Last week the Timehop app on my phone kept showing me photos from 2 years ago when we took, what would be our last trip, to South Dakota. We were going to go again this summer but our reasons for going came home. It is beautiful country out there and I will admit that I am a little sad I didn’t get to see it one last time. I’ll never forget the time I spent in the Black Hills. Going to Bear Country, and seeing buffalo in Custer State Park, and a prairie dog town in Badlands National Park. I can say I have had free ice water at Wall Drugs been to the Corn Palace, and Storybook Island. I can say I have seen Mount Rushmore and a pig race at Old McDonald’s Farm. I have watched as lighting has lite up the night sky and rode a train from Keystone to Hill City and back winding through the lush green country side. I have taken a ride across the badlands felt that freedom on my face and breathed in all that open space. I never imagined I would enjoy the Black Hills of South Dakota as much as I did. Maybe some day I will get to go back and take all that beauty in one more time.
In the spirit of Independence Day tomorrow my favorite thing is my country, the great USA. I love a lot of things about this country. I love that we have places like the Outer Banks, Disney World, and the Blacks Hills and that we can travel to them. I love that we have National Parks like Yellowstone, the Badlands, and the Smokey Mountains. I love that we have shows like Castle, Criminal Minds, and Duck Dynasty. I love that we have Mickey Mouse. I love that we have a history even if it’s not all good. I love that we have movies like Gone With The Wind, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, and Sleeping Beauty. I love that we have the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music, and NASCAR. I love that we are free. I am thankful for the brave men and woman who help protect this great nation. I could go on and on with the things I love about this country but I will stop there. I am proud to be an American and I will show my love for country tomorrow. Happy 4th of July to all my readers. Thank you for reading.
As someone who has felt the wind on her check at the Wright Brothers Memorial. Who has seen the beauty of the Grand Tetons. Who has watched in awe as Old Faithful erupted at Yellowstone. Who has looked into the carved eyes of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Jefferson at Mount Rushmore. Who has driven into the depths of the Badlands. Who has spent a lazy summer day in the Great Smokey Mountains. It saddens me deeply that these great treasures we know as our National Parks and Memorials are closed right now and others cannot take in their beauty too.
Two summers ago a family vacation changed a part of me forever. Now in June every year I start getting a longing to “Take a ride across the badlands, feel that freedom on my face, breathe in all that open space.” As Jason Aldean sings in the song “Fly Over States”. ‘Cause on the other side of that ride across the badlands is Rapid City, SD. A place I have come to love! And it is not just because my favorite four-year old lives there, it’s more. There is something about the Black Hills that has drown me in and won’t let me go. I find myself wishing, a lot, that I could be in the Black Hills of SD. Usually going out west is a once in a lifetime trip but I have been out west twice, two summers in a row. And I would love to go back this summer too but I can’t. It is beautiful out there! It is like a little piece of heaven on earth! And the ride out there is like none other. I know most people think I am crazy when I say how much I love to drive to SD and back. It is a little far but well worth every mile of it. I can’t get enough of it either. There is so much to see that you miss by flying to Rapid City. Golden fields of wheat and corn and the badlands! Each turn in the road brings something new and interesting to see. When in Rapid City I love to go to Bear County and to Custer State Park and see the buffalo roam. It’s amazing to think that at one time those beautiful creatures were almost gone forever. There are big and fast but beautiful to watch. To look into one of their eyes is like looking into their soul. Boy I wish I was leaving for South Dakota tomorrow. Maybe next summer I will go back! Makes me think of the song Doris Day sang in the movie “Calamity Jane” with Howard Keel.
“Take me back to the black hills, the black hills of Dakota. To the beautiful Indian country that I love. Lost my heart in the black hills, the black hills of Dakota. Where the pines are so high that they kiss the sky above.”
Read more: DORIS DAY – THE BLACK HILLS OF DAKOTA LYRICS