Across South Dakota

I find that people like to make fun of South Dakota, thinking perhaps that it is a barren wasteland. Actually, I'm told that's North Dakota, which is why we've never been. South Dakota, on the other hand, is beautiful and has a lot to offer.


We visited South Dakota's Black Hills region for the first time in 2008 and again last year. In 2013 we also visited the Badlands. Both places are amazing and we are excited to return.

We drove many hours to get from the very bottom-rightest corner of the state to the KOA in the Badlands.


The views weren't exciting, but it is pretty. Visually peaceful.

BTW, Wes, why are you staying in so many KOAs? Aren't they the McDonalds of RV parks? Yes, they are. And like McDonalds there is a consistency and convenience that sometimes trumps potentially-nicer alternatives. Better the devil you know.

At the KOA we spent the afternoon generally trying to relax after a long drive. After dinner we walked to the nearby bridge to show Tessa the thousands of nests and the birds feeding above the river. At the same time the sun was performing an excellent set. Tessa saw the cliff above the river and saw her opportunity for a real Lion King moment. I followed a path down below the cliff, closer to the river for a better shot of the sunset and the birds.

Getting this shot was not an unperilous decision for me. After walking through the grass I felt something itching my legs. I looked down and there were three ticks climbing up! I quickly got them off but then wished I'd taken a picture of them. Amazingly I walked through the grass a second time and another tick appeared! What's the deal, am I a tick magnet or what? Must be the toenails.