South Dakota Completed Itinerary…. Week of July 5th-12th, 2021

Bear Country USA:  Click HERE to see their Website

                                    Click HERE for my blog post on it

Bear Country USA

Reptile Gardens: Click HERE to see their Website

                                 Click HERE for my blog post on it

Reptile Gardens Rapid City SD

Mount Rushmore: Click HERE to see their Website

                                  Click HERE for my blog post on it

Mount Rushmore

Crazy Horse Memorial: Click HERE to see their Website

                                           Click HERE for my blog post on it

Crazy Horse Memorial

Custer State Park: Click HERE to see their Website

                                  Click HERE for my blog post on it

Custer State Park

Deadwood: Click HERE to see their Website

                      Click HERE for my blog post on it

Deadwood South Dakota

1880’s Train: Click HERE to see their Website

                         Click HERE for my blog post on it

1880s Train Keystone SD

Alpine Inn Restaurant: Click HERE to see their Website

                                          Click HERE for my blog post on it

Alpine Inn Hill City SD

Press Start Arcade Bar and Grill: Click HERE to see their Website

                                                                   Click HERE for my blog post on it

Press Start Bar and Grill

Hot Springs: Click HERE to see their Website

                       Click HERE for my blog post on it

Hot Springs SD

Pioneer Museum: Click HERE to see their Website

                                  Click HERE for my blog post on it

Pioneer Museum Hot Springs SD

Chapel on the Hill: Click HERE to see their Website

                                   Click HERE for my blog post on it

Chapel on the Hill

Dinosaur Park: Click HERE to see their Website

                            Click HERE for my blog post on it

Dinosaur Park

1880 Town: Click HERE to see their Website

                        Click HERE for my blog post on it

1880 Town South Dakota

Mammoth Site: Click HERE to see their Website

                              Click HERE for my blog post on it

The Mammoth Site

Broken Boot Gold Mine: Click HERE to see their Website

                                               Click HERE for my blog post on DAY TOUR

                                             Click HERE for my blog post on GHOST TOUR

Broken Boot Gold Mine

Wall Drug: Click HERE to see their Website

                    Click HERE for my blog post on it

Wall Drug

Wind Cave National Park: Click HERE to see their Website

                                               Click HERE for my blog post on it

Wind Cave National Park

The Badlands National Park: Click HERE to see their Website

                                                     Click HERE for my blog post on it

Badlands National Park

Deadwood Brothel: Click HERE to see their Website

                                       Click HERE for my blog post on it

Deadwood Brothel

Buffalo Bill Hickock Saloon- Where Wild Bill was shot and killed: Click HERE to see their Website

                                                                                                          Click HERE for my blog post on it

Wild Bill Shooting Site

DIGNITY Statue: Click HERE to see their Website

                               Click HERE for my blog post on it

Sakajawea Lewis and Clark Statue

Keystone: Click HERE to see their Website

                   Click HERE for my blog post on it

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Hill City: Click HERE to see their Website

                 Click HERE for my blog post on it

Hill City SD

Rapid City: Click HERE to see their Website

                    Click HERE for my blog post on it

Rapid City SD

Sioux Falls: Click HERE to see their Website

                      Click HERE for my blog post on it

Falls Park Sioux Falls SD

Legion Lake Lodge: Click HERE to see their Website

                                    Click HERE for my blog post on it

Legion Lake Lodge

Celebrity Hotel in Deadwood: Click HERE to see their Website

                                    Click HERE for my blog post on it

Celebrity Hotel

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Thanks for your kindness in supporting my hard work.

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Day 41: Sunday. July 11th, 2021

Today was my last full day in South Dakota, and a much needed mental health day.  I slept in, I took my time, I did some necessary reflection exercises, cleaned, and packed.  I vacuumed out my car and did one more run to Walmart for anything else I needed. I had such a nice time just walking around, found more stickers for my suitcase, a souvenir for a family member, and also had a nice chat with my Dad. With such a lovely time in the store, my heart dropped as I reached inside my purse for my wallet and NO WALLET to be found.  So I got to do that embarrassing “I need to run out to my car, I will be right back. Please hold on to my stuff.”  See, I had found a Blendjet for sale at Walmart, and mine wasn’t working at all. It was the ONLY one on the shelf, and I need it for my protein shakes, so I didn’t want them to go and put all my stuff back. Needless to say I found my wallet, it was inside a bag I use all the time for Walter. THANK GOD!  I went back in, paid, and my heart resumed beating again.

So today I thought I would just tell yall what my favorite things were in South Dakota and why I liked them so much.

#1- Hands down, my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE was Bear Country USA!  I never imagined in my wildest dreams to be able to see them SO CLOSE- it will stick with me forever.

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#2- Broken Boot Gold Mine- the tour, the ghost tour at night, both experiences were amazing and fun to say I ghost hunted a Mine. 

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#3- 1800’s Train- Besides meeting Tracey, it was such a lovely ride through the Black Hills and a cool experience to have.

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#4- Alpine Inn- MY FAVORITE MEAL on the trip thus far! SOOOO yummy and worth every penny!!

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#5- Crazy Horse- I loved the story behind this and what it stands for.

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#6- 1800s Town- the coolest ghost town, so creepy and so haunted…loved every square inch of this place!

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#7 – The Badlands…so many wonderful memories with Craig here…it wasn’t the same without him.

Badlands National Park

#8 Custer Park Scenic Overlook….6000 plus feet in elevation. I drove it all by myself, hella proud of that since I am terrified of heights.

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I had a fantastic time in South Dakota, but it is time to move on to the North tomorrow. A 5 hour drive and get comfy for the next week there.  Thanks to everyone who I met on this leg of my journey, it was a great week. See you tomorrow.

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Thank you for your kindness!!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 40: Saturday, July 10th, 2021

I can’t believe it’s been 40 days already, yet it feels sometimes like 400.  Being untethered from friends and family in this way is so unsettling for my soul that it has been a real exercise in understanding who I need in my life and whose story has come too a close.  Now, determining who is who is the tricky part, but I feel with God’s love and guidance, sun kissed trees, and the open road, that all will reveal itself in time. We shall see.

It has been wonderful being in one spot as I tour from here every day, I have felt at least a bit grounded somewhere while I play in South Dakota. How I choose what I am going to go and see is by distance and what I can do IN that distance to make the most of my time and gas tank.  Hot Springs, SD, had several things that sounded super interesting, so I set my sights on this adorable, sleepy town.

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The first thing I headed to was “Mammoth Site” which was discovered by George Hanson in June of 1974. Moving dirt while preparing to build a housing development, he hit a Mammoth tusk. Excited about his found treasure, he contacted Dr. Agenbroad who then met up with all of the local Colleges and the City to help him fund an excavation for the site. After a year of involving others, excavating bones himself to show others, he wound up getting a team which grew excitement for the site and thus it began to become what it is today.

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The Mammoth Site was actually a sinkhole that filled with water, making the Mammoths think they had safe passage to use, drink, and bathe in. The problem was that they weren’t able to get out, due to the sediment and mud that lined the sinkhole, making it sleek and unavailable to climb.  They believe, so far, they have over 60 Mammoths in this sinkhole, and to see it is SHOCKING! To see history before you, preserved as they died right there (yes, they haven’t moved them- only smaller bones found have been removed to be cleaned and cataloged.) They have all of the species clearly marked, and one of my favorite things was to see the footprints made by the Mammoths, sunk deep into the mud.  Admission was $12, and all of your money goes into this ACTIVE site. They work on it Monday-Friday if you want to see them in action, and there are several guides standing around the Boneyard that will help explain what you are looking at.  It takes about an hour to watch the film, read the information, and enjoy the boneyard.  I LOVED it! A VERY unique experience for the family.

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I headed over to the town of Hot Spring, looking for the Waterfall. They have a beautiful walking area and park with the waterfall cascading off the hills above. Also in this area is the old 1800’s jail which is free to tour.

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I then headed towards Main Street, when I saw this huge building sitting at the top of this very, high hill above the town.  Curious, I headed up the “Oh my God Can My Car Drive Up This Steep Holy Hell Of A Drive” road and found the “Pioneer Museum” which they based inside what used to be the old school.  First off, bravo to the parents who would have to drive that sucker up and down every day AND in the snow, my hats off to you! It held all grades, and the building just screamed “I am so haunted” so I was more about ghost hunting it and less about the Museum. Yep, I am ok to admit this because it was a very, cool building. I got lots of talking inside the building, in fact, one lady had written a book called “Woman’s Occupations” and I laughed out loud and said “Elanor, we women can do ANY job we want too right now” – and my ghost app said “tone” LOL  I guess she didn’t like my tone. I also got “secret” in the same room which was the hats room…what secret?

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They have categorized each school room in the 4 floored building, and honestly, it’s probably the biggest collection on antiques I have ever seen.  Everything from old post office items to children’s toys to kitchen mixers to dental chairs.  It REEKED of old….and I LIKED it! Few people were touring today so I pretty much had every floor to play and look around with my ghost app…it would be an awesome one to do a nighttime ghost hunt in. It was only $6 and it took about 90 mins for me because I wasn’t reading everything, just walking from room to room talking to the air LOL. Worth it to see all of the items from the past, highly recommend if you are in the area.  Just bring your moxie with you to get up that freaking huge hill…don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

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Ok the next stop was one of those “Seriously?” After you drive through this town, about 10 miles down the road is “Wind Cave National Park.”  I saw the sign, jumped out to grab my pics (YES, I am that nerd who needs the city, park, attraction sign…it’s a thing, let it go) and then headed to the Visitor’s Center. Got there at NOON, NOON people!!  Why this is important is that I got in line to see what tours were available for what caves…not realizing I had to HAVE a tour reserved to see ANY cave. I mean, can’t they just have ONE for those who just want the gist of the place without a reservation, just have a Ranger at the mouth of it watching people come in and out? Reason I say this is the last tours were being reserved as I was in line for 4 p.m. !! So for 4 hours I would have to find something to do in that area, until the tour began. On top of it, they decided to pave the roads on a Saturday inside the Park…so traffic was backed up at the Visitors Center, and both ways in and out of the Park.  I had this moment that I just decided that this would be one I would lovingly look back at and say “I went to Wind Cave…too bad I never went IN a Cave while there.” I had already bought my sticker, so I decided to not even drive more of it, an exit gracefully. It did help that the skies opened up about 10 minutes later and it down poured.

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The next stop on my “Petermann Reality” tour (a nod to all of my Seinfeld fans) was the Chapel In the Hills. Found in Rapid City, SD, where I was actually staying, I remembered coming across this months ao and just got lucky seeing it again in one of those brochure holders at my last stop. By the way, ALWAYS look at those brochures, they have great coupons, information, and I feel it’s one of the fun parts of exploring.  A buffet of choices, and YOU get to decide.  Another destination located high up in the hills (they REALLY love their hills here, my poor Ellie (car) has gotten quite the workout on them), this one is a beautiful escape from the tourist traps and a quiet, tranquil spot to breathe, enjoy, and pray if you feel the Spirit wash over you.  Designed after the famous one in Norway, and for my Disney people, you have seen something similar at Epcot in Norway, this was just breathtaking. Located in the hills, in a forest setting, complete with deer walking around…I enjoyed the peace. I needed that peace today. Free of charge, donations appreciated, and a small gift shop complete with the lawn lined roof for the goats to walk and eat grass on- it was a great spot to just sit. There is also a small museum located on the left of the Chapel which depicts a Norwegian home- very neat.  How much time you take here is up to you, but it is quick to tour, so maybe 30 minutes max to see and sit.

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Last but not least, the old Dinosaur Park, again, in the hills. I mean, nothing cooler than seeing this large Brontosaurus sitting on the top of this hill, looking over the entire city…seriously bad ass. One last climb for the day, I made it to the top and parked at the Visitors Center. First, know this was made in 1936 and is basically a handful of dinosaurs sitting on a hill- that’s it. It is free, but honestly you pay with your health, as they make you climb hundreds of stairs to reach them from the road. No way around it, you have to climb. So if you have someone in your party who cannot walk steep stairs, or can’t at all, sit this one out. It is NOT wheelchair accessible, and honestly, you aren’t missing anything. I got to the top and I was like “Wait, this is it?” Which a lot of people said around me…it was like a mean hike up a hill being promised something really cool and then you got there and someone said “HAH just kidding.”  I did it, check it off the list.  Grabbed a fish dinner at Culvers on the way back to the hotel which served as lunch and dinner as I never found anything worth stopping at to eat in Hot Springs. 

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In for the evening, writing and prepping for tomorrow. Sunday is my last day here in South Dakota before I head to the North on Monday morning. This State has been AMAZING and I plan on writing about my favorite and not so favorite things I enjoyed this week here on tomorrow’s post. See you then, have a GREAT Saturday night!

The Relocated Tourist

Thank you for your support!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 39: Friday, July 9th, 2021

Another day I didn’t really plan, in fact, I had planned on hibernating in my hotel room for the day because it was supposed to rain. Well, it passed over night, so it was beautiful sunny morning and with my morning routine back on schedule (thanks Amanda for the encouragement), I decided to not waste any time and just get out there…at least for the morning.

I have to say, being located in Rapid City for the week has been a GREAT central location to everything I have wanted to see. The most I have driven is about an hour to Deadwood, and then about 45 minutes was Custer State Park from here, but everything in between is Mount Rushmore, Hill City, Keystone, and of course….Bear Country USA!!

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I have never wanted to see one IN FRONT OF ME, as I am still nervous about camping in Yellowstone and experiencing one in the wild. That being said, in a wildlife sanctuary, it was the PERFECT way to get up close and personal to these furry friends, a long with reindeer, wolves, bighorn sheep, and many more.  No reservation needed, nor any ticket bought ahead of time, just drive on up, I paid $18 for myself, they give you a map and tell you the rules. That’s pretty much civilization until you drive back out. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to drive, look, and pull over for pictures. Being the driver and photographer, I had my work cut out for me. I pulled over a lot and I am SO glad I did…take the time to sit and watch, too many just drive through. You are ALLOWED to sit as long as you’d like, there is no time limit. They just ask that you pull over and not hold up traffic for those just driving through.

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I loved it so much that I did it TWICE! Yep, I had to pay again, no big deal, as I loved it SO MUCH. The first time I drove in and around at 8:30 a.m. (they open at 8 a.m.) – NOW- this is JUST like Safari at Animal Kingdom on “When is the best time to see all of the animals?” Morning was PERFECT because they were all being fed…so they were around their food sources at each spot, then playing and running around, full of energy from breakfast.  The difference in when I drove through around 11 a.m. WAS SHOCKING. I had seen SO MANY animals the first time, but the second? It was literally like Jurassic Park “Now there are dinosaurs on this dinosaur tour?”  They were up in the hills, hiding in the shade, and out of sight from the road. You can’t get out of your car (for obvious reasons) and you are supposed to keep your windows up. I will admit, I rolled mine down when something was off in the distance, so I could get a better shot. Needless to say, the only thing that would have been “worth it” during the second time was the bear section, which is at the very end of the Park. Except this time they weren’t in one big row, eating and walking around. Now they were spread across acres, still VERY cool and if you look on Facebook I have posted videos of how close they walked past my car on the second run. Easily one of my top favorite things I have done so far. HIGHLY recommend it, and yes, my car was fine…they are so used to cars in the Park that they don’t pay much mind to them. Just like Safari at Animal Kingdom.

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After the driving section, they have a small zoo with baby bears, otters, and other small animals. I even managed to make new friends while enjoying this area. The gift shop is huge, and if you are a Bear fan, this is the store for you. I just grabbed my sticker and headed out for the second drive-through, and then headed off to “Reptile Gardens” next.

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Another one that was close by, I figured why not check it out.  Anything reptilian, bonus points if you speak parseltongue, bonus BONUS points if you know that that means, and basically everything you can find in the South, or Florida. $19 admission for adults, and I found that I did enjoy myself for a good couple of hours looking at everything.  Actually may favorite thing of the entire park was “Tank” who is a 68 year old Tortoise, who about took my breath away when I walked in to see him there. He literally is the size of a small tank- a big boy, but wow, FRIENDLY! He let me pet him on the top of his head, and when I stroked his neck, he looked up like puppies do- it was so sweet. THAT is the stuff that I am looking for, those really neat experiences that just take you by surprise. This place is TOTALLY worth the stop, very family friendly, and they have a great big gift shop and café to grab a bite as well.

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So it wound up being an animal day, yesterday was my Monument day, and tomorrow, well, I haven’t planned it out yet. Usually I snuggle in, grab the guidebooks, and peruse the pages of what adventure awaits me.  See you tomorrow.

The Relocated Tourist

Thank you for your support and kindness!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00


Day 38: Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Not every morning will be rainbows and cotton candy, and for some reason, the last two nights I have had a really hard time sleeping. Getting used to different beds, couches, and cots are tricky to get comfy right away, but what beats it all is the combination lock I swear I am opening with each new shower I use LOL.  Today I woke up at 4:30, my back killing me, so I finished up last night’s blog post, and tried to piece together what I wanted to do with my day.  Weather seemed sketchy tomorrow, so I felt this sudden urgency to get as much done today, with the weekend seeming ok for other things as well. And honestly, I could use the day off, but it may just be a half day, I do get really anxious to go somewhere when there is so much adventure to be had just outside my door, so we shall see. As far as today…it was a NATURE day followed up by video games…so let’s get into it.

The top thing most come out to see in the Keystone, SD area is Mount Rushmore. Since I still hadn’t gotten there yet, I just made it my first thing today. I was up already, showered and ready to go well before 7 a.m., so I just drove over and hoped they had opened it already. Luckily, they had, and it was such a beautiful drive on the way up to it.  Just a heads up, literally, you can see most National Monuments from the roads- including this one. So if you don’t want to pay the $10 to park, just pull over and take pics from a distance. There was no other admission for this, and it takes about 30 minutes in total to park your car, walk up to it as close as you can get (which isn’t much), walk through the gift shop, back to your car, and there ya go.  It’s cool but it’s underwhelming. It’s one of those “I did it, check it off the list” and done. Walter was meh about it, he felt there should be Muppet up there….I completely agreed.

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Mount Rushmore 2021

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If you keep on keeping down the same road and this area, you will come across Crazy Horse Monument. Easy to find, it was $15 admission, this is NOT a National Park just so you know, and an additional $4 for a bus ride that takes you closer to the base of the Monument. I used the restroom, grabbed cash at the ATM (A side note- MANY are requesting CASH for payment in these smaller towns, attractions, and so on- so be aware of this) and got in line for the next bus. You purchase the ticket outside the Welcome Center, and as I waited, I listened to a mom and son chatting behind me. Without hesitation, I bought their bus tickets too. They were so shocked, that they did it for the family behind them. IT WAS GREAT!! A shout out to Mary Love and her son, they were very nice to meet AND they met Walter and got a pic with him. The bus tour was excellent, sit on the left side to get the best pics, and it lasted about an hour. It was a beautiful place, the Memorial took my breath away the first time I saw it. HIGHLY recommend it.

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Next on the roster was Custer State Park.  Just about 10 miles from Crazy Horse, you can do all three like I did EASILY in a day. I recommend it because they are all so close to each other, so it’s easy to just knock them off one by one.  Custer was $20 to use the Park, for a 1-7 day “license” for your visit.  I entered the Stockade Lake area side, stopping by the Lake for a nice moment of peace and tranquility- it was beautiful. Then I drove up a ways and came across Mt. Coolidge Firetower and Lookout. It was a dirt road that went up, and up, and up. Back and forth, I thought, huh, I am going to hit Heaven soon. Either by falling off this freaking Mountain or touching it at the top- it was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. I got to the top and I wanted to have a “Rocky” moment, cheering and crying that I actually did it. The elevation at that point is 6,023 feet…the view, spectacular. Check it out if you are in the Park…so worth it.

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The way down was WAYYYYY scarier, but I did it and found a cute Restaurant down the road called “Legion Lake Lodge.” Settled on this beautiful lake, the rocks amazing, and I dined on a turkey sandwich and fresh fruit by the large picture window. It wasn’t too expensive, and it was a nice break from the driving and touring all day.

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On the way back to the Hotel, I drove through the town of Custer, very cute, but I had done so many towns of recent that I just stopped off at their Dollar General and drove back to my hotel for a nap.  After feeling a bit better a couple of hours later, I headed out to check Rapid City, where my hotel is located. They have a an Arcade Bar called “Press Start” which I marinated in the land of Dig Dug, Ms. Pac Man, Tetris, Tapper, Frogger, and so on.  I then walked around downtown, enjoyed some live music and then beat the rain as I headed back to my hotel. As I climbed the hill to my home this week, a rainbow appeared over the town…it. was. amazing. So maybe my day didn’t start out with rainbows, but it ended with one.

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Thanks to EVERYONE who have donated, bought merch, supported me emotionally, and who check in on me. It is MORE than appreciated and I THANK YOU for joining me on this crazy, fun journey. See you tomorrow.

Thank you for your support!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 36: Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

After bringing in some of my stuff last night out of my car, stuff I normally just leave in there until I really need it, I realized how much I love having one spot for a week. This morning I was able to go through many bags of extra stuff (lots of things that I just doubled up on so that I had it when needed eventually), along with finding things like my selfie stick, and so on, that I can use for lots of the National Parks coming up.  It just felt SO GOOD to go through my stuff, making sure what needed to be charged, and to lay it all out so I could see what I would need next. I didn’t realize how MUCH I needed to do this, and it helped to refresh my brain on so much that I had brought for this and that.

So after my Christmas morning of a treasure hunt through my own car, I headed out to Keystone. Loved the fact that it was literally 15 minutes from my Hotel, and I found a TON of cool things I want to see along the way! I had a train ride to catch, the “1880’s Train” to be exact! Booked online back in April, I was able to choose my seat for the way to Hill City and the way back. One hour each way, it sounded like a beautiful way to see the Black Hills.  I was on early enough to get some pics before the cars filled up, and then a family sat down around me. Then two ladies joined my row and the one in front of me, and she offered her seat so they could sit together (kindness) and then we wound up talking the entire hour and bonding like crazy! We are positive we are kindred spirits…Tracy, thank you for being so kind and fun, it made my day.

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The train takes you to Hill City, another small town that I had to find something to do until the ride back to Keystone at 2:30 p.m. I don’t remember a sooner return time, but if there is a choice, I suggest take it. It was literally 3 hours to explore the town, problem is, there really isn’t that much to do or see in that time window.  I went and ate at “Alpine Inn” – it looked inviting and it was German food. Embracing my heritage, I just went with it, and got a great table by the window, so I just settled in and ate for about at hour.  Corn chowder, Diet Dr Pepper, breaded pork chops with red cabbage, German potato salad, sauerkraut, bread and for dessert? Rhubarb Napoleon…. OMG. It was ALL incredible, probably one of the best meals I have had on the trip thus far!  It was so nice to just lean into the moment and memory being made and BEING OK being there solo. I know some don’t do well with being alone when dining, I have my phone and my thoughts to keep me company…and Walter, I’m good. I HIGHLY recommend this place to eat at for lunch or dinner, it was excellent and the prices were completely reasonable.

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After a walk thru town, I headed to the Train Station to hang out until boarding again. I did find some more stickers for my luggage, it’s my choice of souvenirs this trip. Apparently Big Foot has been seen in the Black Hills…I am ALL about it!!

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I then met Chris and Karen at the Station and we chatted the entire hour until we needed to head out. Such sweet ladies, and they gave me a new term for something I am dealing with and I will FOREVER be grateful for it.  I enjoyed the ride back to Keystone, falling asleep on and off from the busy day I had had.

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On the way to my car, exploring Keystone, I came across the old time picture places. I had had the idea yesterday that it would be fun to get my pic taken with Walter in that kind of setting…for a good memory, but an even greater laugh.  Yep, I don’t give a flying fart what people think- IT’S FUN. Remember fun?? What we all had before the World kicked us in the rear? I just decided before this trip that I was going to do what I wanted to do, people can love it or hate it. But “I” am having a freaking good time, and sharing it is just a way to inspire you all to go and have your own amazing adventure. Muppet or not.  So I walked in, told them it’s just me and my Muppet, they loved it, and voila, the pic was born.  I wanted to be an outlaw cowgirl, I am tired of being the goody two shoes, it was time to be a bad ass. So there ya go, that’s my best bad ass, you’re welcome. P.S. They had fun dressing Walter for it.

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A long day, a great day, new friends made AND I got an invite to their Restaurant in Selma, Alabama…so you know where I will be headed when there!  Also one of my new gals wants to do lunch in Iowa, so you are on girl, watch for my text when it get’s closer.  A run to Walmart for supplies and I am a happy camper to have had dinner while downloading pics.  I be looking for GOLD tomorrow, what be in them thar hills?  Join me to find out!

1880 Town South Dakota

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Day 35: Monday, July 5th, 2021

After another great morning of sleep then routine, I was headed out to Rapid City, South Dakota, to see all the goodness the West can bring.  Last night’s stay at the Super 8 was just okay, not super at all, and I was happy to head out. There is an extended stay hotel that’s attached to the same property, but not part of the Super 8, which made things actually really confusing on where to park and check-in.  I just didn’t like the vibe of the place, and even though the room was nice, I wouldn’t stay there again.

On the way, I normally pull over to a rest area to do what I need to do. And I had seen this certain one online but I really didn’t remember it until I was pulling into this huge parking lot with the most amazing view…and there she was…and my jaw just dropped. If you are in this area, you MUST stop and get pics of her- she is breathtaking and the view is stunning.

As things go, I try to keep open time during my driving days to pull over and smell the roses….or visit an old town.  I kept seeing billboards for “1880 Town” over and over again…equally as many as “Wall Drug.”  I was a bit confused on where the town was located, as I have a train ride scheduled for tomorrow, also called the “1880’s train.” Was this the same area with it’s own train? I had someone check it out for me, as I couldn’t do a deep dive on it while driving. And sure enough, they have nothing to do with each other!  So I pulled off and decided to check out “1880 Town” and all of it’s ghostly citizens.

First off, a cool side note to this story, they filmed part of “Dances with Wolves” on this property and around South Dakota.  In their main welcome center, the upstairs was dedicated to the movie and it’s props … it was VERY cool and a nice surprise! I LOVE finding filming locations and being where the action happened, so it was a nice way to start the tour.