Ahh, but ain’t that America

Today, we explored the west side of South Dakota.  I am amazed at the beauty of this state.  I assumed we would see mostly flat prairie with Mt. Rushmore emerging in the middle of it all.  Boy, was I wrong.

Our first stop was the Crazy Horse Memorial.  The sculpture is impressive, however, the family who created it is even more so.  Korczak and Ruth Ziolkowski and their ten children created the memorial and the museum that sits adjacent.  Korczak was a man who believed in free enterprise and twice rejected money from the government for the project.  His children continue the work to this day.

Crazy Horse will be depcited pointing and saying “My lands are where my dead lie buried”.


“They made us many promises, more than I can remember–they never kept but one ;  They promised to take our land and they took it!”–Red Cloud
Glass beads used for Native American arts.
Off to our next destination

Next on the list was Mt. Rushmore.  I was not prepared for the beauty of this place.


One of my junior rangers


The memorial is encased by beautiful Ponderosa Pines and Black Hills Spruce
One of the roughly 30 mountain goats that live on the memorial.  

Lastly, we went to Wind Cave National Park.  While the others went spelunking, I cooked dinner in the RV.  In the parking lot.  Thankfully, dinner was cooked and eaten before a very kind park ranger kicked us out.


After an adventurous day, we were off to another campsite outside of Rushmore.  Most of the places we have been thus far have been fairly uniform.  This one could easily be billed as the Disneyworld of campgrounds.

Outdoor stage
Disney-esque gold mining game
A waterslide that, thankfully, we didn’t have time for.  
Roasting hot dogs over the campfire.
Followed by smores
And breakfast under the big tent.  Where am I?

The biggest surprise of this trip is the immense fun we have had at these kitchy places where we never would have dreamed of vacationing.  The people we have met have been so interesting and kind.  This is America.  Of course, the Ritz and others like it are wonderful, but none of them offer “little pink houses”.


2 thoughts on “Ahh, but ain’t that America

  1. This is great Lori! Your pictures are terrific and I love the honesty of it all. And I’m with you on that water slide. Travel safe and know I’m looking forward to the next installment!

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