Number Twelve and Thirteen and a half: South Dakota

We kept meandering between Nebraska and South Dakota. Our first stop in South Dakota West was for the Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills. The section we did, from Pringle 15 miles north, just beyond Custer, was a disappointment. We expected to follow the River through the Black Hills; instead we followed the highway through dessert. It was a fairly easy ride but we quit before it got hard. Other sections may be more interesting.

Custer seems to be trying to out-do the Chicago cows with a bison on every corner. (One of these is a horse at the Crazy Horse Monument.)

And of course, Custer is very near Custer State Park, where the buffalo roam, also elk, deer, burros, mountain goats, prairie dogs. It is a state park nestled in among several national parks and there seems to be an on-going battle to stay a state park. I don’t know what it means to South Dakota but what it means to us is our Golden Age Pass didn’t get us in.

Our second stop was South Dakota east. Sioux Falls had a very clever and very interesting display of street art that costs the city almost nothing. Local business donate and prepare the display space and artists from around the country “loan” the art work for the summer. They are all (almost) for sale. At the end of the summer, the City buys the one that won the popular vote for its permanent collection. Here are a few of the 40 or 50 works on display, selected for no particular reason and shown in no particular order. Big Foot is made almost entire out of flatware.

While in Sioux Falls, we rode enough of the City Trails to get to 50 miles for the state.

We liked them. Among other things, they went by the Zoo, the Court House Museum, and the Sioux Falls. The Black Rhino is in the Zoo; the art in the museum; the rocks in the Falls.

The sketches in the Court House were by George Catlin , who passed through the area in the 1830 and documented the life of the locals at the time.

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