Travel Blog: South Dakota

Warning: This is a travel blog, complete with 20+ slides of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen (Well at least 20 photos today and about 20 tomorrow of the 1000+ photos I took). Today only has one remotely stitch related photo…tomorrow has more.
Mike, Lucy and I have always wanted to go to Mt Rushmore and the Badlands and so last week we set out on what was to be a 7-8 day trip to South Dakota.

13-07-25 01 D1 mid Cont US
First stop the geographic center of the continental United States, aka the middle of Kansas with nothing around for miles but corn, wheat, and three horses. My friend Maryanne said I would get a hoot out of this stop and I did. I can now put on my “did it” bucket list that I have been to the “Zero Milestone” in Washington DC and the Geographic Center of United States in Lebanon, Kansas population 218 (2010 census).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen we were off to South Dakota through the flatlands of Kansas and Nebraska. Lots of corn and wheat lands.

In North Platte, Nebraska we just stumbled across this War MemorialOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA but it is one of the best I’ve ever seen. And if you are traveling I-80 there is no reason not to stop; it is literally right off the 177 exit on the SE side.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADay 2 was off north through Nebraska and into South Dakota; soon began to see the terrain changing from flat farm land to hills and mountains.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd we knew we had arrived when the local wildlife plainly can stop traffic. Oh my, these animals are beautiful and it was the first time we had seen them free and in a herd. What a majestic sight. What I OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthought was most interesting is that as they were crossing the road in groups of 3 or more, the largest buffalo would stand in the middle of the road until all his group was across and safe (a wildlife crossing guard)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd it was on into South Dakota (I’ll spare you the 200 pictures of landscape here) and all of a sudden Crazy Horse; even from a distance he is magnificent. We decided to stop and see him but see him is just the beginning…The museum at Crazy Horse is really OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnice, lots of Indian bead and art work (another 100 or so pictures). 3 hours later, we were back on the road to our hotel, food and bed.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADay 3 we decided to drive the Black Hills, Custer State Park, and Mt. Rushmore, the southern routes from our hotel. We had decided that if we drove first and ended with Mt Rushmore we would not be OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbacktracking. Oh my, such beautiful country and around every tunnel and turn another view of

Mt Rushmore.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat amazed us is that you will drive up the mountain and then for miles on top are these beautiful meadows and grasslands, complete with wildlife and wildflowers. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABuffalo and Wild Burros stop traffic on the roads; they would stop traffic even if they weren’t on the road. The wild burros were friendly and would allow you to pet them but they would not move off the road…horn honking or smackingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA on the hind side OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAonly produced a swift kick from these fellows.

 

 

 

 

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And as you drive along these meadows you will make a slight curve and it back up or down the mountains with rock formations and drop offs that take your breath away. All the rock formations are great but of course my favorite was the “Needle’s Eye”; looked just like a big rock needle stuck in the ground. On Facebook I said it was the needle God used to stitch this beautiful country together and then OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstuck here for all to see. Notice the clouds building…we were about three quarters around our drive when clouds started building and just as we were driving up to Mt Rushmore again the rain began. So we decided that we would head back to our hotel and do Mt Rushmore by night. A good decision, we had nickel sized hail on the mountain and at our hotel we had just hard rains. Mt. Rushmore is OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeautiful anytime but at night it is awesome.
The two things I have noticed about this area is there are no arts shops, I would have thought beading and art would have been everywhere in this area; but tourist trap stuff is in abundance. I have seen more t-shirt shops and novelty shops than you can imagine…and forget needlepoint or needlework of any kind…not here or at least I didn’t find any. I won’t bore you longer today with photos of our trip (and I have plenty), tomorrow I’ll take you north and homeward bound. Saved the best stop until last.
Didn’t get much stitching time except at night in the hotel, I was too busy gawking at the scenery and taking pictures to needlepoint.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! I making up for lost time in the mountains…
ttfn…sue

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