South Dakota officially means we made it out West! Our stay in the Black Hills was the highlight of our time in South Dakota but we needed to break up the long drive from Duluth, Minnesota. We decided to stay a few days in Sioux Falls since it was about an 8 hour drive from Duluth. (8 hours while towing a trailer)
Originally we were only going to stay in Sioux Falls for 4 nights but when we called the RV park, they said if we paid for 5 nights we got two free. Well that was good for the budget so we said ok. Renee really wanted to see one of her favorite performers, Grace Potter at Jazz Fest, oh and Tim says Grace is easy on the eyes and a great musician. We rearranged our schedule to accommodate the music festival. We can honestly say there is no real reason to stay in Sioux Falls for more than a day or two unless there is an event you want to go to or you just need some down time. The day we arrived it was very hot, we finally ran into summer. Check out the temperature, it was 90 but the feels like temperature was 101. We are from Florida and are used to the heat but 101??? The falls are pretty and worth a visit if you do find yourself in Sioux Falls. Check out the pics and video.
Of course we had a great time as we always do. We went to a minor league baseball game to cheer on the Sioux Falls Canaries (yes the Canaries) - we really enjoy the minor league baseball experience, Tim remembers going to minor league baseball games as a kid with his family and later as a teenager/adult with his dad, good memories!
Then there was Jazz Fest, this was our third time seeing Grace Potter and boy does she put on a show. We also were impressed with some of the lesser known talent. Oh and BTW the festival was FREE!!!! (Tim was so happy, he can be cheap errhhh frugal!). See pics and videos below.
So far we keep saying how the dogs have been great travelers and that we have not had any issues, well that was not the case in Sioux Falls. Late one afternoon we took the dogs to a park to get some much needed exercise. Bella started acting funny, looked like she had a seizure or a stroke, she could not use her left side or pick up her head. Tim picked her up put her in the front seat with him and poured a gallon of water on her as we blasted the AC. Renee drove like a maniac to the nearest emergency vet. She ended up being fine (the vet said it was the heat) but what a scare! We headed back to Peg to relax that evening, well.....Greta decided to pick that night to bolt out the door to chase rabbits that were abundant in the RV park. We took off after her running like crazy people. She was hurdling over people's campfires and scaring everyone half to death. With some help we were finally able to corral her. We do not have any pictures of those incidents but check out the slide show of miscellaneous pics from our stay in Sioux Falls.
We are so excited to go to all of the amazing places "Out West" that we have dreamed about and talked about. Words and pictures do not do it justice, however we will try! Check out the sunset at our campground near Rapid City.
We decided to simply rank the attractions we visited in the area and share the pictures and videos we took.
1. Custer State Park - took this from the parks website, could not have said it better:
Custer State Park is home to roaming buffalo, towering peaks and cool mountain lakes. It’s a place filled with history, adventures and countless family activities. Spanning 71,000 acres, the park is one of the largest state parks in the country and is the best nature has to offer.
We loved Custer - the scenic drives, the wildlife and well maintained park. We want to go back and camp in the park for an extended period of time. Check out a sample of pictures we took from our day in the park, click on a picture to expand it.
Check out some of the videos we took from our day in Custer State Park
2. Badlands National Park - a truly unique place, It is hard to explain but this place draws you in to it's simplicity. Just the drive alone is amazing. Being able to hike the mountains here was a real treat. On our way to The Badlands we stopped at the famous Wall Drugstore - very touristy but worth a quick stop, check out some pics we took.
Check out the photo gallery from our day in Badlands National Park, click on the pictures to expand.
3. Mount Rushmore - Of course no trip to SD would be complete without going to Mount Rushmore. We dropped camp and rushed to the monument before the sunset to meet our friend Treasure Richardson. Treasure is the daughter of Renee's former boss, Lindon. Renee has known her since she was born. Treasure and her friend Liz just happened to be on a U.S. summer tour and our paths overlapped for about 14 hours!! We got to see Mount Rushmore before the sunset. We also stayed for a very informative documentary and a special treat, seeing the monument lit up at night. The next morning we met Treasure and Liz for breakfast before they headed to Colorado.
4. Spearfish Canyon - we enjoyed our drive and hike in Spearfish Canyon but it does not compare to Custer or The Badlands in our book. See description from the website below. Worth a visit if you have time.
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway throngs with summertime pleasure drivers. Thousand-foot-high limestone palisades in shades of brown, pink and gray tower to the right and left of Highway 14A as it twists through the 19-mile gorge.
5. Deadwood and Sturgis - Sooooo sorry if any of you like Deadwood but we did not. We found it to be way too touristy for our taste. We walked the dogs around had a local beer and "headed out of dodge". I mean they even had guys dressed up in the streets pretending to have a gun fight. Not our cup of tea. Then Renee had to go to the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, the biggest biker bar in the world! It was a week before Sturgis bike week so the bar was under construction but open. And they are right it is huge!!!
Some pics from Deadwood
Some Pics from the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis
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