The Greatest Road Trip USA? - Our Round USA Road Tour.
The State of South Dakota, USA
Part of a year long trip from Sept ’94 - Sept ’95 through 36 USA States and 2 Canadian Provinces by Jean and Graham Beven in ‘Serendipity’ their 30 foot Winnebago Chieftain.
South Dakota - Round Trip USA
We visited the state of South Dakota, USA for 6 days as there were a couple of things on our must see list of places to visit.
There are however seven National Wildlife Refuges, Three Bureau of Land Management areas, four National Parks and ---- State Parks in the state of South Dakota.
The State Tourist Office for the state of South Dakota, USA is: South Dakota Department of Tourism - 532 South Perry Street, Montgomery, AL 36104.
24th July 1995 Travelled from Harrison, Nebraska. to Rapid City, South Dakota. via Deadwood, South Dakota . A long drive – saw loads of pronghorn antelope. Shredded a tyre today and called in to Newcastle for the spare to be put on!
Arrived at Deadwood, SD. ( Sin City!) at about 4pm and walked the historic tour. Visited the Adams Museum . Did not do any gambling! Wild Bill Hickock was murdered here in Deadwood, SD. on 2nd August 1876 – A statue commemorating his life (and death) is in a prominent place on the historic trail.
Had dinner and moved on to Rapid City , SD.
25th Went from Rapid City, SD. to Cedar Pass, South Dakota. On the way we visited Mount Rushmore National Memorial. We were surprised to find that the visitors centre was so far away from the actual sculpture. The relief is the second most globally recognised USA feature after the Statue of LIberty. The relief shows, left to right - Presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The National Monument has an Amphitheatre for viewing the Sculpture, The Artists Studio and an exhibits area. To give some scale to the sculpture, Washington's head is 60 feet high, the eye width is 11 feet! The sculpture is illuminated at night throughout the year.
A few miles south west of Mount Rushmore is the Native American equivalent Crazy Horse National Memorial on Hyw 16 just north of Custer, South DaKota. The view we got from the viewing area showed work was still in progress.
Later we drove to Wounded Knee, Lakota Nation, South Dakota. Visited the native American graveyard at Wounded Knee, SD. A very sad place. The Massacre at Wounded Knee as the ‘Battle’ should be called is a National Monument – neglected by the American people – not even signposted. We were touched by the simplicity and neglect of the place. Strips of material and feathers flying at totems from the fence and graves. Drove through Pine Ridge Reservation and The Buffalo Gap National Grassland. Overnight in Cedar Pass, SD.
26th From Cedar Pass, SD. to Mitchell, South Dakota. Driving
through The Badlands National Monument, South Dakota. Another long drive today 258 miles.
The first hour was spent driving through ‘The Badlands’. An amazing site – in some places you could see thirty miles! There wasn’t a tree in sight for that distance! An unbroken skyline.
Arrived to overnight in Mitchell, SD.
27th July Travelled from Mitchell, SD. to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
In Mitchell, SD. visited the worlds only Corn Palace . Every year the building is decorated in corn (maize) – that year they were celebrating a local rodeo and the elaborate decorations depicted the event in one form or another. The year 2005 - celebrates Farming in South Dakota. Take a look at the Corn Palace Web Cam
After leaving Mitchell we visited a place dear to Graham's heart - Garretson, SD. Where Jessie James 'Jumped the Gap' -
On 7th September 1876, Jessie James, his brother Frank and the Younger brothers held up the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota. By the end of that day all of the James gang except Frank and Jessie were dead or captured. Jessie and Frank were both wounded and on the run from reputedly the biggest posse every assembled in US history. Pinned against the canyon at a place called Split Rock Creek in Garretson, South Dakota, Jessie was facing certain capture or even death. Deciding to go for broke, Jessie jumped a 20 foot chasm on his horse over Split Rock Creek. The place and the events of that day are carved into local history and the gap now known as Devil's Gulch is a state park. You can visit the gulch and over the very spot by bridge where Jessie James made his now infamous leap into history. While you are there there make sure to visit the waterfall. The route there is very scenic and worth the visit.
Follow this link to Garretson and take virtual tour of the 'Gap' by following the link through 'Split Rock Park' to 'Gulch'.
Camped at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sioux Falls a city of in the southeast of the state near the Minnesota border. First settled around 1856 and abandoned in 1862. Re-established as a military post in 1865. It is now the largest city in South Dakota with a population around 133,000 good folk.
28th From Sioux Falls, SD. to Spirit Lake, North Dakota.
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