Thursday, June 23, 2011

South Dakota Trip

A few weeks before the Memorial Day weekend we had a couple of travel plans laid out in front of us. The one that we finalized was to visit Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, Devil’s Tower, Needles and Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park… not in the above sequence though.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park, South Dakota is one of those unique landscapes that still exists and date back to about 75 million years! We’re not talk about centuries but million years… Apparently as per geologists (mentioned in the Badlands National Park information guide) the earth’s climate at that time was warmer than it is now and a shallow sea abundant with life covered the region we call the Great Plains -stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and from western Iowa to western Wyoming.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Needles Highway and Wildlife Loop, Black Hills

Located along SD-87 as part as of Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, Needles Highway is a 14 mi driveway through pine and spruce forest with sharp bends, tunnels and granite structures in the form of “Needles”. Please do not visit this route if you want to speed your way all along. With more than a dozen pullover sights, the Highway offers enough to the visitors to capture the beauty of the place in their cameras. We were fortunate enough to see two rock climbers trying to scale the heights of these structures. The tunnels were so narrow that only one car could pass through it. This trail took us about 90 odd minutes with the halts and photo shoot outs.

Crazy Horse, Black Hills

While you are in the Black Hills, South Dakota, Crazy Horse is one memorial which offers a lot of cultural insight to the lives of the native Americans. Do visit the museum.

As you enter the Visitor’s Center there’s a nice 15-20 minute video which gives a history of how and why the Crazy Horse Memorial is being created… apparently to honor one of the greatest Native American –Crazy Horse. The monument is that of a Native American Lakota warrior [Thašúŋke Witkó] riding a horse and pointing to a distant land which he called his –“My lands are where my dead lie buried”.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Devil’s Tower, Black Hills

Devil’s Tower is a little less than a couple of hours drive away from Rapid City, SD, USA. The route is through the Black Hills National Forest and as picturesque as can be… plain grasslands on either side of the road I-90; something like the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. We left the Interstate at exit 199 for County Road 86 [instead of exit 185 as being suggested by the GPS] which promised to be scenic and longer.