South Dakota – Final Thoughts

Got caught up in things at home once we got home and am just now posting from the last few days of our trip.  The weather turned colder with rain and significant wind about day four.  It only stopped us one day. For some reason, “sideways rain” and sustained winds at 35 with guts at 55+ had our attention!

Our next adventure out (Saturday) was to Sturgis, home of the famous motorcycle rally, and on to Deadwood, scene of some of the early west’s best stories (Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok). In Sturgis, it was DIFFICULT to see how during Rally Week host some 400,000+ folks and their gear. It should be noted that every town, regardless of size has a Harley-Davidson dealership and every shop, eatery, gas station, whatever, in SW South Dakota is geared to deal with the Rally crowd. I was amazed.

In Deadwood, we toured the Adams Museum, a great little museum that covers the infamous period of the town, wandered around and had lunch.  We headed back to Piedmont because of the weather front moving in and before we were at the cabin saw a weather report that they had almost 2 inches of hail!

On Sunday, we headed back toward Rushmore and then detoured further to the southwest to Wind Cave National Park.  It is really two parks in one. The one below ground is some 140 miles of mapped caves with a single natural entrance. It is a cave with no bats, two lakes (much deeper than where we were), and beautiful delicate “boxwork”.  We took a tour that took us down about a mile. Really fascinating and its story of discovery makes it that much more so.  When we went in, there was sunshine. When we came out, huge thunderstorm! As a result we did not spend a lot of time exploring the above ground park; however to look at it, you would never believe what lies below those beautiful prairies!

Monday was the weather day. On Tuesday, we headed for Devil’s Tower, Wyoming, about 100 miles from where we stayed. For you Sci-Fi fans, this was the setting for Close Encounters of the Third KindIt was a fact known to Steve and my Dad but believe it or not I never saw the movie! It is also sacred to many Native American tribes. You can see prayer shawls and ribbons in the trees (pictured on one my photos). We hiked the base trail. It is a beautiful site. The basalt column structure is similar to that we saw in NI at the Giants’ Causeway.

Again I reminded of Psalm 8 when I get the chance to experience these unique places of beauty.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

How can folks not believe? I just do not know.

Still choosing joy!