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September 2017

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Frances K

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South Dakota and heading southwest.

Part II

Continuing our way back to the west coast. South Dakota, like most states, is diverse from one region to another. Traveling from Sioux Falls our next destination is Rapid City via I 90. Unfortunately eastern SD is not quite scenic, unless you like endless cornfields, open fields, grasslands and more fields. Maybe a few cows. Pretty much like parts of Nebraska and Kansas. Nothing against that we need our farms.

Occasionally something unexpected will catch your eye…..

A field of statues.

Or this cute little chapel near a rest stop near Eureka, SD. Very plain inside, complete with bibles to read, and a nice place to sit and contemplate or just get away from the traffic outside. And it’s air conditioned.

Or just a single lonely tree out on the grassland.

We planned on three days travel time, just taking it slow and easy, but, as usual, we got there earlier than expected. I managed to get an extra day added to our reservation and we got there before noon. This campground, Rushmore Shadows, was super nice. The site was a cement slab, nice picnic table, and parked at the very end of a row with a little pond, lots of trees to look at. One of the nicer places we’ve stayed. Old McDonalds Farm was right next door too. Seriously! All the farm animals were there and then some. Okay, it was a touristy place, too bad we didn’t have little ones with us.

Since we had the rest of the afternoon to kill we went to The Mount Rushmore after lunch. Turns out it was only about a 20 minute drive. Very worth the time spent there.

This is the artists original model.

I thought this was cool, a picture of a picture on working on the statue.

Before we left Rapid City we went back at night to see it all in lights.

At the gate these two guys were enjoying an evening meal.

They light up the statue;

It’s really pretty cool at night.

There is patriotic music playing, a short film explaining the reasons on picking the four presidents. Then the host, Nat’l Park ranger, invited all current military and veterans to the stage for a “Thank you for your service” and folding of the flag.

Yep, William is there in that crowd. Have to admit it was all done very well. “Oohrah”

Unfortunately neither of us could get any pictures, but most mornings at the little pond across from our coach a family of about 4 deer 🦌 would frequent the pond for breakfast. Skittish tho. The first morning I walked out to watch, this was about 6 am. Walked very slowly to get close, then tried to stand very still. Poppa deer with a nice 4 point rack kept bobbing his head up and down looking for trouble. Soon as I lifted my arm to take a picture off they went.

One morning they were there at 4 am, another around six. Usually too dark to get a picture from inside, but there was enough light to watch.

Another day we took a trip to Custer State Park. ( turned out it wasn’t that far either). A bit pricey to get in but in the end it was worth it. (Not to mention free entry for the next seven days to any SD state park – which we didn’t take advantage of).

Custer SP is a wildlife preserve. This is what we saw……..

Mule Deer (I think)

A pronghorn

Technical difficulties……..

To be continued


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