South Dakota Recap
I thought it would be time to recap from our recent trip to South Dakota. This was an interesting trip as both Danith and I traveled there as kids, in fact we were both there the same summer in 1985!
The trip started nice and early, we were out the door and on the road by 8am. We reached Des Smet around noon. Des Smet, SD was once the home of Laura Ingalls and her family. They have a old classroom, the surveyer’s house they lived in and the gravesite for Pa. 1985 Picture. 2012 Picture. More pictures below in gallery.
We then drove towards the capitol of SD Pierre. On the way we drove up to the Oahe dam. While looking for the spot to park we drove by the parking lot. As we are turning around Brandon says “Why is the dam parking lot up there!”. Danith and I had a long laugh which eventually Brandon realized the other meaning of what he said. This area was very scenic and I got a good picture of Danith and the kids on the bluff.
We arrived in Pierre at about 5pm, and drove to the capitol. It was a very nice capitol building and it was nice and deserted on a Friday evening. Capping off the night we had a craptastic dinner at what passes for Mexican in Pierre.
The next day we drove quickly to Wall, SD to visit the biggest tourist trap in the world, Wall Drug! Lots of memories for me here and I ensured to take lots of pictures of the boys here. I got to relive riding the horse and you can see my 10 year old self in the gallery below, along with my kids on the same horse.
From Wall Drug we drove directly toward the Mount Rushmore area. Along the way we hit Bear Country and got to see lots and lots of Bears along with an Elk or two. The kids really enjoyed having the animals walk right in front of the cars and thought the guy in front of us was going to be eaten since his window was always open.
That same evening we hit Mount Rushmore and enjoyed a few of the nice walking paths around the area. There was a nice history lesson on how it was built, and I even got a post card that shows the lesser known fact that Jefferson was originally on the other side of Washington.
The next day we hit a Crystal Mine which was not all that exciting. They had a zip line but it was broken much to Brandon’s disappointment. We also visited a gold mine which was a much better tour. A lot of good history and a great tour guide makes a huge difference.
We then hit the Crazy horse area. This was very interesting and the kids loved the movie about building this. It is amazing how it started with just one person, then he had lots of children and they have been working on it since his death. I hope it gets finished some day!
Finally we had lunch in Custer, SD. In Custer we were going to go to the Flintstone park but Brandon was not in the mood so we did not want to spend the money. Instead we started the drive home. Along the way we stopped for a round of mini-golf in Rapid City where the boys got to dress up as pirates.
The last night we stopped at Brandon, SD at a waterpark. The kids got to swim and play for a few hours before we drove the rest of the way home. Exhausting for a vacation!
BTW how do you enjoy the new look.. It now works on tablets and phones! Rick out.