navigation began to take us to dirt roads.

Pactola Visitors Center

White Peacock
White Peacock crossing our path

Rereading the map we picked up at the Phillips, we figured out we had to turn back north and head to Deadwood, then turn south on US 385. Fortunately it was clear I still had enough range remaining. Then we continued on the Black Hills Parkway, a designated Blue Star Memorial Highway. Blue Star Memorial South Dakota

Useful Superchargers We Didn't Use
We never visited the Rapid City Supercharger, and I don't even know what it looks like. The usefulness of Superchargers is not only when we actually use them to charge, and the presumption that fast-charging is all about speed loses sight of the first purpose of having such an expansive network of chargers: the ability to explore freely.

The whole way through Black Hills I knew we could leave the Forest and head out to the Rapid City Supercharger. It was visible on my car's Navigation the whole time. Rapid City was a safety-net, just in case I got so lost in Black Hills Forest, or we ran out of time exploring the Forest, I had the option of jumping east to use that Supercharger then get back on the highway for Custer. I'm glad Tesla provides more than enough Superchargers because it allows us to be ready for such contingencies. Today, Plan A worked just fine.

Pactola Reservior

Crazy Horse
We continued enjoying the lush forest scenery and bodies of water like Pactola Lake and Sheridan Lake. As we approached Custer we discovered Crazy Horse Memorial.

TimeEventRange Remaining
6:18 pmDeparted Pactola Dam82
7:00 pmArrive Crazy Horse48
Range/Distance ratio: 1.36

But we realized it was just too late to take a tour, so we moved on to the hotel.

Crazy Horse
Bavarian Inn

Bavarian Inn

A quick drive and we arrived at the Bavarian Mountain Inn. Also on the Tesla Destination Network, it was one of the loveliest places we've stayed, with such charm and grace. We checked in, unpacked, then drove down the road to dinner in Custer.

TimeEventRange Remaining
7:05 pmDeparted Crazy Horse48
7:14 pmArrive Bavarian Inn46
Range/Distance ratio: 0.5

Custer charging

Bavarian Inn charging

After dinner we returned to the room and settled for the night while the car charged.

Cost to Charge: $0

Dean E. Dauger holds a Ph. D. in physics from UCLA, where his group created the first Mac cluster in 1998. Dr. Dauger is the award-winning author in multiple American Institute of Physics' Software Contests and co-authored the original, award-winning Kai's Power Tools image-processing package for Adobe Photoshop. After founding his company, Dauger Research, Inc., its debut product, Pooch, derived from Dr. Dauger's experience using clusters for his physics research, was soon awarded as "most innovative" by IEEE Cluster and continues to revolutionize parallel computing and clusters worldwide with its patented technology.

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