If you’re looking for America, Hill City South Dakota is your destination. American history, wildlife, old-fashioned downtown shops, and restaurant food that tastes like grandma’s Sunday dinner- it’s all here.
Explore the Black Hills by steam train. The twenty mile round trip between Hill City and Keystone will provide amazing photos of landscapes, animals and the post card perfect towns of Keystone & Hill City. Of course, anyone who collects trains will be in awe with riding the locomotive- just like our ancestors did in the old days. After the ride, a myriad of shops and eatery’s await.
Mount Rushmore is a must see for every American. The light show at night will leave you in tears & honored to be a U.S. citizen. Gutzon Borglum, and his son Lincoln, would be proud to know over two million people visit this monument every year. In 1927, the initial concept was to sculpt the presidents from head to waist. However, lack of funding forced the construction to end in 1941. Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt and Lincoln were chosen because of their dedication to preserving the Republic and expanding the territory. Mount Rushmore received its name from the leader of a prospecting expedition, Charles Rushmore, and his crew- David Swanzey (husband of Carrie Ingalls) & Bill Challis.
The Crazy Horse monument is a privately funded project commissioned by Henry Standing Bear to pay tribute to the Ogala Lakota warrior. The sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski started in 1948 and remained committed to the project until his death in 1982. His wife, Ruth, continued as the supervisor. Her decision to place emphasis on completing the face, as opposed to her husband’s idea to complete the base, was a great success. Visitors to the monument increased dramatically, as well as private donations. Ruth died in May 2014.
Custer State Park consists of 71,000 acres of wild life; including 1500 free roaming buffaloes. A drive along Needles Highway is a must with a camera. Although the landscape & animals may seem surreal, it is wise to obey the park rule: Don’t Approach the Buffalo. The banks of French Creek is where Custer’s expedition discovered gold in 1874. One can also explore the log cabin of Badger Clark- South Dakota’s first poet laureate.
Hill City, South Dakota. One of my favorite destinations.