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    South Dakota Here We Come

    From Wisconsin to South Dakota 10 Day Trip


    South Dakota Here We Come

    South Dakota here we come.  South Dakota has on my watchlist for some time.  The Badlands, Ghost towns, Blackhills, Needles Highway, Custer State Park, I’m sure you understand.
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    Palisades State Park South Dakota

    Palisades County Park South Dakota

    Palisades State Park South Dakota

    Palisades State Park South Dakota is located on Split Rock Creek. In the 1870s Split Rock Creek was harnessed to power a large flour and feed mill, and a town called Palisades formed around it. I didn’t see any of the remains of the mill building in the area. Was told there is a small foundation left somewhere from it.

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    Corn Palace and County Road Driving

    Corn Palace South Dakota

    Corn Palace and Country Road Driving

    Where do our travels bring us today?  The town of Mitchell, South Dakota to the Corn Palace and county road driving. Searching for old homes on county roads along the route.  At our last stop a lady talked my husband’s ear off and said we HAD to see the Corn Palace.

    If someone tells you that you HAVE to see something, there is usually a good reason behind it. That is what we will do. Punched it into the GPS and headed out.

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    Badlands Revisit

    Badlands National Park South Dakota

    Badlands Revisit

    Today we are leaving Hill City, South Dakota and starting to snake our way toward Green Bay, Wisconsin. Last night’s homework was to write down places to stop on the way home.  Number one on each list – Badlands revisit before leaving South Dakota.

    You know that feeling you have when you miss something? I have had that feeling since we left The Badlands National Park. Like there was something I missed. Something that begged for my full attention but I ignored it. Today, I shall find out what that might have been. If anything.
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    Custer State Park Exploring

    Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

    Custer State Park Exploring

    On the first day, we drove through Custer State Park. It was a quick drive through. Today, is Custer State Park exploring day. We will spend time really going through the park. Exploring what it has to offer that we may have missed on the first go and anything else that looks interesting on the way back to our rental.

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    Spearfish Canyon and Pactola Lake

    Pactola Lake South Dakota

    Spearfish Canyon and Pactola Lake

    Spearfish Canyon and Pactola Lake were locations I secretly waited for. Spearfish Canyon held waterfalls and I positively adore waterfalls!  Plus, My new Vu Filter system was screaming for attention. I was itching to explore some of the options of new filters I had brought along.

    As we approached, my husband pointed to the clouds of smoke billowing off the mountain top.  I believe that is our destination. It proved true.

    Spearfish Canyon Wildfires

    Click on any photo on this page to view larger size or order a print

    Certain parts of the park were closed because they were battling wildfires. Others, under a heavy haze.  It didn’t make the scenery any less appealing to your eyes.  The pictures I had planned, they were just not going to happen. At least not today.

    Bridal Veil Falls Spearfish Canyon South Dakota

    Bridal Veil Falls is the easiest of the three waterfalls in Spearfish Canyon to locate. It can be seen from US Hwy 14A. The 60 ft waterfall is stunning.  I am thankful for the Topaz Dehazing tool.  By using it, I was at least walk away with some usable pictures.  The smoky haze was picked up on all my pics.

    Driving Through Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota

    We hiked back to another waterfall.  The walk back was shaded by tall trees and along the route, people were ditching their shoes and wading through the ice cold streams.

    Spearfish Canyon Waterfall




    Our park trip was short lived.  They started to direct traffic out of certain sections as the fire spread. The haze in the sky was becoming more noticeable. In lowland areas the smug started setting in fairly heavy. Traveling between locations became more difficult.  One lane traffic in many parts of the park had traffic at a standstill.

    Smog was thick in Spearfish Canyon

    We decided to just head out of the park.  If we had additional days in South Dakota, we would have stayed in the park longer and battled the traffic.  We all agreed.  There was more we wanted to see and experience in South Dakota.  Waiting in traffic is what we do back in Green Bay. Not on vacation in South Dakota.

    Pactola Lake

    Pactola Lake was a beautiful place to get out and stretch.  It seemed like you could see for miles.

    Overlooking Pactola Lake, South Dakota

    The lake is what I like to call a sport lake. People boating, fishing, kayaking and having fun.

    Pactola Lake South Dakota

    The lake has a hue to it and appears to be extremely clean and clear from the bluffs looking down.

    Pactola Lake South Dakota


    The tall pines surrounding the lake gave us shade from the 90 plus degree weather and allowed us time to do a little hiking along the top of the lake.

    There were eagles flying above the lake and a few additional birds of prey that I wasn’t able to get a close up of to identify.


    Back to Hill City. We have to stop off at the store for meat to grill back to our rental house. Tomorrow, we plan on heading back to revisit a few places.

    Thanks for tagging along with us on our travels to Spearfish Canyon and Pactola Lake.

     


    See additional days from our trip:

    Day 1
    Day 2
    Day 3
    Day 4
    Day 5
    Day 6
    Day 7
    Day 8 
    Day 9
    Day 10

     

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  • All Photo Blog Posts/ Midwest Travel Locations/ South Dakota Photography/ Wisconsin Atv and Utv Exploration

    Black Hills National Forest UTV Adventure

    Black Hills National Forest UTV Adventure

    Black Hills National Forest UTV Adventure

    My DH was doing some research on South Dakota and Google has this way of tailoring search results to us according to what we have looked up and expressed interest in. He showed me a link before we left for vacation for a Black Hills National Forest UTV Adventure.
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    Custer State Park Needles Highway Iron Mountain Road

    Custer State Park Needles Highway Iron Mountain Road

    Glorious morning!  On the agenda today is Custer State Park Needles Highway Iron Mountain Road.

    Woke up early, after sleeping well.  Did all the dirty laundry, straightened up the house and enjoyed coffee outside on the deck; with Henny Penny, the hen. Whom, I finally made friends with. No more chasing me around the yard. I did this while I waited for my husband and daughter to wake up.

    I had an additional friend that kept me company.
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    Badlands and Wall Drug South Dakota

    The Badlands and Wall Drug South Dakota

    Good morning!  Today we are heading to The Badlands and Wall Drug South Dakota.  I’ve decided today is going to be a good day for traveling and sightseeing.  Yesterday was just a slight setback and today is a new day.   You can read about Day 1 here.

    We left The Dakota Winds Motel in Kimball, South Dakota at a little after 8 in the morning.  After enjoying muffins, coffee and juice that was provided by the motel for breakfast.
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  • All Photo Blog Posts, Midwest Travel Locations, Midwest Videos, South Dakota Photography

    Feeding Begging Burros Custer State Park

    video

    Feeding begging burros Custer State Park, South Dakota. You can read about our 11 day family trip by starting with DAY 1 HERE.

    We are never without a few laughs whenever my husband is around.  The man had it in his head we had to go back through the park for a second time just to feed the burros.  Video proof, he got his wish. We did.


    See additional days from our trip:

    Day 1
    Day 2
    Day 3
    Day 4
    Day 5
    Day 6
    Day 7
    Day 8 
    Day 9
    Day 10