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South Dakota - Part 1

Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park
photo by Otto Bochman

A visit or vacation to South Dakota usually includes Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Wind Cave National Park. These are all fantastic destinations but let’s take a look at some other great and educational stops along the way.

If you are coming from the east, and depending on how far from the east, you might like to stop at the world’s only Corn Palace. As you continue you will see lots of signs for the Murdo Auto Museum. If you like cars then it’s a must; however it’s much more than that. The displays of well organized antiques, machinery, even buildings will take you back to a simpler time and give you a history lesson as well.

Speaking of history; stop at Minuteman Missile Historic Site and get an up close look at the “Cold War” era command center and a missile silo and missile that was part of the strategic deterrent of that time.

Badlands National Park is next as you make your way west. Badlands National Park is home to one of the largest fossil beds in the world. You could also stop at world famous Wall Drug for a piece of world famous pie. Not sure if the pie is world famous, but it is good.

Traveling anywhere across South Dakota you are certain to see many “waypoint” or historic markers. Most will tell a story about the location or those that are close by. Again, if you are in to history or just want to learn a little about the are, then take the time to read the information on the marker. The South Dakota Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) is a large part of the history of the entire state, but most certainly the Black Hills. CCC waypoint markers are visible throughout the state and recognize the contribution made by FDR’s “New Deal program.

We could mention hundreds of locations all over the state of South Dakota. Perhaps we’ll do that in an other article.