Mountain Goats Everywhere
Please watch your speed. The mountain goats roam freely and are a protected member of the park. So if you hit one, guess what. You might be a little bit of trouble. "So don't be in a hurry and keep it slow!"
Mountain Goats (Oreamnos Americanus) aren’t really goats. They are members of the antelope family, a group that also includes related species such as Musk Ox and Mountain Sheep. Mountain Goats are descended from goat-antelopes called Goral and Serow. Adult mountain goats are 3-4 feet tall and weigh 150 and 300 lbs. Their 12 in. horns are thin and slightly curved. The average life span is 12 years.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Adventure Travel
- Road Trip
Annual Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis
Before traveling to South Dakota, be sure to check on when the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Rally is. I was there in 1990 and 1991. In 1991, we missed it entirely. In 1990, we drove through and found the entire town completely ransacked. We missed it by about a week. There were barb-wire fences placed around some of the buildings. When i asked one of the locals why that was, she told me it was to keep the drunk motorcyclists inside the bars to prevent them from getting out and destroying the town. If you plan to go to Sturgis, do so at your own risk.Related to:
- Road Trip
Here's a picture of one of the infamous "begging burros" I mentioned that are found along the wildlife loop in Custer State Park. They hang out right in the middle of the road hoping for handouts from the tourists. I'm not sure if its legal to feed them or not. Usually feeding wildlife is illegal in most state and national parks. The burros obviously won't hurt you, but don't be surprised to see them on the road and drive very slowly past them.
Don't Pet the Bison ( Buffalo ) - Really!
Please do not attempt to pet the Buffalo or any other critter you may encounter in the Black Hills. People get injured and 1-2 die every year from encounters with wild animals in the Black Hills. Buffalo move QUICKLY and can run you down from as far as 100' away.
Stay in your car and stay on the designated trails when hiking.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
Watch your mouth in W. SD!
A word to the wise: These people may seem like "nice, friendly folks", but if you harbor political views that can in any sense be construed as "leftist" -- even moderately left of center -- be careful where and in whose presence you voice them. Western South Dakota is arch-conservative, Bible-thumpin' country. It's almost exclusively white and essentially red-neck. Except for the accents, these people have more in common with Georgia crackers or Texas "good ol' boys" than middle-of-the-road Minnesotans or Iowans, who live right next door. Avoid religion, politics, environmental issues, and gun-control at all costs. And you don't have to scrape far under the surface to find racist and homophobic opinions. Putting it in a nutshell, this is "Praise-God-and-pass-the-ammunition" territory, where "liberal", "gay", "socialist, and "Democrat," are all diry words.
keep hydrated in arid South Dakota
South Dakota conjures up images of sun seared skeletons of cattle gone astray and for good reason, this can be one hot, sunny, dry place. Did you ever hear of the Dust Bowl? Everyone knows you should drink lots of fluids but this is one place that Coke is not king. Water is the prefered choice but you must remember that you will be sweating even if it doesn't seem so. Your sweat will evaporate so you won't feel wet and sticky but make no mistake, you are losing valuable minerals especially salt. So, it's good to drink sports drinks like Gatorade. We always carried a large container of powdered Gatorade and this doubled to flavor tap water that might otherwise not taste all that great. Salty snacks are good and help with energy reserves. Finally, a scientific reason to eat potato chips.Related to:
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
I am serious.... this picture represents it well..... I could not believe that even on a sign from a restaurant I was confronted with South Dakotans flexibility... Every single time I asked at a shop, a restaurant, or anywhere!!!! "what time do you close?" I got the response: "uhhhhh..... 6 or 7"......"around 8 o'clock"........."in about a halfan hour more or less"........ And this sign: "Until 6:00 OR SO"!!!!!!! What's up with that!!!!???? Is it just me or has everybody that's been to South Dakota have this happened to them? ROFL
Keep your gas tank full! The...
Keep your gas tank full! The less traveled roads lead to interesting photos but gas stations close early and may be difficult to find.
The weather may change suddenly so watch for signs of severe weather in the late spring and during the summer.
In the Black Hills, traffic is usually no problem. But at the Needles, Mt. Rushmore, and a few other popular attractions, traffic jams do occur. Take your time on the winding mountain roads. Be patient.Related to:
- National/State Park
Check Your Tires!
Prior to driving to Rapid City, I had been in Yellowstone. When leaving the park I chose to drive out the northeast exit as this was designated as a scenic byway. It was very scenic, though the rodes had many hairpin turns as mountains usually do. I drove them like a race car driver taking them pretty tight.
Well, about 15 miles after leaving the park I hear this sound from my front left wheel. I stopped and looked and was shocked to see the rubber stripped from the tire (when I left on the trip the tires seemed to be in good shape). Fortunately, I found a garage and was able to get a new set.
P.S. As bad as my tire was, check out the one at the upper right. Oh my!
If you are traveling in south Dakota the weather can change fast. It can be sunny then raining or snowing a few minutes later. Winter is the most dangerous time as the wind blows snow over the roads and can create whiteouts since there are hardly any trees or buildings. During the Summer if you hike in the Badlands it is dry and very hot there. Water is a must if you are hiking. Also in the Badlands you do not want to get lost and hiking around after sunset is asking for trouble.
When signs ask for you stay on the walkway you might want to. The rattle snake was close to one of the walkways in the Badlands.
South Dakota Hotels
The Radisson Hotel Rapid City is located in the city's historic downtown, an easy walk to the main...more
Stayed here 3 nights toward the end of September, 2010 on business. It is very convenient to...more
100 Pine Crest Lane, Box 320, Deadwood, South Dakota, 57732, United States
Good for: Families
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