Our First Visit to South Dakota

We didn't know what to expect. There was excitement and disappointment ... depending on who you ask.

Our First Visit to South Dakota

It's been a few weeks since I've been able to write and figured I'd share about our trip to South Dakota.

After spending time in Colorado we decided to head northeast. This was exciting because it was new territory for us. We've never been to Wyoming or the Dakotas so it was thrilling to get up there and explore.

More adventure in Wyoming than we hoped for!

Our drive started through Wyoming which was a little more eventful than we would have liked. As we were driving along and having a good time, we came upon this HUGE caravan of oversized trucks. And when I say huge caravan, I mean there were several of them, but the oversized loads were the biggest we'd ever seen on the road! They literally took up the width of two lanes.

The bad part was we got stuck behind them on a two lane highway. So not only could we not get around, oncoming traffic even had to go toward the side of the road and the trucks had to move over as far as they could just for people to pass by on the other side. It was crazy.

Thankfully we finally found an area where the road widened enough to allow for passing and a few of us toward the front seized the opportunity to fly around them. We were SO glad to see them in our rearview mirror after driving 30mph for miles! We also encountered some really high crosswinds and a little rain but thankfully we made it through and arrived in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Getting stuck behind half a dozen oversized vehicles is not fun!

Rapid City is a great place to visit.

The Rapid City area is a pretty cool place with lots of touristy things to do. We only spent a couple of days there but decided this was going on our list of places to go back and visit. Because we had a timeline worked out for the first couple of months of our trip, and had destinations to get to on certain dates, we couldn't stay longer.

While on our trip to South Dakota we had to see Mount Rushmore, of course. I've always wanted to visit and was excited but James walked up, looked at the mountain, and was pretty much ready to go after that. LOL! He said we could check it off the list and move on. I, however, wasn't going to be satisfied quite so easily. ;)

There is a Presidential trail that goes up closer to the mountain and we decided to walk that. I'm so glad we did because we got some great views of the carvings and got to see it from different perspectives. It was also a pretty view looking out over the valley with the mountain to our backs.

I enjoyed visiting Mount Rushmore and loved the landscape and scenery around it. There were some beautiful trees, really cool looking rocks, and of course seeing the presidents' faces up close and in person is incredible. It just amazes me that someone was able to carve something like that out of a mountain and have it look just like theIf you're into motorcycles you have to check out Sturgis.

James standing in front of the Sturgis sign.

Before we left the Rapid City area, we also had to check out Sturgis and mark that off the list. James spent a little time in the Harley Davidson store and bought a few gifts for some friends who are die-hard Harley fans and motorcycle riders. It was cool to see but I was really thankful we weren't there the week before when Sturgis was FULL of rowdy bikers. Haha!

Photos from Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes

Balance that with Little House on the Prairie

Ever since childhood I've been a huge fan of Little House on the Prairie. It was such a wonderful show so when I found out we could visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes in De Smet, I knew I had to go.

While we weren't able to take the official tour and look inside the homes, we did get to walk around the Surveyors' House and “House that Pa built” and see a reproduction of the school. We also drove out to the Ingles Homestead and visited the gravesite of most of the family members.

Seeing all of this was a neat experience. If you loved Little House growing up, you should definitely visit De Smet, South Dakota.

The Dalmans checking out Mount Rushmore

The Badlands National Park was like another planet.

I really want to tell you more about our journey through The Badlands but think that will need to be its on post. Plus I have a bunch of photos to share. :) We will write about this experience this week.

After our trip to South Dakota, I would definitely recommend traveling there. The landscapes are beautiful, there are lots of things to see and do, and of course you get to see Mount Rushmore and check that off your bucket list.

If you've ever been to South Dakota, feel free to share what you'd recommend to our community.