February 22, 2003

South Dakota

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South Dakota - "The Mount Rushmore State"

Teresea: "Since Kelly posted some wonderful things about my birth-state of Nebraska above, I will have to contribute for my adopted state of South Dakota.

So-Dak has some of the best pheasant and deer hunting to be found (for those that go for that) and well as wonderful walleye and perch fishing in the east and trout fishing out west.

It also has a wide variety of landscapes from wide open prairie to rolling hills to the badlands and the Black Hills. Even in the Black Hills there is a variety, by Hill City the trees aren't as densly populated as other parts of the hills and the landscape is rolling green hills. By Custer and Keystone there are hairline curves, cliffs, Needles Highway, basically a mini-mountain atmosphere.

Mount Rushmore is a tourist attraction, yes, but if there is a drop of patriotism in you the lighting ceremony at night on the 4th of July will move you.

Deadwood is sort-of a mini Las Vegas, wild west style.

Oh, did I mention no income tax and low crime rate (cars are often left running in the downtown area of my city and don't get stolen)?"

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Posted by Lester on February 22, 2003 11:45 AM
Comments

Wall Drug! Billboards advertising it for miles along I-90! I saw it in 1968, driving with my parents and sister on our way (ultimately) to Guam by way of Los Angeles and Hawai'i. I think it's the ultimate in Roadside Americana.

Posted by: Linkmeister on February 22, 2003 06:03 PM

We lived in the Black Hills of South Dakota for 3 1/2 years and that place touched us permanently. From the moment we got chased by our first buffalo in a foot of snow we knew South Dakota would hold a special place in our hearts. There are so many special things about the Rapid City area that I can't possibly remember or list them all here. Some highlights: Dinosaur Park, Drive Thru Espresso Cabins, Storybook Island, Stavkirke Chapel, , The view from Skyline Drive when a thunderstorm is on the plains, climbing to the highest point in the state - Harney Peak, the bridge near Keystone, ghost towns, The Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, Bear Country, Wall Drug... I could go on. We really miss South Dakota and plan to go back one day.

Posted by: Amy on February 22, 2003 09:17 PM

And don't forget South Dakota's other strange piece of Roadside Americana. The Corn Palace. An Auditorium/Arena with Russian style Minarets, and murals made of Corn and other agricultural products.

Weird, but also cool.

The Missouri River runs through the center of South Dakota, dividing it into East and West River. (With appropriate rivalries.) The Missouri has several dams, creating large freshwater lakes with excellent fishing.

And a drive across South Dakota on a Summer night during a thunderstorm can be amazingly spectacular. Those of us born in the state sometimes take it for granted, but its natural beauty is breathtaking. The prairies go for miles in each direction, and the sound of the wind through the tall grass is beautiful.

One last point: The Badlands National Park in the Southwest part of the state. Natural erosion has produced some unearthly formations. Definitely worth the extra time to drive through. And downright creepy at night.

Posted by: Keith on February 22, 2003 09:17 PM

South Dakota - - - FREEDOM. Plenty of space, you don't have to rub elbows unless you want to. The smell of the wind over the prairies, fresh cut hay, the rattle of the leaves in the corn fields, the howl of the coyote at night, the deep snow in winter (making for great sledding), the frozen creeks, lakes & rivers (making for ice skating parties at night with a bonfire on the bank), knowing who and what your neighbors are and liking them anyway, the close-knit family (including cousins, aunts, uncles & grandparents), freedom to be who you are where you are, the wonderful smell and feel of COMING HOME!!!

Posted by: Barb on February 23, 2003 12:55 PM

Me and my family lived in Spearfish, SD for a couple of years and those years hold several of my favorite memories. The Hiking!! My parents were young -- middle 20s and broke. Just starting to make their way. This was a great place to be entertained by nature. The Black Hills are full of countless almost-forgotten paths and stories of native americans and gold-diggers. Some of my favorites are: Devil's Bathtub, Bear Butte, Spearfish Canyon and Mt. Roosevelt.... and an abandoned Silver Mine that was covered with mica and shimmered in the sunshine somewhere in the Hills outside of Deadwood.

Posted by: Liz on February 25, 2003 05:46 PM