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The Dakotas

Posted by on May 24, 2015

I’m going to be honest…the Dakotas are a bit of a blur for me. It was raining on and off the whole time so we had to cram the few activities we had planned into a couple of jam packed days. Now, keep in mind, we’re really just making our way up to Alaska and just catching a few things on our list as we go.

Since there really wasn’t a whole lot we could do during our time in the Dakotas this go around, I’m grouping them together into one post.

IMG_0555South Dakota! We didn’t get to see Mount Rushmore this time around. We will definitely be doing that before it’s all said and done though. In South Dakota we stayed in Fort Pierre which is right across the river from the State Capital, Pierre. Every time we crossed the river we switched time zones. It got to be a joke for us. In the movie The Mummy with Brandon Fraser in it there’s a part where a boat they’re on goes down and half of them are on one side of the river and the other half end up on the opposite side of the river. The good guy calls out to the bad guy, “You’re on the wrong side of the river!”…Anyway, that phrase was said quite a bit and we all laughed every time. Yes, we’re those people. IMGP0600Fun fact…Pierre is the second smallest State Capital. Not so fun fact…there’s not much to do there and almost no cell service. Fort Pierre and Pierre (seen in the picture above) are really quite picturesque! We went up on some of the surrounding hills and found some great views of the cities of Fort Pierre and Pierre. There are pheasant everywhere! They’re like the armadillo of The Dakotas! For some reason they like to stay right by the road.

IMGP0610We stayed near the ruins of the original Fort Pierre. There wasn’t really much to see. A rock with a plaque in the middle of a grassy field. There was a sign that told where they thought everything was based on a wall they found.

IMGP0536The State Capitol Building in Pierre was very ornate. The inside was richly decorated in golds and marble with murals and plenty of mosaic tile flooring. It really was very pretty. I’m a sucker for a good dome and this Capitol Building didn’t let me down.IMGP0538

We went to the South Dakota Culture Heritage Center and spent an hour looking at all of the history of the state. If you ever get a chance to go into one of the Culture Center you really should. The ones we’ve found so far have been free (donation appreciated) and have been really spectacular museums! IMGP0498I won’t post up all the pictures I took (I took more than I probably needed to), but I’ll share the tee-pee with y’all. All three boys enjoyed walking through the tee-pee.

IMG_0556In North Dakota we stayed in Menoken. It’s a small town east of Bismarck (the State Capital). It was a teeny tiny town with zero cell service. I will say this about the RV park we stayed in…it had the cleanest and best bathrooms we’ve come across so far. The bathrooms had wall heaters! That’s huge when you’re trying to shower and it’s cold outside! Oh! And the showers were free! It’s the little things.

In North Dakota we went to see Sitting Bulls grave site and found Fort Manuel. This fort…sheesh it was hard to find and then when we finally found it, it ended up being closed. Plus, the guy’s drive way we had to go down to get to it…he was less than amused. We still walked around it and enjoyed the views. Here are a few photos from the Fort.

IMGP0690 - Copy IMGP0692 - Copy IMGP0695 - CopyIMGP0698They think Sacagawea (Sakakawea in the Dakotas or “Jane” by Lewis and Clark) is buried nearby. There wasn’t a headstone or a grave site so I’m kind of doubtful that she is.

On our way to Montana, we made one more stop in South Dakota!IMGP0836

We did the scenic drive stopping for a couple of quick hikes and to look at the wildlife! The Badlands were full of…IMGP0783 - Copybuffalo,IMGP0753 - Copy - Copyprairie dogs,IMGP0778 - Copywild horses,IMG_0582 - Copy - Copyand awe inspiring views!

The two little boys became official Junior Rangers.IMGP0830 - CopyRanger Amy was the best! You can really tell she loves her job. Because of her, our Littlest has now decided he wants to be a National Park Ranger.

So there you have it. Our time in The Dakotas. I’m sorry for the long, picture filled post, but now I’m all caught up with state posts!! We’re currently in Montana and will be taking this week at a leisurely pace since we only have one thing on our list to see for the whole week!

See ya on the road!

3 Responses to The Dakotas

  1. Becky Simpson

    I love the pictures, the more, the merrier… the prairie dog looks like he’s chillin… 😉 Buffalo’s will charge, but he doesn’t look too concerned.
    I agree, it is the little things. Clean facilities are huge!! Decades ago I remember taking a shower in Yellowstone and there wasn’t any heat. I also had been living in Texas, fastest shower ever taken…..
    Mark and I were talking about how the boys will be introduced to all sorts of careers. This is awesome!!

  2. JC Webber III

    South Dakota is the BEST!

    We found so many things to do I had to make a list in order to remember them all…

    Things to do in the Black Hills of South Dakota

    Towns to visit:
    Rapid City
    Keystone
    Hill City
    Hot Springs
    Custer
    Deadwood
    Leads
    Sturgis

    Attractions:
    Reptile Gardens
    Bear Country
    Black Hills Playhouse
    Mount Rushmore
    Crazy Horse Memorial
    1880 Train
    Hot Springs Mammoth Digs
    Flying T Chuckwagon Supper Show
    Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper Show
    Circle B Ranch Chuckwagon
    Supper Show
    Museum of Geology
    Journey Museum
    South Dakota Air and Space Museum
    Thunderhead Falls

    Lakes:
    Sylvan Lake
    Stockade Lake
    Sheridan Lake
    Pactola Reservoir

    Caves:
    Wind Cave
    Jewel Cave
    Crystal Caverns
    Black Hills Caverns
    Rushmore Caves

    Miscellaneous:
    Michelson Trail (rails to trails)
    Bad Lands National Park
    Custer State Park
    Custer State Park Wildlife Loop
    Spearfish Canyon Road
    Needles Highway
    Iron Mountain Road
    Mustang ranch (the GP one)
    Roughlock Falls
    Devil’s bathtub

    • Jennie Simpson

      Hey there JC! Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time there. We’re planning on going back though! We’ll definitely check out some of the places on your list!!

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