As you all know, it is by far one thing to HAVE an idea, and a whole other ball game to IMPLEMENT it. I can have them all the live, long day, but man oh man does it get hard to actually get it done. What I mean is that planning is fun, it is, but the “where to stay” part has me stressed out a bit. I knew the West would be a challenge because I don’t know many people out there, but I also knew that the wide open spaces means fewer hotels and availability on camping. Some book a year in advance for that spot in Yellowstone or Yosemite. I just want to be able to experience them, even if I can’t stay there. So with a bit of panic in my step, I started hunkering down on where I would be sleeping in each State so that I didn’t wind up without a place to stay. (Although I will be prepared to sleep in my car should the occasion arise).
The first month of my trip is the familiar- GA, TN, KY, IL, WI, and MN. These are the ones that I have traveled through many a year to get to and from Disney when I lived in WI along with ones where family lives (WI and MN). They aren’t easy in any way, and I actually will be doing all brand new stuff in each, BUT, they are familiar and I am staying with family and friends so it makes it easier in that way. So the first real “ON MY OWN” State will be South Dakota.
Now, I was here in 2018 to see the Badlands as I passed through with Craig. It was one of THE coolest Parks I had ever seen, although Glacier is still my favorite. I was so bummed I didn’t get to see Mount Rushmore along with many other places, so the first task is always finding a home base for the week. That in itself takes some research…do I hotel in one place for the week or bounce around as I tour the State? The issue with that is availability during the summer months. And with this being the summer HOPEFULLY post Covid, I believe it will be the busiest summer for travel on record. Keep that in mind if you are making plans as well.
So I decided on Rapid City, South Dakota as my home base. It’s close enough to Keystone, which is Mount Rushmore, and 44 minutes away from Deadwood. Yes, DEADWOOD!! There is a creepy, haunted hotel there I would like to take the ghost tour of, including the fun of the whole town. I am also an hour or two from the Badlands, so I can check that out again as well. I am thrilled to have found a hotel for the week so that I can just enjoy myself and not worry about moving around every night. Obviously, I am not sharing where I am staying, but AFTER the trip I will post my spots for those interested in staying in these areas.
They have lots of ticketed things to do, including a train ride in Deadwood, and I would LOVE to do that. BUT I am waiting to make sure attractions WILL be open, and not get blindsided with another shut down or wave. I think everyone is being cautious with plans at this point, but hopefully I can book tours and such by May.
Have you been to South Dakota? What should I see that I haven’t mentioned? I invite all tips and tricks as I have only been there once and would love the details on the stuff I am just not seeing online or have simply missed. Also their state motto is “Under God, the people rule.” Being a Believer, NOT an Evangelical, I LOVE this statement. It has a bit of moxie in it, with a side of Country pride. It makes me think they are a God fearing State, and it will be interesting to see if that motto is “felt” in that State.
The State Slogan is: “Great Faces. Great Places” LOVE IT!! Writing a blog is like writing a book report every day, if you are that on top of it, and so is the research and information. I feel like I am back in grade school again, learning the capitals and the state birds (Pierre and Chinese-ring necked pheasant). Listen, now you know, and knowing is half the battle! If I have to learn, y’all are going to learn with me. So there ya go, fill me in, tell me what you did or are going to do in South Dakota. See you on the road!