This was from our second trip to South Dakota. This is Custer State Park. There is just something about these animals. They are so majestic. I never dreamt I would like our first trip to SD let alone asking to go back a second time. I highly recommend going to at least Rapid City at least once if you get the chance.
I was deeply saddened to hear about the murder of the buffalo calf in Yellowstone. These beautiful animals have quickly become one of my favorite animals. And as someone who has witness herds of them roam the prariers in both SD and WY I have seen their beauty and majastery in person. I have even looked one in the eye. These creatures are one of the many things that makes America Beautiful and killing one is killing part of America’s beauty. And one last thought: what kind of person would take something like a buffalo calf away from its family and natural envirment? These animals were built to withstand the cold and snow.
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.
So my longing to go to Rapid City got me thinking. If I won the lottery and could live anywhere I want and be able to work from home, I would want to live Mid-May to Mid-September in Rapid City and Mid-September to Mid-May in The Outer Banks of NC. I love both places! They are both beautiful in their own right. The Outer Banks has the ocean, wild horses and peacefulness. Rapid City has rolling hills, buffalo that roam, and peacefulness. I wouldn’t want to do the winters in Rapid City because of the snow and I wouldn’t want to do the summers in the Outer Banks because of the crowds. By living like that I would have the best of both worlds. I would have a Condo in Rapid City and a Beach House in the Outer Banks. It would be so cool to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years on the beach and to spend Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day at Mount Rushmore. It might never happen but a Southern Belle can dream! Dream about living the Perfect Life.
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