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America for South Dakota for those unusal sites to see.
- Cross Country Trip Wednesday 1997 continued
- We entered South Dakota from Wyoming
on I90 after visiting Devils Tower in
Wyoming. We wanted to spend the night in Keystone and watch the lighting
Rushmore National Memorial(state site) that night. For the National Park
Service Mount Rushmore NM site click here.
- We traveled I90 East through Spearfish
and Sturgis on I90. We then entered the
Black Hills by following US14A through Bolder Canyon into Deadwood,
Central City, Lead and Pluma. In Pluma, we turned on to the Black Hills
Parkway (US385) to travel the heart of the Black Hills. This route gave us
views of the thick dark forests, vistas of the mountains made of rocks and
short takes of a few of the lakes here in the hills.
- We got into Keystone with
enough time to find a place to stay and walk around the western style main
street. We had dinner at the saloon in town. It was a fun experience with
all the staff in 1890's clothes. Service was good and the bar-b-que buffalo
- That night we went to Mount
Rushmore NM and watched as the presidents were illuminated. Quite a
site! Especially since we had not yet seen the monument in the daylight. The
granet glowed in white showing the faces of U.S. presidents Washington,
Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln surrounded by the black of night.
Unfortunately, our photos do not do justice to this sight. You'll have to
- Cross Country Trip Thursday 1997
- We decided to spend the day being a tourist
through the Black Hills (RnRnow site with our
pictures). Even spending the equivalent of two days, we didn't see and do
anywhere near 'all' there is to see and do.
- The day started with breakfast at 1880 Railhead
Family Restaurant. We took ST 244 up to Mount Rushmore. They have been doing
a lot of building in the area and now have have several visitor/information
centers with a covered parking garage. A far cry from when they just had a
parking lot and a trail to Gutxon Borglum's studio (the artists work area
with the models).
- While the consturction is starting to look more
like the monuments in Washington DC (marble walls and concrete walks), it is
well designed. The design provides wonderful views and educational
opportunities while protecting the area from the two and a half million
visitors this place gets every year. If it was left to paved and dirt walks,
the place would look trashy. Congradulations to everyone involved!
- The monument itself is majestic! Fourteen years
of work for all to reverently enjoy.
- We then left for the Crazy
Horse Memorial by turning right on ST244 and south on the Black Hills
Parkway (US385/US16). The Black Hills Parkway passes directly in front of
the Crazy Horse Memorial, only 17 miles away. We spent a great deal more
time here than expected, but it was worth it. Learning why the Indians
choose Crazy Horse, hearing how the progress has been through the years,
seeing the displays in the Indian Museum of North America, viewing
Ziolkowski's (the artist) studio-home and other art works, watching
demonstrations of traditional dance, eating lunch, looking at the model and
monument, and picking a few rocks to take home from the monument (with
permission), all takes time. While we had heard of this effort, we knew very
- The project has been in progress for 50 years.
The first 40 years roughed out the general form on the 600 foot mountain. In
the last 10 years, the 9 story face has started to take shape.
- The project includes the monument, the
surrounding development and a foundation aimed at providing educational
opportunities for Native Americans. The foundation goal is to develop a
Native American college on the mounument grounds. While the college is a
ways away, the foundation has already asssisted more than 1,000 Indian
students with college scholarships and opened a Native American Education
& Cultural Center on the grounds. This experience for my family was
worth the trip!
- With the proximity to Mount Rushmore, comparisons
must be expected. The presidents have 6 story faces, little more than
portraits(less than planned), are carved into the mountain, were government
funded, were made primarily to attract tourists and work ended when the
artist died and government funds ended. Crazy Horse has a 9 story face, will
include the upper torso and horse, is being carved "in the round"
like a statue, are privately funded through donations and fees, and has a
long term beneficial goal to society. The work also continues, directed by
Ruth Ziolkowski and the Ziolkowski family, even after Korczak Ziolkowski
died in 1982.
- We ran out of time, since we had a train to
catch. Hopefully we will make another trip to the monument to see the head
- Running low on gas, we decided to continue to Custer
even though we needed to get back to Keystone to ride the last round trip of
the 1880 train for the day. We had to drop the idea of visiting Jewel
Cave National Monument, the National Museum of Woodcarving, the Mamoth
site, Wind Cave National Park and Hot
- For the return trip to Keystone, we took US16A
east through Custer
State Park and over the Iron Mountain Road. Custer State Park has a lot
of unique rock formations, but is better known as a wildlife refuge. They
have nearly 1,600 buffalo roaming free (the picture above is from this
park), wild burros, Rocky Mountian Bighorn Sheep and a lot of prairie dogs.
This leg of the trip included waiting for the buffalo(twice) and burros(once)
to move off of the road. Going down the Iron Mountain Road into Keystone,
the road goes over several pigtail bridges where you cross under the bridge
you just went over. It also passes through three tunnels, the last of which
aimes directly at Mount Rushmore. The opening basically frames Mount
Rushmore, so watch out for people standing in the road taking pictures!
- Needless to say, we missed the train in Keystone,
so we drove to Hill City to catch the last round
trip from there. As it turned out, this gave us time to look through the
1880 train gift shop, see Hill City and take a few pictures of the train
arriving. After the train ride, we returned to Keystone for a swim, dinner
and the night.
- Cross Country Trip Friday 1997
- Time to start the long haul home. Before
breakfast, we left Keystone on US 16A and then US16 into Rapid
City. As we reached the edge of the Black Hills and decended into the
plains, we could see storm clouds to the South and in front of us.
- We moved along I90 east watching the storm clouds
moving in. Our next destination was Wall, South Dakota
where a pharmasist was able to keep his drug store open during the
depression by giving away water! Wall and Wall Drug are now a major
attraction. Just like Ruby Falls (Tennessee) and South of the Boarder
(Carolinas), you see Wall Drug signs all over.
- When you enter Wall Drug, remember to pick up a
map (you need it for this store). We had breakfast and then toured the new
back section where they have a lot of pictures taken through the years. They
also have an animated dinosaur which initially scared the girls. We drank
the water, played on some of their attractions, let the girls stretch their
car legs, and bought a few things before getting back in the car. Next, a
drive through the Badlands(RnRnow site with our
pictures) or Badlands National Park
(NPS site). We followed the rain through the badlands, so the ground was wet
whenever we stopped. Not bad for us, but a real mess for those soles on
motorcycles. We passed by Interior and came out at
Catus Flat and went back onto Interstate 90 heading east.
- Following I90 across South Dakota, we passed Kadoka,
Belvidere, and Murdo before we had to change our watches. We then continued
by Vivian, Presho, Kennebec and decended into Chamberlain
and Oacoma to cross the Missouri River. We enjoyed the
green trees after the dry plains, stopped to eat lunch and then continued on
I90 east past Kimball and Plankinton. When we reached Mitchell, both girls
were asleep, so we didn't stop. Mitchell is home to the Corn Palace, the
Worlds Largest Balloon and Airship Museum and the Enchanted Doll Museum
(among other attractions). Again, something for the next time through.
- Before reaching Sioux Falls,
we stopped at a tourist information station to get directions to a great new
Mexican Restaurant which just opened in Sioux Falls -- Inca Restaurant
at 3312 South Holly Ave. They have other resturants in Washington State, and
we wanted to visit this one. It was easy to find. Just take I29 South to
exit 77, take 41st east across the river and look for South Holly Avenue on
the left. We got there about 4:30 and a good thing since we didn't have
reservations. This place has become one of THE places to eat in Sioux
Falls. We were just going to have a snack, but decided on dinner. Best
Mexican food I have had since moving east (15+ years?). Great service and
the kids had fun with the owners. Good Luck guys!
- We left South Dakota and entered Minnesota
on I90 heading east.
- Badlands NP
- Jewel Cave NM
- Missouri River NRA
- Mount Rushmore NM
- Wind Cave NP
Dakota Department of Tourism - State Tourist Information Site
- "a city that began with the coming of the railroads, flourished into
a strong agricultural economy, and has diversified into a manufacturing and
service center. It's a city where midwestern friendliness and hospitality
combine with metropolitan progressiveness. Aberdeen is a community where the
quality of life is exceptional - an its residents are willing to share.
- "COME TO ABERDEEN AND CHOOSE ADVENTURE, RELAXATION AND FUN
- What's your pleasure? Biking, boating canoeing, camping, cross-country
skiing, fair-or festival-going, fishing, golfing, hiking, horseshoe
pitching, hunting, ice skating (indoors and out), in-line skating, jogging,
picnicking, rodeo, snowmobiling, sunning, swimming, tennis, water-skiing,
water-sliding or walking: ABERDEEN has them all"
- No calendar of events.
- RnRnow Aberdeen from Interstate 29.
Aberdeen RnRnow Destination Page.
- Black Hills
- Calendar of events.
- Black Hills RnRnow Destination Area
- Chamberlain on I-90
Chamberlain RnRnow Destination Page.
- "The Crazy Horse mountain carving now in progress will be the world’s
largest sculpture (563' high, 641' long, carved in the round). It is the
focal point of an educational and cultural memorial to and for the North
- The memorial is not a federal or state project. It is a non-profit
(501-c-3) project begun in 1947, when sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski
(1908-1982) arrived in the Black Hills to accept the invitation of Lakota
chiefs to carve Crazy Horse. The project is being continued by Korczak’s
wife, Ruth, and their large family. "
- Crazy Horse RnRnow Destination
- "YOU SHOULD SEE THE HILLS FROM HERE!
- Make Custer your vacation headquarters. It’s just minutes away from
Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument.
Witness the carving of Crazy Horse Mountain. Wind your way down Needles
Highway, Iron Mountain Road, and the Wildlife Loop Road in nearby Custer
State Park. See one of the world’s largest free-roaming herds of buffalo.
- Custer RnRnow Destination
- "Make your first stop in Deadwood at our History & Information
Center which is located in the old train depot on Highway 14A between
Deadwood Street and Pine Street. "
- Calendar of events through their homepage.
- Deadwood RnRnow Destination
- "De Smet is the “Little Town on the Prairie” - made famous by
author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Visit the original Surveyor’s House, the
Ingalls Home, and 16 other sites mentioned in Laura’s books. "
- RnRnow De Smet -- From Interstate 29.
DeSmet RnRnow Destination Page.
- Fort Pierre from I-90
Fort Pierre RnRnow Destination Page.
- RnRnow Garretson -- From Interstate
- Hill City RnRnow Destination
- Hot Springs
- "The naturally warm mineral waters of Hot Springs have soothed away
worries and aches for centuries. Established in the late 1880s, Hot Springs
has thrived as a tourist attraction and health resort.
- Today, Hot Springs still enjoys a historic flavor. A walking tour
showcases the magnificient buildings listed on the National Register of
- Visit the Mammoth Site and see the world’s largest concentration of Ice
Age mammoth fossils. Tour Wind Cave National Park and see one of the world’s
- With an abundance of rivers, lakes and streams, enjoy swimming, fishing
and boating. Swim in the naturally warm waters of Evans Plunge, complete
with waterslides, kiddie pools and a health club.
- Golf at the award-winning nine-hole golf course. See wild horses at the
Wild Horse Sanctuary."
- RnRnow Hot Springs -- From
- Interior to the Badlands National Park.
- Interior RnRnow Destination
- "Gateway to the Badlands
- Kadoka (Ka·dough·ka), a Sioux word meaning “hole in the wall.”
Kadoka is only 20 miles east of Badlands National Park and five miles north
of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Enjoy the same hospitality as the cast
and crew of “Thunderheart” did in 1991. Located on I-90."
- RnRnow Kadoka -- From Interstate 90.
Kadoka RnRnow Destination Page.
- "The Home of Mount Rushmore
- We have seven major attractions, more than 600 hotel rooms and campsites,
and more than 60 gift shops to choose from. A true shopper’s paradise! The
national forest surrounding Keystone has wonderful hiking trails just
waiting for you. "
- RnRnow Keystone -- under
- " Madison is located in Lake County, which was named for the
beautiful lakes that border our city. These lakes and the surrounding area
provide wonderful recreational opportunities in both summer and
- No calendar of events.
- RnRnow Madison -- From Interstate 29.
- "Mitchell is a great place to visit as well as live! It's a place
where beautiful sunrises and sunsets are enjoyed often (we can see them
here, there are no skyscrapers), greetings of "Hello, how are you"
meet you as you walk down the street, your commute to work is no more than
10 minutes (max!), and life centers around family, community and service.
- Festivals and Special
- RnRnow Mitchell -- From Interstate
Mitchell RnRnow Destination Page.
- Part of the dry plains you see in westerns.
- RnRnow Murdo -- From Interstate 90.
Murdo RnRnow Destination Page.
- Down by the river side.
- RnRnow Oacoma -- From Interstate 90.
- RnRnow Philip -- From Interstate 90.
- "Pierre, South Dakota’s capital and the “10th Best Small Town In
America,” offers fun for the entire family. Whether you’re into water
sports on the Missouri River, engineering feats like the Oahe Dam, or
following the trail of Lewis and Clark, you’ll find it all in the Capital
- Calendar of events.
- RnRnow Pierre -- From Interstate 90.
Pierre RnRnow Destination Page.
- The tourist hotspot heading into the Black Hills. Provides the fastest
access to Mount Rushmore via US16.
- RnRnow Rapid City -- From Interstate
Rapid City RnRnow Destination
- Sioux Falls
- "Gateway to the Plains"
- RnRnow Sioux Falls on I-90
RnRnow Sioux Falls on I-29
Sioux Falls RnRnow
- Close to the geographical center of the United States and a good jumping
off point into the Black Hills.
- RnRnow Spearfish -- From Interstate
Spearfish RnRnow Destination Page.
- Another quick access to the Black Hills and the Deadwood/Lead area. Also
close to Bear
Butte State Park.
- RnRnow Sturgis -- From Interstate 90.
Sturgis RnRnow Destination Page.
- The "water" town. Visiting the drug store is a must (and takes a
- RnRnow Wall -- From Interstate 90.
Wall RnRnow Destination Page.
- RnRnow Watertown -- From Interstate
Watertown RnRnow Destination Page.
- RnRnow Yankton -- From Interstate 29.
Yankton RnRnow Destination Page.