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#263099 - 08/31/13 07:28 PM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: RNewcomb]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1145
Loc: Land O' Lakes & Rivers - MN, U...
We we there in July. One of the most memorable things we did in SD was go into the southern Badlands on the Pine Ridge reservation. We stopped at a little roadside cultural center and discussed politics with the Native Americans who worked there. I was surprised at the amount of social and political issues that we were in complete agreement on.

On the way out, we bought some 'Indian tacos' from a nice older Native American woman and her husband outside the center who sat with us at the picnic table and chatted with us while we ate. At our nod of acceptance, a huge slab of warm frybread was folded around seasoned meat, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and onions. May have been the tastiest food of the trip!

We continued South to Wounded Knee. Not a pretty place by any means, but very somber and memorable. We talked to some of the residents while we were there, and got a sense of the sadness that still permeates the place.

We stayed that night in a little RV park in Wall called Sleepy Hollow. The place had hospital-clean showers and restrooms and amiable hosts. I will admit to walking the short distance to Wall Drug for a hand-dipped hot fudge sundae.
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#263107 - 09/01/13 12:38 AM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5963
Loc: southern Cal
Was that roadside cultural center the White River Visitor Center? - pretty nifty spot!
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#263115 - 09/01/13 03:40 AM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: RNewcomb]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 855
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Definitely Crazy Horse over Mt. Rushmore. One is too commercialized and the other has far better secondary exhibits. Crazy Horse is supposed to be completed in June, they just don't know which year. They removed 2x as much rock as Rushmore and they have a long way to go yet. It might take them another 20 or 30 years to finish.
PS. if you find a pair of sunglasses in a hiking area just 2 min. north of Rushmore, they are mine and I would appreciate it if you could mail them back too me, OK? smile
PSS. If you've seen "North by Northwest" you might be disappointed to know there is no house on the top of Rushmore. Just thought I would add that so you didn't think the movie was real. cry

Definitely do the caves in the area. I think there are something like 7 or 8 really good ones in the area with 2 of them being counted among the longest in the world - Jewel and Wind caves. Jewel is probably the prettiest.

Don't forget the Mammoth exhibit in Hot Springs. I missed out on Deadwood but Devils Tower was a nice drive away from the central area. Note: it is bad form to be climbing the tower, it offends the natives who consider this sacred ground. I've got badlands in Saskatchewan so the ones in SD aren't much different. There are all kinds of historical displays, museums and such. Lewis & Clark museums for example.

The Reptile Gardens are really cool. K. Costner has his Tatanka exhibit by Deadwood.

There are even kitch stuff like the Flintstones Campground that appeal to family groups.

Balloon rides by Rushmore, biking, kayak/canoeing/rafting, rock climbing, etc. You could probably try panning for gold and get a few dollars of dust. Probably more stuff to do than you can fit into one week.


Edited by Roarmeister (09/01/13 03:47 AM)

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#263116 - 09/01/13 03:46 AM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: hikermor]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 855
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Oh, boy, let's talk about food. I recommend my "South Dakota diet" - buffalo burgers, rhubarb pie, and root beer floats.


Stop, 'yer getting me hungry again! smile

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#263122 - 09/01/13 06:15 AM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: RNewcomb]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1996
Loc: Great Plains
To be honest, buffalo is kind of for the tourists. Those of us that live here don't eat it all that much. We probably should, though. It's lean and healthy stuff. Obviously you can't go wrong with a buffalo burger, and that's how most people eat it. It's really superb in chili, too. I very much like to smoke the brisket, then pull it like you would with pork. Awesome pulled buff brisket sammies!

I'm sure that if you were dig deep into it, Squaw bread/Indian tacos is probably a modern thing. But they're really good and pretty popular, especially in the more rural areas. It's a little too rustic for the more 'urbane' folks. wink

SoDak is really 'meat and taters' country for the most part, outside of the few largest cities. Again, except for the city folks we don't eat much ocean fish. Walleye is extremely popular though since Pierre bills itself as 'The Walleye Capital of the World.' Catfish and perch are pretty popular as are panfish. We tend to eat a lot more wild game than in other places too. Deer and antelope are popular as they outnumber people. Ducks, geese, turkeys and pheasants are popular. Doves are eaten if you're a good enough shot to bag them; I'd wager a full box of 25 shells is expended on the average for every dove brought down!

There's a fair bit of corn grown here, hence the absurd Corn Palace in Mitchell. But we do like our corn. For the most part it's just eat on the cob with butter and salt. During the summer we grill it a lot.

As far as scenery, I should also mention that big horn sheep are getting common enough in the Hills that there are actually a lot of signs warning to watch for them on the road. Getting to be enough mountain lions that they're reliable sited quite a bit. No bears (that I know of) outside of bear country but I suppose it can't be ruled out that there are a few wild ones.

Man, this thread is making me homesick for West River! Gotta try to get up to the Black Hills before winter.
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#263123 - 09/01/13 06:28 AM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1996
Loc: Great Plains
Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr


We stayed that night in a little RV park in Wall called Sleepy Hollow. The place had hospital-clean showers and restrooms and amiable hosts. I will admit to walking the short distance to Wall Drug for a hand-dipped hot fudge sundae.


Hahaha, just noticed that. I was born in Rapid City but grew up in and when to school in Wall. Pretty boring town when you're a kid except in the summer. When I was young Wall Drug employed about 225 part time summer workers, most of them college students...and roughly 70% of them were female! wink It was always a blast. I can't even tell you if that little camp ground is still there. I never go back to my old home town, and when I do go to Rapid or the Hills I make the gas stop in Wall as brief as I can. No knock on the town, just couldn't wait to get out and don't feel any different than I did back then.

Wall Drug is the corniest place on Earth but I have to say you don't want to miss it. Lots of neat little hole-in-the-wall shops in Wall. Yeah, hokey but neat.
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#263125 - 09/01/13 11:18 AM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: Roarmeister]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5963
Loc: southern Cal
Climbing at Devil's Tower is thriving, although there is a "Voluntary Climbing Closure" during the month of June when the majority of ceremonies relevant to Native Americans occur. Otherwise, climbers are all over the pinnacle.
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#263144 - 09/01/13 10:28 PM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5963
Loc: southern Cal
Touristy or not, buffalo meat is lean, healthy, with a delightful and distinctive flavor.One of my favorite South Dakota things are Tanka Bars, essentially a pemmican concoction of buffalo meat and dried cranberries. unlike a lot of energy bars, they are high protein. They keep extremely well. I have recently eaten some that were two and three years past their "best by" date and they were just fine. The drawback is that they are a tad pricey (between $2.50 and 4.00 a one oz bar) I figure that they are worth it and I have sprinkled them throughout my various kits. One other point is that I believe they are a local SD product -Native American Natural Foods in Kyle, SD. I am happy to do something as easy as buying their good product. No other association other than as a satisfied customer.
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#263148 - 09/02/13 03:05 AM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: RNewcomb]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1819
Loc: MINNESOTA
great..just what i needed..we plan to drive to the black hills from minneapolis next week.no camping as we have the dogs but the plan is to find a motel about a half hour from the hills to avoid being on a strip in a town and after a days worth of touring drive back for the night and head back to the hills for more exploring.

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#263149 - 09/02/13 04:40 AM Re: Heading to South Dakota for a week - Suggestions? [Re: RNewcomb]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1996
Loc: Great Plains
Tanka bars are spendy, and some of them have a little more sugar than I want to eat. But they are good! Brisket is my favorite cut of buffalo.
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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