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Escape to the Black Hills

Cowboys gathering at St. Onge Livestock Exchange
Cowboys gathering at St. Onge Livestock Exchange
Camille Frame

The Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming are steeped within the Great Plains of North America. The Great Plains stretch across the center of the United States and its inhabitants embody the characteristics of the ecosystem both demonstrate resilience, independence, hard-work, and self-sufficiency.

Housing a largely rural population among continual patterns of fields and wide-open spaces it offers visitors much in the way of self-revitalization.

Here are 5 great reasons to visit the Black Hills:

  1. The fresh air – the air quality in this area is unparalleled and sheer delight for the senses. Breathe it in and pick up the notes of fresh sage, sweet clover, and ponderosa pine. Fresh air when truly enjoyed lowers anxiety and increases relaxation. Nothing smells better than the scent of a downpour after a Great Plains thunderstorm. Pure bliss.
  2. The opportunity to unplug – not all mobile carriers are represented here which is not all bad. Rather than pay roaming fees or use up your roaming data; allow yourself the favor of unplugging to fully restore. Going without electronic connection at first is uncomfortable; however the benefits of unplugging are worth it. Unplugging aids in truly valuing vacation time. Everyone needs the benefits of disconnecting from work and connecting with ourselves and loved ones and to experience pure, uninterrupted leisure.
  3. Watch the bison roam in Custer State Park – imagine these majestic creatures roaming freely across the prairies years ago. Custer State Park is known as being one of the few truly wild places remaining and the bison, or buffalo as they are commonly referred roam freely across the parks 71,000 acres.
  4. Learn about Native American History – Native American’s play a huge role in the area’s identity. Visit historical Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and check out the Red Cloud Heritage Center to learn about the Oglala Sioux and their chief Red Cloud.
  5. A taste of the old-west - walk among the cowboys this special breed known for being rough, tough, hard-working and adventurous. It is easy to find yourself among cowboys in this area, but you can also seek them out in Deadwood, on a working ranch, or visit a sale barn, rural America’s version of the stock market, here you can watch livestock growers and buyers gather to buy and sell animals all to the tune of a live auctioneer.

Spend some time off the beaten path and expose yourself to the culture of this area rich in calmness among the vast expanse of fertile farmland and rugged beauty.

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