custer state park

Instagram Roundup #48

by Jamie Sanford on July 10, 2013

Here are all of the other Instagram Roundups! Last one for the South Dakota trip! It feels like ages since we were there, but it’s only been a few weeks. We left Deadwood, heading out for a day of adventure and eventually getting to Keystone, SD. We were hungry, so we decided to check out this Boondocks Diner/50s Town. Will tells me about a Stephen King story in which a couple becomes trapped in a similar-sounding place, which just adds to the super high creep factor. After this excuse for a grilled cheese (I ate one bite, luckily the fries were decent) and this scary burger Will ordered (he ate the fries too), I was almost assaulted by this 1950s velociraptor. We took a few more pictures for posterity but mostly were creeped out so we headed back to our trusty Impala and went on our way. We made our way to Hill City, and bought tickets for the 1880 Train. While waiting, we explored the South Dakota State Railroad Museum. Here we are on the train! It was really fun, until the way back when we got to ride with a group of people who might have called us “city-ots.” WTH. It definitely put a downer on the trip back to where the car was. We were super hungry after the train, but weren’t able to get into the Alpine Inn for dinner, so Desperados it was. Will had fish, and I had cowboy mac and cheese, which would have been better if they had warned me on the menu that it was hella spicy. After some good times trying to find hair conditioner in Keystone, SD (they don’t appear to have any), we hit Mount Rushmore on Wednesday morning. It’s much more exciting to see in person. Will chatted up a man who was a driller on Mount Rushmore! Next up was a trip to Custer State Park. Our first driving trip was the wildlife loop. Guess what? The bison do not care about you and will just hang out in front of the car. They must know that people love it, right? Travel tip: when driving through scenic byways with lots of animal life, listen to the theme from Jurassic Park. It’s AMAZING and hilarious. Thanks, pronghorn. On our way to the Needles highway, we drove to the top of Mount Coolidge. Check out the view and my amazing bison horns. The Needles Highway was ridiculously beautiful at every turn. We stopped a LOT. How could you just drive by views like this? Views that, by the way, are in no way shown in these images. You cannot capture the enormity of what you see there. Thursday morning, we went to Crazy Horse! I wish we would have had more time there, but we had places to get to that day. We are planning to go back after we retire to see the continued progress. That’s a bear, in front of our car. I am so happy we stopped at Bear Country USA, where you drive through a giant habitat filled with bears, who, like the bison, don’t care about you and your foolishness. Insane. Will knew he was in for it when they told me that they had something called Babyland. This is 4 baby bears, all in one tree. Come on! I was in heaven. After an unsuccessful trip to Rapid City for additional luggage, we headed to Badlands National Park. I am not huge on landscape photography, and I was a little photo-ed out, so Will was the primary shooter. I mostly stuck to using my phone. We were there, for the most part, alone. It was spectacular to explore without tons of people around. Of course, another selfie. Given the lack of hair conditioner, this hat was the best purchase of the week. That, and the bavarian almonds that sustained us through Custer State Park. This marks the point where Will was off taking pictures, and I was on the phone with my brother Pete, helping him with a crossword puzzle. After a trip filled with clouds, we got to see an amazing sunset on our last night in South Dakota. Our last tourist stop in South Dakota was back in Mitchell. We had to hit the Walmart for an extra carry-on bag, and made our way to the Corn Palace. It was all I had hoped for and more. Despite an unfortunate hot mess of flight issues on the way back, this was one of the best trips we’ve had together. I can’t wait for our next road trip.

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