Day 4 brought a day trip to the North Blackhills. We did a big loop again. Through the tunnel and off to Rapid City. We arrived in Rapid City, SD early in the morning and so most shops were closed, (I think Mike planned this although I really did not see any shops that I couldn’t find at home…still no beading or needlepoint. But art alley was cool…Graffiti art in this alley as far as you could see…on the dumpsters, walls, posts, everything for about three blocks…even some knitting around the poles…
And on all the corners in downtown Rapid City are bronze statues of all the presidents…Truman touch of home and my favorite Thomas Jefferson.
Also found the Chapel in the Hills (http://www.chapel-in-the-hills.org/index.php), a unique “Stavkirke” (a medieval wooden Christian church building), an exact replica of 850 yr old Borgund Church in Norway. Very lovely place and the only handwork I’ve seen so far…Hardanger.
Then we were off to Sturgis, yes Sturgis…I wanted to see where thousands of people would gather in a few weeks for a motorcycle rally. Sturgis is Sturgis and it certainly caters to the motorcycle crowds. Another stop to cross off to my bucket list…But NO Needlepoint…and you would think if you could afford a motorcycle you could afford needlepoint.
Deadwood was a complete disappointment to me. Sorry Kevin (Kevin Costner and his family own most of the town), I thought the historic markers were poor and the famous saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was shot is closed. I really expected Deadwood to be less of a commercial town and more of a historical town. In fairness to Deadwood I thought all the towns (Lead, Cheyenne Crossing, Spearfish, etc… up this way catered more to the motorcycle and gambling tourists than to the beauty of the area. Bridal Veil waterfalls and the lakes were beautiful. I guess I’m too in needlepoint and nature…still no needlepoint.
Day 5. We’ve seen all we came t see and decided to head home via the Badlands…talk about a change of terrain. It is really desolate land, beautiful but desolate. Sometimes reminded me of what I think the moon surface would look like, other times, a gray Grand Canyon but not quite as deep, but deep; it was beautiful in its own unique way. The gift shop at the Cedar Pass Lodge was the nicest seen so far…many local Indian art and beadwork and the restaurant was wonderful. I had an Indian taco and Indian sweetbread; both were very good (probably not good for me, but usually what is good to eat is usually not healthy for you.)
We did the whole loop with a side trip to Wall Drug (www.walldrug.com) in Wall SD. Wall Drug has grown over the years and no one serves you ice water anymore but the story of Wall Drug is inspiring…”No matter where you live, you can succeed…”
Next stop was the Corn Palace (http://cornpalace.com/index.php) in Mitchell, SD. I had heard about this place all my life since my family had been in some type of grain business all my life. It is so much more than a building with corn and wheat on the outside. We saw the 2012 artwork as the 2013 has not been finished yet and will be unveiled in August (August 20). Many of the drawings displayed on the corn palace are from Oscar Howe, a renowned South Dakota artist. He designed many of the panels for the Corn Palace I am going to do more research on Oscar Howe, I loved his pictures.
Day 6: Sioux Falls to home…Sioux Falls has a beautiful area, Falls Park, don’t miss it. We met, by chance, the local CBS KELO Channel 11 news photo journalist. He was on the observation tower with us doing a file shot. He pointed out all the points of interest: the meat packing plant that had made this town (Kansas City too in the day); where their stockyards had been (theirs has been torn down too…another bit of history gone); the state prison (looked more like a hospital than a prison); the old courthouse and St Joseph’s Cathedral. We tried to visit St Joseph’s Cathedral (http://www.stjosephcathedral.net/) but it was closed to change the light bulbs…but I did a virtual tour online and if I ever get back to Sioux Falls this will be on my must-see list. We would not have known about all these wonderful places had it not been for this great cameraman…thank you! I even called the TV station and told them how helpful he had been…I hope he at least gets “an Atta-boy” for this. Their Butterfly House was having a special exhibit and so we made a stop here before heading south and homeward bound.
But one more stop…a must see of Omaha, Nebraska, and no it’s not the Zoo although I hear that is great too. Village Needleworks in Omaha, a must see…I know it was an oversight by AAA that it wasn’t listed as “GEM“. I have to have a needlepoint shop and here it is one that is going to be one of the closest to my house about 3 hours away…I see a stitching trip in the future…Maybe a small bus load of stitchers on a day trip or overnighter (then we could get two days of needlepoint shopping & stitching). Mary de Souza is the owner and a delightful lady. Her shop was so light and colorful I could have stayed all afternoon. Before we arrive I had told Mike that I did not want to hear, “Let’s go” and to his credit he showed great restraint (see him sitting outside the window picture)…I think he knew I was suffering from needlepoint shop depravation. And I showed great restraint in not going hog wild although it would have been very easy to do so…okay I did have Mary order one canvas for me and I ‘m going to call her and have her order another before she ships…
Oh I felt so much better after this shop stop…the trip was wonderful but this was the best shopping of the week.
And now I am home, getting ready to leave again for a week…but only to house sit at my niece’s home bout 15 miles from my house…but there are wild turkeys and deer in her back yard so I will feel like I’m still on vacation…
It’s good to be home and I see a lot of computer work and stitching in my future!
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!