Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thirteen Things to do in South Dakota

As many of you may know, my husband is from South Dakota. We are planning a trip to go see his parents and spend some time with them this fall. Sadly we won't be able to take Harley with us (cost, hassle, and too long of a flight) so he will be spending a fun time with our friends and their puppy. We are really lucky to be blessed with some friends who are actually excited to puppy sit for us for a few days. Harley is such a charmer. Anywhoo- Kyle has been planning out the trip and what we will do while we are there. I have been there I think 3 or 4 different times but always at Christmastime in the dead of winter. I am talking -14 degrees here folks! And we live in Florida so it is quite a shock to kick off those flip flops and pull on 2 layers of flannel and snow boots! This will be my first time to go before it gets all frigid up there! So I am going to get to see some of the sights that are usually blanketed by a few feet of snow during my visit. So, here are 13 things that I will be doing in South Dakota:

1. Going to see the Badlands Badlands National Park

2. Seeing the Adam's Museum which is the oldest history museum in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Pioneer businessman W.E. Adams built the museum in 1930 as a memorial to his family and to honor the early pioneers that settled the Black Hills.

Did I mention my husband is from Deadwood, South Dakota? Did anyone see the HBO series called "Deadwood"? It was based on his hometown. It is an old western gold mining town famous for being the place where the legendary Wild Bill Hickock was killed in the Number 10 saloon. For a brief history:Deadwood

3. Mouth Mariah CemeteryI am not going to lie and say I want to go here. It creeps me out and I am against it.
However my husband insists that it is a part of the history of the town and a necessary visit.

4.White Rocks "White rocks are the rim rocks that look over deadwood" - Kyle in an email to my after I could not find info for this description. It is a favorite local site.

5. Southern Hills

A beautiful mountain range we will go see.

6. Mt. Rushmore I took this picture! I had been once when I was younger so we didn't go inside the Memorial when Kyle and I went. I kind of hope we do this time. Anyone seen National Treasure 2? Yeah...I want to treasure hunt!

I did not take this one!

Mt. Rushmore : "The four figures carved in stone on Mount Rushmore represent the first 150 years of American history. The birth of our nation was guided by the vision and courage of George Washington. Thomas Jefferson always had dreams of something bigger, first in the words of the Declaration of Independence and later in the expansion of our nation through the Louisiana Purchase. Preservation of the union was paramount to Abraham Lincoln but a nation where all men were free and equal was destined to be. At the turn of the Twentieth Century Theodore Roosevelt saw that in our nation was the possibility for greatness. Our nation was changing from a rural republic to a world power. The ideals of these presidents laid a foundation for our nation as solid as the rock from which their figures are carved. Each man possessed great skills and leadership of the brand our nation needed for the times. Today millions of visitors come to see Mount Rushmore and gain inspiration from these four great men. " (sniped from Mt. Rushmore website)

7. Devil's Bathtub

"It’s the worst-kept secret in the Black Hills. True, it has all the markings of a hidden trail – no signage, access off a secluded gravel road, no mention on major maps – but everyone knows about the hike to Devil’s Bathtub. It’s a local favorite, circulated by word-of-mouth for decades, but rarely mentioned in local guidebooks. Nevertheless, the trail is well-traveled during the summer months, mostly by families and small groups of young hikers eager to escape the sizzling heat." (graciously borrowed from here)

8. Spearfish Canyon

"This is Spearfish Canyon, a breathtaking 20-mile-long gulch at the northern edge of South Dakota’s Black Hills. Treasured in summer by fly fishermen for its blue-ribbon stream and prized as a haven for cross-country skiers in winter, Spearfish Canyon becomes a leaf-peeper’s paradise in between, clothed by a veritable rainbow of fall colors. " (borrowed from above link)

9. Terry Peak Lookout

A few fun Terry Peak facts:

- Terry Peak is 7,076 feet in elevation with a vertical drop of 1,100 feet.

- Terry Peak is one of the highest peaks between the Rockies and the Alps.

- Terry Peak receives an average of 150 inches of snow each season.

- Kyle and I carved our names at the top the first time he took me there! We plan to go back and visit our initials. When we carved them we were just dating and now we have almost been married a year!

10. Homestake Gold Mine

The Homestake Gold Mine was one of the early enterprises associated with the Gold Rush of 1876 in the northern Black Hills of what was then Dakota Territory.

11. Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial, home of the world’s largest mountain sculpture in progress, is in the Black Hills of South Dakota on U.S. Highway 16/385 just 17 miles southwest

12. Saloon No. 10

"The Old Style Style Saloon #10 is a living museum - maybe the only one in the world with a full bar - where you can view of historical western and mining camp artifacts spanning over 100 years that we've collected during our 50-plus years in business. "

Yes folks! This is where Wild Bill Hickok was killed in 1876. In the summer they have a theatrical play reenacting the time surrounding his murder and the trial of Jack McCall who killed him.

13. Main Street Kyle's Mom told me once that when they were younger they would cruise Main Street and they called it "Taking a Mainer", don't you love small towns? Basically you drive through the main part of town and see what everyone is up to and what is going on in town. The cool thing about Deadwood is that Main Street is really historical and neat, they have trolleys that transport people all around and the buildings are really cool and old. Also, there is a webcam on Main Street so you can see what is going on. It is a pretty busy town on holidays and they have lots of special events that bring in the crowds. The infamous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally takes place about 1o minutes from Deadwood so it can be super busy at that time.
For a timeline of Deadwood's unique history ( I know you are out there history buffs!)

Deadwood in 1877 (above), Deadwood a bit more recently (below)

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