South Dakota part 2

More travels but I promise this is all…and this has needlepoint at the end. So if just interested in needlepoint, fast forward to last part.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMike 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 youOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA could see…on the dumpsters, walls, posts, everything for about three blocks…even some knitting around the poles…
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd 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), OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAan exact replica of 850 yr old Borgund Church in Norway. Very lovely place and the only handwork I’ve seen so far…Hardanger.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtown. In fairness to DeadwoodOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAreminded me of what I think the moon surface would look like, other times,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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 theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArestaurant 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.)

13-07-26 11 D5 Wall DrugWe did the whole loop with a side trip to Wall Drug (www.walldrug.com) inOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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…”
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext 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 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbusiness 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdoing 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 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhe 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.

13-07-26 22 D6 Omaha Village Needleworks
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 13-07-26 24 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksshop 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 & 13-07-26 25 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksstitching). 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 13-07-26 23 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksshowed 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.

13-07-26 26 D6 KC

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!
ttfn…sue

Advertisements

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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