Project Alicia : Week 22 {365} Alicia's Travel Cliff Notes: South Dakota Edition

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Week 22 {365} Alicia's Travel Cliff Notes: South Dakota Edition

Our trip was AMAZING!! There is nothing better than a spontaneous family adventure. We were there just 3 days, but we packed it in.

Custer State Park was more like a National Park. It is located in the Black Hills and encompasses 71,000 acres of spectacular terrain and an abundance of wildlife.
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Bison are more abundant than deer.
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Within the park, you'll discover a world of adventure. Do not underestimate the magnitude of the Black Hills. Harney Peak is breathtaking!
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The Burros have got to be some of the unhealthiest animals of their kind, but by far the most entertaining. We have video of the kids laughing their heads off as we fed them guacamole chips and honey mustard pretzels. (Sorry, it was all we had.)
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Go to bear country for the BEARS. And just the bears. The other animals are lazy sedentary lumps. Oh and the cubs were the cutest things I've ever seen in my life.
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There is no new way to capture Mt Rushmore that hasn't already been done, but we did find a cool tunnel that framed it well on Iron Mountain Road.
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You must get way off the beaten path to actually encounter a rattlesnake. We saw signs everywhere but have yet to see one. (And probably for the best.)
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Photographs do not even begin to do The Badlands justice!
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If you go to the Window Notch at the Badlands, look down and there you will find Pokey's right flip flop. She had a bit of a meltdown and spouse had to carry her to the car and dig up her sneakers.
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Wind Cave National Park is the 4th longest in the world and quite possibly the stinkiest. This was taken while waiting for the elevator to go up. Oh, and this is how your hair looks with no curling iron, extreme wind, rain, and a moist cave dripping on you for an hour.
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Other random travel tidbits:
  • NO 3G in South Dakota! (I think they only get a cyclical signal from the satellite in the sky OR it is in the boonies. Still deciding.)
  • They do, however, have the cleanest air I've ever breathed!
  • Outside of Rapid City, SD only has Subways and Dairy Queens. Blech!
  • Redbox rocks! One of the greatest inventions for travel since they invented the automobile, second only to AC or headlights- and that's a maybe. (Oh, and there's an iphone app to check for locations and movies!)
  • Everyone should invest in a DC to AC converter (~$20) for charging camera batteries, using laptops, etc. Saved my butt on numerous occasions.
  • Night travel is best with children. Period.
  • McD's SW salad is pretty yummy if you get sick of burgers and fries.

Ok, there you have it. If you do a trip to SD make sure to print out my Cliff Notes and I'd love to see your pics!

If you haven't had enough of my photos (sarcasm), then you can watch the slideshow. I took ~740 and I condensed it to 75. No easy task.





Or view the photos larger in Photobucket here.

What are your summer plans? Any fun family adventures in the works?

35 comments:

  1. Wow! Great pics! That looks like a fabulous trip.

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  2. These pictures are unbelievable! They are like photos out of a travel books!! I love how you just picked up and go with your family. Seems like they all had a blast too! Absolutely stunning.

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  3. Ok well the pics are way cool but you need to call
    Haldon, Haldon. Spouse is retarded. By the way this is Nate.

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  4. Gorgeous! Hope to visit there some day!

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  5. This totally brought me back to our trip out west three years ago (before being parents). I'm not a nature girl, but I loved Rushmore and most of all the Badlands. They were the most amazing thing I've ever seen. And I have to ask...what about Wall Drug? That was the most amusing thing for me the whole trip! Ha!

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  6. Oh MY GOSH! Katie, I forgot to mention WALL DRUG! They have signs for this place for like hundreds of miles and yes we did stop there for lunch because it was closer to backtrack than go on to the next town. It was nuts, but a definite experience. I couldn't stomach lunch at their diner. It was buffet style and smelled horrible. So, I opted for Subway again. I know, I know.

    But yes, a MUST SEE- WALL DRUG!

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  7. you and the burros is HYSTERICAL!!! i wouldn't have guts to let them THAT far into my car! was it hard to get them to leave you alone?

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  8. I would never be brave enough to let those animals into my car like that!! Kuddos to you because I would have been freaking out! Beautiful photos. I've been to SD several times on my way from MN to CO and loved each and every time. You don't realize how beautiful and amazing it is until you've seen in up close like that. Glad you guys had fun!

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  9. Breathtaking photos! I *wish* I had the photography gene! The one of Mt. Rushmore is postcard worthy, they all are, actually. Your children are so, so lucky to have you as their mom!

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  10. Okay! I want to go to South Dakota NOW! Gorgeous pictures! And you are a beautiful lady! And I enjoyed reading this post a lot!

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  11. Are you ready for another adventure? Next time though, I'm afraid you will be wishing you could get internet as good as you had it this trip. Bring your suntan lotion and DEET.

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  12. What a great trip! I so want to travel out West! Great photos!

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  13. ooooohhhh thanks for the love when you swung by and commented on my guy playing at the beach. MOST appreciated. Love your travels, it's nice to see someone else has no fear of putting kids in the car and doing something that requires loads of family time in the car...! An adventure is an adventure from start to end. It isn't just the destination! doing iheartfaces.com (theme: play) this week. It's intimidating and WAY out of my league but pushes me...wanna join?

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  14. I just can't stop looking at that first picture. The sky in that picture is just unbelievably gorgeous.

    my blog party is just having some fun. I will spend more time talking about ME (ahaha), focusing on some pretty special people that have made my blog experience so much better, tips on better blogging, and 2 giveaways. I just mention that you can play along on your own blog in case something you read this week on mine inspires you. You can just come and hang out too. I'm trying to figure out how to do a dance party. I think Jib Jab might be in order...

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  15. An app for red box? I am so there!! Looks like such a great time with your kids!! They will look back with such fond memories on those special times!! You also have beautiful photograph's to share with them!! We are staying here this summer mostly, headed to DisneyLand in October and Maui in November so no big trips all summer!!

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  16. We're heading out to that area this summer as well. I enjoyed the sneak peek your post provided.

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  17. Don't you just love the views out West? These certainly are some Superior Snaps! South Dakota's on my bucket list, for sure...

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  18. I will look at the slideshow. My fave on the blog is the black and white photo of the badlands. I have many fond memories of traveling through South Dakota. Its a good place for a road trip. I admire you for your spontaneous family trips and I dream about having my own often. I dream about just packing up and driving a couple states over. I imagine we will do things like this once we have a bit more money. I also think its important for your kids. I remember being 9 years old and really feeling cool because so much of what we learned about in history or geography I really KNEW about because I had been there!! Way to go. You look great in the pics. jealous sigh.

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  19. Great photos Lish! Looks like so much fun. My favorite photo? The black and white of The Badlands. One question though...Who's that walking in the photo? Looks a bit scary!
    Thanks for stopping by Lish. You're such a great bloggy friend. I really appreciate seeing you there in my comments everyday. :) Have a good one...

    Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud
    @TweetingMama

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  20. Beautiful photos...but seriously, how is it that 1)you are wearing lip gloss while on a road trip, feeding animals out of your car and 2) you are wearing such stylish clothes? I look like an absolute HAG on road trips!

    Looks like a fun time. We're commiserating trying to figure out if a road trip is in order for us this summer, too.

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  21. Looks like a fun trip! Great pictures!

    Sam
    Mom.Undecided.

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  22. Hi Alicia!
    I found your blog through Marissa's. What gorgeous pictures! Sounds like an AMAZING trip! I've never been anywhere up north, and I live in Kansas....but I would like to go someday! :)

    I enjoyed my visit! Following!

    Have a great week.
    --Abigail @ Rear Window

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  23. Beautiful shots f lovely place. That is lot of wild life.

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  24. Those are amazing pictures you got! And Alicia, you are beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your journey. That is a place I've never been but would love to see one of these days.

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  25. haha i love how the buros seem to know they are having their picture taken. proper posers!!

    Tina from
    Mummy Diaries
    Gossip Avenue
    Travel Shack
    Game FreakZ

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  26. You got some amazing photos! The burros sticking their heads into your car cracked me up :)

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  27. -->Beautiful pictures! I like that you don't make them thumbnails on the page too.
    ~deb

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  28. Hi! Back from my week away from Blogland and I have so missed everyone.

    Well, it looks like you had yourself one fine vacation. We were in that area for Spring Break. There is nothing like it. And oh yeah, when our kids were little, the ONLY way to do it was night driving. Peace. It's all about the peace and quiet.

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  29. You captured SD beautifully. Your pictures really are stunning, and I loved reading about other things to do in SD than just Mt. Rushmore!

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  30. Great picture of the donkeys in the road at Custer state park. Love the sky in that one.
    Great framing on the Mount Rushmore! Love the lost flip flop. At least it was not something more valuable. Great pictures. I love visiting parks, looks like my kind of trip!

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  31. I love the burros! How cute! I'm jealous i didn't get to come on the trip with you guys! BTW, what camera do you use and how much did it cost? Do you have any suggestions for a cheap starter camera?

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  32. Oh how awesome are all those pictures. I know I have told you before but I am going to tell you again... You guys simply have too much fun. Wish I could travel more often :)

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  33. Wow, Looks awesome! I've never been to SD and would love to go.

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  34. I traveled to SD in 2007 and agree completely that no picture can do justice to the Badlands! It was a beautiful and amazing area. And I, too, saw lots of rattlesnake signs, but no rattlesnakes.

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