South Dakota is my favorite state. Considering my attachment to the east coast (i.e. ocean) I probably couldn’t live there, but it shall remain one of my favorite states to visit. It is so incredibly gorgeous, even along I-90 (and I am not one to agree with interstates). I-90 or above, highway 14, stretches east to west across the state. Along the way you pass signs for the Corn Palace and Wall Drug. Beginning from the east, South Dakota is pretty much corn and sunflowers with a big blue sky. It’s so pristine and peaceful even with the fact that the speed limit is 70 mph.
Upon reaching Chamberlain, SD the topography changes. All of sudden you come over a hill and you’re in the badlands. There’s the Missouri River and the corn disappears. The great land of brown mountains appears. It’s incredible and totally unexpected. The next town is Oacoma, SD and there you can stop at Al’s Oasis to get a 5 cent cup of coffee.
Down the road you get to Wall, SD and there’s Wall Drug, a famous tourist stop that started as a small operation offering free ice water to travels. Eventually you come to the Black Hills and it’s a green forest (this is where Mount Rushmore is and Custer State Park). The photograph below is from the Black Hills. My mom, my sister Sarah, and I traveled across South Dakota in summer of 2006. We loved it and will return the next chance we get.
Most people think of nothing when they think of South Dakota or they just don’t think about South Dakota. In my opinion, if people had the opportunity to travel the United States and ventured to rural, small populated places, then they would care more about open space preservation and the beauty of the United States rather than living the immediate satisfaction lifestyles that we have created.
Next time you get the chance, visit South Dakota. And if you’d like to see more photographs from South Dakota, let me know.