We traveled up through St. Joseph and Sioux Falls, to see the Laura Ingall's Wilder house in De Smet:
Everywhere you look, there are feilds: corn, prarie, and 180 degrees of the bluest sky and summer sun. We joked that this is the edge of the world - at some point the road stops, and you will look around and see nothing but corn and sky going on forever.
It was beautiful and lonely and wonderful standing out there on the prarie, listening to the wind sing over the grass.
From there we drove to Rapid city, with a quick stop at Wall Drug before moving on to Mount Rushmore. I've seen Mount Rushmore on the TV so many times, and it is incredible to actually be there seeing it in person. It is larger - and higher - than it appears on TV, sitting at the top of a granite crest. The carvers grew so talented at using dynamite, they were able to blast the rock within inches of the finished surface. The cracks in the granite are inspected each year, with caulking applied to keep water from splitting the rock. In 10,000 years, the sculpture will have lost only one inch to erosion due to the toughness of the granite.
Next post: Black Elk Wilderness & Custer State Park!