Our three days in South Dakota have been days of discovery, fun, and reunion. First I need to say that the green colors of South Dakota were incredibly pleasing to my senses, my eyes have been happy since the morning we started driving west from Sioux Falls.
The variety that is South Dakota was one of our big discoveries. First, we had fun at the “must stop” everyone told us about…the Corn Palace in Mitchell. It was even pet-friendly, which was an unexpected treat for Zuko.
After a visit to the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site (Cam learned about the Cold War and the concept of mutually assured destruction), the next discovery was how amazing the Badlands are! We went for a fun hike with lots of opportunity for scrambling over the rocks and up hills. Stark beauty at its best.
I should mention that Cam has really been enjoying the junior ranger programs at the various national park service sites we have visited – the Badlands was his third badge of this trip (I think his 7th overall). He would never have opted to sit through the movie at the visitor center if it wan’t a required activity, but he loved it. And since I had to wait outside with the dog, he enjoyed telling be all about the geology of the Badlands, especially that they are wearing down 1″ each year and will be gone in 100-500,000 years.
The most fun was being able to share my enjoyment of rock climbing with Cam for the first time – on the Needles in the Black Hills. The guides from Sylvan Rock Climbing were wonderful, very adaptive to the needs of a climber who hasn’t climbed in over 10 years and a 10 year old who had only climbed in a rock gym.
My husband flew in to join us for the second half of our trip, so together we toured the Crazy Horse Memorial – probably one of my favorite places we have visited this trip. Not only is the memorial itself amazing, the story of how the project came about and how it is being carried out by the family of the artist are awe inspiring.
We spent our last afternoon exploring Custer State Park. The prairie was such a new environment for us, and seeing the wildlife was a real treat.
As for food and wine…no pics, but we picked up some clover honey from the Black Hills, wild chokeberry preserves, and Lawrence Elk wine from Prairie Berrie Winery.
The adventures continue on our cross country road trip.