Category Archives: South Dakota

Day 55, South Dakota to Illinois, 583 Miles, May 28th

 583 RV miles today, 9,193 total

We left North Sioux City, South Dakota into Sioux City, Iowa then South Sioux City, Nebraska in this  Tri-State city. Kind of reminded me of our visit to Four Corners in the Southwest where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico & Utah join together. A marathon drive today with the blustery mid-west central winds gusting up against Thumper as he barreled down the sometimes potholed highway. After dinner at The Ribeye (reminded us of Chris’ Steakhouse back home, Greg…& check out that tomato presentation), headed back to our home away from home, the D & W Lake Camping & RV Park in Champaign, Illinois. Heading to Cincinnati tomorrow to visit Beth’s brother John’s family. From midwest “Silicon Priarie,” m, b & t

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road…celebrate the journey.”–Fitzhugh Mullen

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” –Susan Sontag


Day 54, The Badlands of South Dakota, Wall Drugs, Minuteman Missiles, May 27th

 478.6 RV miles today, 8,610 total

After a pancake breakfast at Rafter J’s, we headed past Hill City to the famous Wall’s Drugstore since 1931. Then onto the Badlands National Park, with its peaks, gullies, butts & prairies. Then onto the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site (where I sat in one of the red commander chairs) & bison hot dogs for lunch. We saw this huge prairie dog & thought of you, Claire. Then we took the long drive across southern South Dakota stopping at the famous world outlet, Cabela’s, to buy some socks.  After dinner at Sugar Daddy’s Bar & Casino, we camped at the KOA in North Sioux Falls at the border with Iowa & Nebraska.

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”– Benjamin Disraeli

 “I’ve been about the world alot, & pretty much over our own country, but I was totally unprepared for that revelation called the Dakota Bad Lands…What I saw gave me an indescribable sense of mysterious elsewhere–a distant architecture, ethereal…, an endless supernatureal world more spiritual than earth but created out of it.” –Frank Lloyd Wright (1935)

 “Ace in the Hole.”–John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States (referring to the Minuteman weapons system during the Cuban missile crisis. Over the next two years, hundreds of Minuteman Missile silos and support structures would be constructed across the Great Plains landscape, including the state of South Dakota)

“Driving across South Dakota on Interstate 90, you will see billboard after billboard advertising everything from an 80 foot dinosaur to a shooting gallery to free ice water – all of which are located at a drug store in a tiny prairie town called Wall. With a population less than 1,000 people, Wall Drug can have over 20,000 visitors on a busy summer day. The Wall Drug Store got its start during the Depression years by offering Free Ice Water to thirsty travelers & is now an international icon. Over the years, many visitors of Wall Drug have erected signs throughout the world announcing the miles to Wall Drug from famous locations such as Antartica, Capetown, South Africa, the Great Wall of China, World War II Europe, etc.”


Day 53, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monuments, May 26th

 72.3 RV miles today, 8,131.4 total

 We went back to Mt. Rushmore in the daylight & to hike the Presidential Trail. After a lunch of bison burger & bison chili, we visited the Crazy Horse Monument. We relaxed in the afternoon going into Hill City & then went back to Crazy Horse Memorial for the laser light show at dusk. From the Black Hills of South Dakota, m, b & t

“A wise man travels to discover himself.” James Russell Lowell

 “A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.” – Crazy Horse, Sioux Chief (1840-1877)

“Oh, Great Spirit who dwells in the sky, lead us to the ;path of peach and understanding, let all of us live together as brothers and sisters.  Our life is short here, walking upon our mother earth’s surface.  Let our eyes be opened to all of the blessings you have given us.  Oh, please hear our prayer, Great Spirit.”–Indian Prayer for Peace

“One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.” –Crazy Horse (as quoted in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, 1970 by Dee Brown, Ch. 12


Posted early by mistake. Pictures to follow, m

Day 52, Estes Park, CO to Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota via Wyoming, May 25th

402.3 RV miles today, 8,059.1 total

Drove to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park to visit where we had taken our kids ~17 years ago. Then traveled up through Wyoming with Toby riding “shotgun” over to South Dakota to our Rafter J Bar Ranch RV campsite. After dinner, drove the short distance to Mt. Rushmore for the amazing light show of the 4 Presidents carved in the granite: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln & Teddy Roosevelt. About 90% of the carving at the mountain was done by dynamite. Those blasts removed about 450,000 tons of fine-grained granite from the mountain. From the Black Hills of South Dakota, m, b & t

“A monument’s dimensions should be determined by the importance to civilization of the events commemorated…Let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were.  Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away.” –Gutzon Borglum (Mt. Rushmore sculptor who labored from 1927 through 1941)