Blogs from South Dakota, United States, North America


North America » United States » South Dakota » Keystone August 27th 2019

Driving across the country is awesome and something everyone should do. You learn so much and see so many things. This is a great land and it's so much fun to see how different it is in each state! In Iowa we couldn't get over the amount to corn and soybeans being farmed there. In South Dakota we saw more hay that I've ever seen in my life. They are also the top producer of sunflowers. The sunflower fields were beautiful though it was hard to get a picture of them from the Interstate and from a moving vehicle. It was a short drive to our first stop in Mitchell, SD. The guys needed to check out Cabelas and then we headed to the main attraction in Mitchell the Corn Palace. The corn place was built ... read more
Mitchell's Corn Palace
Mitchell's Corn Palace
Mitchell's Corn Palace

North America » United States » South Dakota » Rapid City August 1st 2019

Big day, today. We had Devil’s Tower on our agenda, but mid-day we decided to add Badlands as well. We left the hotel at 8:10 AM and 63 degrees. The weather was promising rain for a good part of the day. The skies were cloudy and we had a low ceiling hanging heavy over us all day long. The cows were lying down in the pastures and, according to my mother, that means rain is coming. It only took us a little over an hour to get to Devil’s Tower National Park. The scenery was familiar, with rolling green hills, cows and horses in pastures, and occasional faces of gray rock poking out at us along the side of the road. Miles before we got to the gate, we caught sight of the top of the ... read more
Road to Devil's Tower
Road to Devil's Tower
Road to Devil's Tower

July 18 This morning we got up after a thunder filled night of sleep. The mosquitos now seem to know our names and greet us cheerfully the minute we step outside. We were anxious to leave this place this morning so I only offered David cold cereal for breakfast. We just couldn’t leave here soon enough. The dogs were quick too this morning, quite happy to get in the truck. We are heading west to the Black Hills. We’ve never spent a lot of time in the Black Hills just a quick stop so in total we will spend 7 days sight seeing. Unfortunately, our worries about the drivers side front tire and the shimmy is first in our list to attend too. David called yesterday and got a tire and alignment appointment for tomorrow about ... read more
Bison in Grasslands National Park near highway 44
Rancher bailing hay near the Black Hills in SD.
Old Sinclair dinosaur near Rapid City SD on highway 44.

July 15-16 On day two in the Badlands, laundry almost done, we left the dog’s and drove to the Badlands park visitors center. We enjoyed the archeological bones exhibit. We picked up our magnet. We have 60+ now on the refrigerator from all our trips. Just seven so far this trip. We headed out toward the loop road which explores the western half of the park. There were some beautiful vistas with lush green grass separating the sedimentary formations. The farther north the color of the formations changed and began exhibiting streaks of yellow and reddish hues among the common grey formations. It certainly beautiful in its foreboding desolation. We wondered how did Indians and pioneers survive this area? We saw remnants of sod huts from those days. This area was once inhabited by a large ... read more
Change of colors in the Badlands!
Mountain Goats IN the road!
Cattle on the road!

July 15 We were up and at it early this morning. We’d needed to hookup and before leaving the campground dump the sewer. It was already really warm. David was sweat out by the time we were on the road. Thankfully, It was only 153 miles to the Badlands KOA, just outside the national park. As we drove we could feel the shimmy in the truck. We think we are going to have to have it aligned. We’ve got a front truck tire wearing on the outside as well. We know there is nothing in the badlands area where we can get work done so it will have to wait until our next stop near Rapid City SD. We turned off I-90 south and found we were actually driving through the east portion of the park. ... read more
Badlands formations
Storm Brewing 2!
Storm Brewing 4!

North America » United States » South Dakota » Pierre July 14th 2019

July 12-14 It’s been frustrating to blog last week without WiFi and very little cell signal. And it doesn’t seem to be getting better but worse. I’m making notes and will post when I can upload pictures and text. This morning we got up and headed northwest again. We were hoping for better roads but it was only marginally better. We hit a bridge seam that was bad and noticed a shimmy had developed in the truck. It is very difficult to tell if it’s the road or the truck. If we could find a smooth road we might know but that’s asking the impossible. We arrived at Oahe Dam Downstream campground near Pierre SD by mid afternoon. It was hot but not as bad as Iowa. We had to get water as we try not ... read more
Our Campground Oahe Dam.
Our big campsite at Oahe Dam downstream campground.
Swatting mosquitos!!

July 9-11 We got up and left around 10 this morning going the 137 miles to Newton Hills SD State Park. We had stayed there in the summer of 2017 to visit local grave sites of my great-grandparents on my mother’s side. Newton Hills is about a mile from Beloit Iowa, were Grandpa Payne’s parents and grandparents were buried out near a farm. In 2017 we met the caretakers son who was trimming trees. He does a nice job of taking care of the graveyard. I had never been to see these graves until 2017. It was interesting. The area is a lush river valley with large field of crops separated by a few trees, mostly cottonwoods. Now in July as last time in August the area is beautiful. I could see why the family farmed ... read more
Our campsite!
Red all bandaged
if you taste them your addicted!!!

Tom and I are driving home through the prairie states of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. We drove west through Canada’s prairie provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. I told him today that though I love some of the things about the eastern US (I lived in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Tennessee), I’m a child of the prairies, having lived in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, and love to be where I can look across the wide spaces, see the whole sky, and breathe with the help of the constant wind. Middle America is not just “flyover” country to me. We’ve spent the last couple of days at Custer State Park in South Dakota. If you’ve never been there, it’s time to go. Tourist attractions range from watching real cowboys round up real buffalo (bison ... read more
Tatanka at Rest
On the move
Herding Buffalo

First of all, John and I want to wish my baby brother, David M, and our good friend Barb A very Happy Birthdays! We hope you both have wonderful ones. Love you!! We pulled out of camp at 9:15 heading directly to the local library in hopes of good WiFi. The folks there were very accommodating and I was soon busily at work getting yesterday’s blog out. Leaving the library at 10:30, Spearfish Canyon was our next excursion. Leaving the town of Spearfish on the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, we were soon back in the Black Hills. It was a very nice drive and we expect it would be spectacular in the Fall when the Aspen and Beech trees turn. It was pretty today but in comparison to the drives in the Mount Rushmore area, it ... read more
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway
Tornado Damage on Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway
Bridal Veil Falls on Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway

Day 13 - Another early start to the day for our ride to Cody, Wyoming. A brief stop in Cody at Wayne's Boot World, where I bought my boots in 2014, thanks to eagle eye Snapper. Bought some cream for Nifty's boots and Angela's jacket, I was almost talked into a couple of western belts but managed to stay strong, there'll be more Western stores along the road. From here an uninteresting ride to Meeteetse, then onto Thermopolis for morning tea. We sat in a beautiful park by the hot springs, inhaling that unforgettable sulphur odour which wafted across town. Next up was a section that I have been looking forward to, Wind River Canyon, which runs from Thermopolis to Shoshoni along the Wind River. Another terrific canyon ride, which I filmed on the Go Pro, ... read more

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