Black Hills and Beyond…

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So we continued the adventure toward the Pacific through South Dakota. If you have ever made the trek through this part of the country… I’m sure you remember the endless signs (and I mean, endless… covering hundreds and hundreds of miles…) leading the way to the famous, Wall Drug. Did we stop? How could we not?! Our curious nature couldn’t say no, it never can.

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But we couldn’t stay for long, because we had sights to see and Presidents to meet…

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This was one of those classic American road trip stops that I insisted we just had to make. All the things that people tell you are true, it does look a little smaller than you would imagine, Teddy Roosevelt’s eye glasses are incredibly realistic, etc. etc. etc… but seeing it for yourself is a must. I mean, what an amazing feat – 14 years, 400 workers, piles of dynamite, and impressive use of technology make this a really unique piece of American art.

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We stayed just down the road at this lovely little campground for the evening, before venturing on to the little town nestled in the hills, known as Deadwood.

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You may or may not be familiar with this old pioneer town – but it became famous for the vast amounts of gold discovered in the hills… and for the outlaws and sharp shooters like “Wild Bill” Hickok and Calamity Jane who ran the town.

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We hiked up the hills into the town’s historic cemetery to pay homage to many of these famed characters.

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From here, we headed North out of the Black Hills to see “Devil’s Tower”…

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In a sea of flat lands, this wild, clawed monument is a sacred place – for the dozens of nearby indian tribes as well as thousands of modern day tourists. Many people make a pilgrimage to this site and leave medicine bundles in the conifers surrounding the base. It’s difficult to realize the scale and uniqueness of this beauty unless standing before it, but like so many of the wondrous outcroppings throughout the country like this – its just that, wondrous.

“I love it. It is wild with adventure.”

                            – Henry Starr, describing the bandit life in the Old West shortly before he was shot to death in a gunfight in Arkansas. 
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