SOUTH DAKOTA

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Where I stayed
Deerview Bed & Breakfast

Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Jenna and I went on a road trip to South Dakota in July 2005. I flew out to Colorado and we left the next morning for our seven hour ride to SD. For all my geographically-challenged friends, you have to drive north through Wyoming and then east to South Dakota.  Driving through the Midwest is definitely an experience in its own right. There is absolutely NOTHING to see!  Flat land, farms, and fields, oh my! The scenery is so uninspiring and blah...although the speed limit in some areas is 75 mph so I guess that's a plus.
We drove directly to Mount Rushmore National Park.  It's one of those places that is really cool to look at for about three minutes and takes tons of pictures, and then it's like ok, now what???
Rushmore is a monumental granite sculpture created by Gutzon Borglum.  It represents the first 150 years of the history of the USA with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.  The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres and is 5,725 feet above sea level. 
When you walk to the the monument, you first go through the Avenue of Flags.  The Avenue features the official flags of all U.S. states, territories, districts, and commonwealths, arranged in alphabetical order.
After taking every picture imagined of Mount Rushmore, we walked the Presidential Trail, which is a 1/2-mile loop around the monument.
Lastly, we visited the Sculptor's Studio which provides understanding how Borglum and his crew carved the sculpture from Black Hills granite.
Next, we headed over to the Crazy Horse Memorial. If you think Mount Rushmore is big, think again! The Crazy Horse Memorial is a wonder of the world in progress; an entire mountain is metamorphosing into a 563 ft. high memorial sculpture of the great Lakota war leader Crazy Horse. When completed, it will be the largest sculpture in the world! All of the four Rushmore heads could fit inside!
The next day, we drove about an hour or so to Badlands National Park. On the way, we made the obligatory stop at Wall Drug, the mother of all "drug stores". On the way leading up to Wall Drug, you are bombarded by billboards. They have over 500 miles of bill boards on Interstate 90, stretching from Minnesota to Billings, Montana. Wall Drug spends an estimated $400,000 on bill board signs every year!!! I mean, how can you not stop after all of that?!?
It is a sprawling shopping mall consisting of a drug store, gift shop, restaurants and various other stores. It is so cheesy and you can literally find every possible kind of souvenir (yes, Jenna and I bought Wall Drug t-shirts) known to man.  
After our stop at Wall Drug, we went to Badlands National Park. It is a beautiful, yet strange and eerie place. Steep canyons, towering spires, and flat-topped tables are all found among Badlands buttes. The Badlands are essentially the result of two basic geologic processes: deposition and erosion. By car, we meandered through the Badlands for a few hours, stopping at various places to walk around and take pictures...I remember it being very windy. It was an amazing place and in my opinion, much more interesting and awe-inspiring than Mount Rushmore.
We stayed at the Deerview B&B in Hill City. Where do I begin??? This was the funniest place that I have ever stayed. The decor was so gaudy; even the door was wallpapered! The room looked like a flower garden threw up in there. I could not control my laughter when we arrived...sorry Linda! There was no mistake that we were in South Dakota...we had the deer's stuffed head to prove it!
Hill City was a cute little area...pretty much one main street with shops and restaurants. We ate dinner at one restaurant where I can not for the life of me remember the name but I remember our entire steak dinner, including dessert was less than $10.
Our last night in South Dakota was spent in Deadwood. We were told by our server at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Rapid City (all the food you can imagine!!) that it was a "little Vegas". Oh my God...he needs to get out more! It was so lame and pathetic...it makes Atlantic City look like Vegas! And I have never been to a casino where you don't even win a quarter...somehow we managed to lose money in this godforsaken place.
Overall, it was a good trip...we felt very patriotic! We had a great time together and we're both glad that we didn't drag T or Mark there...we think they would have killed us!
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