Active Itinerary: The South Dakota Nature and History Trail in Six Days

This blog provides a sample itinerary based on the experiences of our Summer 1212 trip, those of the things we missed that we wished we were able to do, and, knowing what we know now, what we would have done differently. Details on each venue can be seen in our prior blogs, which [Read more …]

Deadwood Day-tripping

museum - helmet

You can find interesting places to visit in all directions from Deadwood: To the south are the Black Hills, Custer State Park, one National Park and two National Monuments. As we discussed in our blogs on the Black Hills (our August 10 blog) and Mount Rushmore (our August 17 blog), this takes significantly more than [Read more …]

Deadwood: Legend and Reality in the Town that Gambling Built, and Rebuilt

DW - Main St (2)

Deadwood South Dakota is a beautifully restored National Historic Site. It is fun, historically fascinating and located in the beautifully scenic and activity-rich Black Hills (see our August 10 blog) and within easy driving distance of a number of interesting day-trips (in our August 31 blog). It is also a place of legend, and of [Read more …]

Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monuments

Mt Rushmore (2)

Two sources of inspiration and perseverance by two very different artists, treating very different people, all of whom are integral to the nation’s history. Gutzon Borglum was the driving force behind Mount Rushmore, while Korczak Ziolkowski was the one behind the neighboring, still in-progress Crazy Horse Monument. Although both were intensely visionaries and sculptors, they [Read more …]

The Beauty and Variety of South Dakota's Black Hills

pinacles - cliff

Black Hills tourism all began with Colonel George Armstrong Custer (yes, that Custer—as in massacre). While the Black Hills had been designated an Indian reservation by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, Custer’s regiment, which was conducting a survey of the area, discovered gold. While he wired notice of the find to superiors in a [Read more …]

A Day Trip to South Dakota's Badlands National Park

Wall Drug 2

We began our Badland’s tour in Wall, South Dakota, just north of the park’s Pinnacles entrance. The town, as you see every few hundred feet on the 55 mile drive from Rapid City, is dominated by the Wall Drug store, which, once upon a time, began life as a small-town drug store. It is now [Read more …]

A Surprisingly Fun Rapid City

Rapid City Bldg

We weren’t expecting much from Rapid City. It was intended solely as a take-off point for a tour of some of South Western South Dakota’s parks—Badlands National Park and Custer State Park, which includes sites including the Black Hills, two of North America’s largest cave systems (Jewel Cave and Wind Cave), Mount Rushmore, the Crazy [Read more …]