Friday, August 29, 2008

My New Favorite State - South Dakota

Daryl and I spent a week driving from New York to South Dakota and back. It was alot of driving and we put about 3,500 miles on the car, but boy, was it fun! Our main purpose was to visit our son who recently moved to North Dakota and I am so glad we decided to go the extra miles into South Dakota. Honestly, who knew that it was so beautiful and full of things to do!
We started out on Friday morning and drove through NY, PA, OH and into MI for a quick stop at my brothers house. It was great to see my brother and sister-in-law. We had breakfast and then hit the road again, going through IN, IL, WI (another beautiful state), MN and into ND. We checked into the hotel around midnight and we were beat! We spent 2 days in ND with our son and had a blast.

Here are the ND photos:

This is a field of sunflowers. I really wanted to capture how huge the sky is out there and how many miles and miles of crops there are.

Along with sunflowers there are miles and miles of corn, oats, hay and straw. Here is a picture of the farmers at work. If you look closely beyond the dust you can see that they are cutting the wheat with 3 thrashers along side each other. Although it is mainly flat, there are some hills there as well.

Jason is working at Goodrich and I just had to snap a photo of where he works:

I really wanted one of him standing in front of the building, but I guess it was too humiliating for the kid.... I guess I understand. 22 years old and having your mom snap a picture could be a bit much.

Jamestown is known for the biggest buffalo ever.
Here is the proof:

My husband is 6 feet tall, so you can see that this is a big one! Thank goodness, it is only a sculpure, else I would be running the other way!

And here are some live ones, using the zoom of course!

Jamestown has a great walk-through museum of the early prairie days. Each building was moved there and included everything from a school, church, dentist, saloon, store, and even and insurance office. It was really a nice way to spend the day.

After leaving ND, we headed south and drove a couple hundred miles through SD. It is so open and really, not much except fields and fields of hay and straw. (Here is a tip - fuel up when you can as the stations are few and far between!) But the feeling is hard to explain as you drive through and get out to look around. Herds of cattle look like little black ants and the sky is so big. It really puts things into a different perspective!

So our first stop was a 1880 train ride that takes you into the Black Hills. Daryl is a huge train buff with a great Lionel collection, so he really loved taking this ride.

Then we went on to Mt Rushmore which is incredible. This is a must see in my book and very few words do it justice, so here are a few photos:

Just incredible! Take the time to walk the President's Trail to get different views! It is so worth it.
But my favorite of all favorites were the Badlands. I cannot even describe the amazement that you feel when viewing these wonders! We took route 44 east so we were eased into them with a grand finale beyond any other!

Incredible enough, but when you get to the end..... oh my

Now, I was really anticipating a wonder when we crossed the Mississippi River. And when we did cross, it was nice, but nothing can compare with crossing the Missouri River. I can only imagine the settlers traveling west for months on the flat grasslands and coming upon the crest of the hill and looking down at this amazing river and seeing the mountains beyond it.

I couldn't have enjoyed this vacation any more. The people we met along the way were friendly and the sites we saw were incredible. South Dakota was the highlight (second to seeing our son, of course).
Oh, and I did manage to knit 3 scarves, a hat and crochet 2 bowls and a pumpkin along the way!


Nora said...

Val, Your trip and the narration of it is just AWESOME!!! and the pictures...makes one feel like they were right there with you. Thanks so much for sharing.

Andrea Baker said...

OH WOW!!! Love the photos. And yes, mom taking your photo infront of your work place at 22 can be a bit much. lol wait till he's 25. lol

Novita said...

fabulous trip!!!! Love your pictures..thanks for sharing

ThreadBeaur said...

That is a great trip. My husband and I went on a similar trip from Chicago to Montana and back. The landscape out west is beautiful. I love your pictures!

T.Allen said...

Beautiful photos and post, thanks for sharing. I truly enjoyed the journey.

w said...

wow. what an awesome road trip!

Giftbearer said...

Lots of great pictures of your trip!

Also, I love our vessels!

melissa said...

Glad you had a great trip! I didn't know how beautiful SD was.
Thanks for sharing!


Sunny Bower Art Studio said...

I have never be there...great to see this beautiful and interesting photographs of N.D. Thank you for sharing.

Terri Pezzullo - Handmade said...

Wow!! What a great trip. Your photo's are wonderful.

New England Quilter said...

Beautiful country! What a fabulous trip! The train ride sounds like fun too!