I’ve already covered a few of our favorite destinations on our #epicvacation from a few weeks ago, including hiking to Cecret Lake, visiting the Bonneville Salt Flats and spending the afternoon by a beautiful waterfall

We only had a few days in Utah, so we were off to South Dakota! It was actually cheaper for us to rent a car and drive from Utah to Custer, SD. 

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Most of the trip took us through Wyoming, which has a more varied landscape than I thought.

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We saw cliffs, mountains and of course glassy plains along the way. We even saw our first [live] buffalo (with many more to come in the following days). 

We made it to South Dakota about 24 hours before my family. That night, we headed to Crazy Horse Memorial to check out the night blasts. They only do them twice a year and it was really cool! My phone was dead at this point, so the only pictures I have are in my mind (and night pictures never turn out that great anyways). I would highly recommend going to check this out! It was really cool, especially since they did a light show prior to it to learn a bit more about the history of the memorial and Crazy Horse. 

The next day, we ventured out to the Badlands. It was hard to believe that we were still in the U.S. because the landscape is so different from anything I’ve ever seen before. 

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I am so glad that this sign didn’t come true while we were out there:

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It was actually pretty hot while we were out there, so we would basically jump out of the car for a viewing spot and then get back in as fast as we could – ha. It felt like it was a good 10 degrees hotter here than where we were in Custer, SD, which is weird because they aren’t *that* far apart. 

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At the end of the loop, we ended up in Wall, South Dakota, where we of course had to visit Wall Drug

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I’m sure you’ve heard about this place, I had too before we visited, but I had no idea about the history! I stupidly thought that Wall Drug came about in the days of cowboys and this was an old saloon where they all congregated on their way out west. Well, turns out, it’s just your normal drug store that became famous because of the pharmacist’s wife who knew marketing and how to get people in the store!  

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After our visit to Wall Drug, we made our way back to Rapid City for a late lunch (and craft brewery action, of course) and then adventured to Custer, where we “camped” for a few days. 

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I say camped because I don’t think it counts if you’re in a cabin? We were happy to see that this was an option at Custer State Park because since we were traveling from a few different cities before hand, it’s not like we had a lot of camping supplies that we could bring with us. 

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It was gorgeous and the weather was beautiful (despite some random thunderstorms that rolled through at night). It’s in the heart of the Black Hills, which technically could be called mountains because they are tall enough. 

While we were in South Dakota, we of course had to go see Mount Rushmore and bond with the local wildlife… but those deserve their own two posts. 🙂

 

Have you ever been to South Dakota? Visited Wall Drug? 

If you were on vacation, would you rather drive or fly? 



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