The Road to South Dakota Part 2

You know what I love? Surprises. Sioux Falls, SD was just that. It was a pit stop to keep us from having to drive a gazillion miles from St Louis to Rapid City. We rolled into the city with little idea of whether there was anything to see or do. My only goal: Sleep, in preparation for the final day of driving before the non-driving part of vacation began.

I Googled “Things to Do in Sioux Falls” while we were en route. See? Not all of me requires months and years of planning for anything and everything! I can do spur of the moment… kind of. The number one attraction in Sioux Falls was Falls Park, a city park built around the waterfalls. So, off we went.

It was a great space and a pleasant surprise! Kind of felt like an oasis in the middle of a bunch of industrial spaces:

Sioux Falls 1

Sioux Falls 2

Day 3 sent us on our final leg- out the door by 7am and back on the road, headed to Rapid City, SD. Three days of driving can take a toll on you. We abandoned music halfway and resorted to good, old fashioned conversation.

Stopping at the first rest area on the 90 West proved to be a real treat. We met Arliss, a sweet and spritely little thing with tight silver curls and a passion for South Dakota. She equipped us with anything and everything we needed to know, based on where we were headed. We left the rest stop with arms full of literature, including a map carefully highlighted by Arliss in red sharpie. Onward!

Reaching the Badlands was a bit of a struggle. Storms passed through the area the night before, and it took multiple exits to find a gas station with pumps that were working. C’mon Yaris, don’t let me down now!

It was completely worthwhile, as the Badlands did not disappoint. In short, they are a tiny slice of visual heaven in Middle America. If you go, take the scenic loop. It will add 30-60 min to your time, but it’s a great way to break up the drive, and presents a ton of photo opps! Pictures don’t do it justice, but here’s my failed attempt:

badlands 1

 

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badlands 3

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From the Badlands, we spent another hour in the car and finally arrived at the reason this trip had to wait for a year. Outside of knocking an item off my bucket list, Willow Springs B&B was the driving force behind the trip’s timing. Joyce, our hostess delivered breakfast every morning via ATV:

Our cabin was tucked away between the Black Hills.

Our cabin was tucked away between the Black Hills.

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willows 1

willows 3

Hi Joyce!

Hi Joyce!

Breakfast every morning...

Breakfast every morning…

No cell reception, no Wi-Fi, and hearing nothing but wildlife every night and morning. I love watching the deer come out at dusk! The creek nearby could be heard from our front porch. This is the recharge I needed. Yes, I had to drive 22 hours to get to it. Completely worth it! Watching the sun set over the Black Hills every evening has been nothing short of amazing.

Can’t wait to show you pics of Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse! More to come…

tamihallman

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