South Dakota Wrap-up

This vacation can be summed up in one word…AMAZING! It was so much more than I expected. What a journey of perception to go from “What’s in South Dakota” to “Amazing”.

Everyone’s hot button will be different but for me it’s animals…all kinds of animals. If I’m in Florida I’m always on the look out for creatures, ‘gators, birds, snakes ; when we go to Alaska I’ll want to see seals, sea birds , bears maybe whales and walrus but I didn’t know what to expect in South Dakota.

I think I loved the Wild Horses the best

Racing the Wind

 followed by those funny little prairie dogs.

But seeing buffalo in the wild ,

 not a zoo was really something as were the “beggin’ burros of Custer State Park.

Of course it is “where the deer and the antelope play”.

I couldn’t help but compare my Pronghorn experience in Arizona with the Pronghorn experience in South Dakota. In South Dakota there were Mule Deer, White tail and antelope around every turn. Some even seemed to be posing for the photo ops, very few seemed skittish..

 Sometimes it seemed like they were as busy watching us as we were them. In Arizona I saw 1 pronghorn way off in the distance and 1 mule deer family while I was on a tour bus at the grand canyon. The difference is notable.

We didn’t eat in fancy restaurants but the food was good and everyone we met was nice and helpful. The Foothills Inn was clean and everything as promised. Our stay there was very pleasant. I have no complaints.

Mount Rushmore takes your breath away when you see it for the first time. It is truly a monument for the ages. I only wish the weather had been better when we visited the mountain. Maybe next trip. Sorry I missed the Needles Highway but Iron Mountain Road was a great experience. Had our budget and time allowed, we definitely should have included a visit to Crazy Horse and not just the drive by. Next time?


Keystone to Hill City and back on a vintage train. The 1880 Train did not disappoint.

 It was a relaxing ride through the Blackhills while the narrators gave us quick bits and stories sprinkled with lots of humor.



The caves, Wind Cave and the mining tunnel at Thunder Falls…both interesting and worthwhile visits. There are still many more caves in the area to explore as well as more passages and tours in Wind Cave. I guess you could say we only “scratched the surface”.

The Mammoth Dig isn’t a cave but it’s a great indoor activity for a rainy day. Well worth a visit.

Rapid City is a great city.. We only just touched on what there is to do. I’ve heard there’s shopping and art but we only had the one day so we got to visit Skyline Dr and Dinosaur Park,

 checked out the presidents in downtown

 and ended at the Journey Museum.

The city has a beautiful park as we learned on our trolley ride and so much more that we missed.

It deserves more than one day. To paraphrase a saying…so much to see, so little time J

I can’t forget to mention the “Longest Dirt Road” that crossed Pine Ridge Reservation and meeting with members of the tribe. A nice, nice memory! Maybe next time we’ll find a Pow-Wow and visit Wounded Knee.

We need another visit to Wall Drug with it’s “Free Ice water” . Great souvenir shopping so bring your wallet! They are also online.

Last but certainly not least was magnificent scenery of the Badlands. That rugged beauty impressed me as much as the Grand Canyon but in a different way.

I’m so glad I have so many pictures and wonderful memories. My friends said I wouldn’t want to come back to New England. Well, I wasn’t ready to leave South Dakota, there was still so much to see and do, as one of my readers expressed as they told us of waterfalls and sights we missed, but I am not ready to move there. LOL I would consider a 2nd vacation and next time someone says to me “what’s in South Dakota I’ll know just what to say…”So much you just won’t believe it ‘til you see it!”


That about sums up the South Dakota vacation. It’s time to start planning the May trip to Sedona, Arizona. I also have some day trips coming up that I will fill you in on as they roll around. As always suggestions, comments , cheers and jeers and welcome. I hope I’ll be hearing from you, my readers!J

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just a quick reminder…there’s only a few more days to vote for your favorite name for the Prairie Dog.

Prairie Dog with Flower

 You’ll find the poll on the archive site:

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .