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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Keystone, South Dakota, United States

Jun 12, 2018 - The mighty conquerors!

Keystone, SD Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak) is the highest natural point in SD. It was named Harney Peak in 1855 in honor of US General William S. Harney. In punitive retaliation for other Sioux raids, in September 1855, Harney's forces killed Brulé Sioux warriors, women and children in what Americans called the Battle of Blue Water Creek. The Lakota had tried to get the name of the peak changed for 50 years, as Harney had massacred their people. They finally succeeded. A US post office was operated at Black Elk Peak from 1936 until...

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Jun 11, 2018 - Bison Jam

Keystone, SD Today was an explore day. Like all good tourists, we drove the Needles Highway. 14 miles long and finished in 1922, the highway is named after the high granite "needles" it winds among. We drove to Sylvan Lake, a lovely spot. The lake was featured in Disney's 2007 film National Treasure: Book of Secrets. We then spent some time in Custer State Park. The park is home to a herd of 1500 free roaming bison. We did not find all 1500 but we did find a substantial number – some of them causing a traffic jam as they seem to think they...

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Jun 10, 2018 - Mount Rushmore

Keystone, SD Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a granite sculpture carved into the face of Mount Rushmore. It features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of 4 US presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Originally, the plan was to sculpt American West heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud, and Buffalo Bill Cody, but was changed to presidents for broader appeal. Carving started in 1927 and ended in 1941 with no fatalities. It involved the use of dynamite, followed by "honeycombing", where...

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Jun 9, 2018 - Bear Country USA

Keystone, SD Bear Country USA is a unique drive-thru wildlife park featuring North American wildlife. On a three-mile drive, we encountered bears, wolves, elk, buffalo, and other wildlife. It is “the home of the largest collection of privately owned black bear in the world”. There are about 80 bears and we saw most of them. They just amble across the road whenever they want, regardless of cars. Of course the tourists are exhorted to NEVER roll down the window, even to get that perfect photo, but we witnessed a few who disregarded the...

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May 31, 2018 - Badlands, Black Hills, and Mt. Rushmore

Left Mitchell SD early and arrived at Badlands National Park. They have a 60 mile loop road through the park which is a wonderful way to experience this park. The scenery is spectacular. In the afternoon we arrived in Hermosa SD where we set up the RV for three days. After a good nights rest we set out on the scooter for a 90 mile ride through the Black Hills. What a day!!!!!! Perfect weather and the switchback riding through the mountains is so much fun. Every corner provides another breathtaking view. Iron Mountain Road, one of several...

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Jun 7, 2016 - Keystone, South Dakota

If you ride a motorcycle, the Black Hills are pretty close to perfection. Today, we head to Iron Mountain Highway. We study the map. Route 385 North goes past Crazy Horse and connects to 244 east to Keystone. But, wait. What about 89 North? Route 89 north is called Sylvan Lake Road. It is perfect. There is no traffic and there are no straight sections. We love it. At Sylvan Lake, we turn left onto the lower part of Needles Highway. We briefly join 385 before turning east toward Keystone. We stop in Keystone for a late breakfast. Our...

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Aug 27, 2015 - Mount Rushmore

I have always wanted to visit Mt. Rushmore. To see it in person was more impressive than I ever imagined. Concept and design by Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941). His son, Lincoln, was also instrumental in completion of the monument. The sculptor and a scouting party went on foot and horseback in 1924 and 1925 to locate Borglum's dream of a solid granite peak for a memorial to democracy and the heroes of the nation's western history. Borglum was a creative genius, a person who could see presidential faces in granite rocks. He died before Mount...

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Jul 9, 2015 - Mt. Rushmore

Jainan – I really liked South Dakota, I’d even go so far as to say it was my favorite state. I liked the rolling hills. We did a lot of driving, during which we saw lots of billboards, especially for the Corn Palace (It is exactly what it sounds like, a palace made of corn) Me and Taira begged mom to let us go to the Corn Palace. It was a small disappointment because it was more tourist attraction than corn, but still cool nonetheless. Then we went to Wall Drug. Wall Drug was WEIRD. I really liked Mount Rushmore. It was interesting how they...

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Trip Journal


East Loop Trip 2015

Sep 7, 2014 - 9-7-2014 Mt Rushmore

Mount Rushmore & Needles Highway! The drive from Sundance, WY to Mount Rushmore, SD usually takes 1.5 hours and this is flying down I-90 at 75 MPH (Maybe 78 MPH). But today we stretched it to over 5 hours! How, you may ask, can you do that? Well, it was very easy and beautiful. Just as you hit Spearfish a scenic highway offers its followers a wonderful view of the Spearfish Canyon. This twisting and winding road follows creeks, rivers and canyons through the Black Hills National Forest with plenty of places to stop and take in the views....

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Jul 29, 2014 - Mt. Rushmore

Yesterday we visited Sturgis (about 25 miles North off I-90) where the 4th Annual Motorcycle Rally kicks off Aug.4th-10th. Lots of bikers have been here since we arrived at the KOA in Rapid City Sunday. "Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally is one of the largest bike rallies in the United States. The Rally includes concerts, races, bike shows, exhibits, organized rides, and a full schedule of entertainment." Late yesterday we stopped at the Crazy Horse memorial (about 35 miles South) and then went to visit the Mt. Rushmore National Monument near...

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Jul 20, 2014 - Keystone, S.D.

This update covers our visit to Keystone, South Dakota. There are so many awesome towns to visit in this area, we have been busy beavers every day of our stay here. Just driving to this town we passed hundreds of places that would be interesting to visit, one was a drive through bear park. We will definitely be going back to that one. We saw several museums, a Christmas Village, even a reptile garden. I would pass on the reptile one anyway. I do not like snakes. :-) I am adding a few pictures just from this drive today to show you how much...

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Jun 11, 2014 - Mt. Rushmore

Our hostess at the B&B made us a wonderful breakfast of fresh fruit cup, pumpkin pancakes with spiced apple syrup, bacon, watermelon, orange juice, peach muffins and coffee. YUM!!! We visited Mt. Rushmore this morning and again this evening to see the light show. Very moving evening ceremony. At the conclusion of a presentation and video, they light up the mountain. All active and retired military personnel in the audience are then asked to come down to the stage for the lowering of the flag. They all are asked their names and military...

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Trip Journal


Our Dakotas Trip

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