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South Dakota Travels with Boomer USA Mid-West Travels

Paws for Beer’s Top 10: South Dakota

top 10 things to do in South Dakota
Badlands National Park

South Dakota will always hold a special spot in my heart as it was the location of my first solo trip. I had always wanted to see the Badlands National Park and decided that in the summer of 2012 it was time to stop wanting and start doing! I pack up my truck, grabbed my dog, Boomer, and headed out to one of the most awesome states I have ever been to!

Here are our top 10 stops in South Dakota:

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South Dakota Trip in Review

I had another great solo trip under my travel belt. A few things learned:
1. If I have to arrive late to a hotel, make sure it’s in a safe spot.
2. No matter how I try to conserve gas on a road trip I will most likely fail due to my lead foot.
3. I also learned to not be worried about embarrassing myself, most likely I’ll never see those people again so it does not matter.
4. Be bold, walk confident and always look like you know what you’re doing even if you don’t (unless you’re lost and then ask for directions! )
5. And most important if anyone sends a judgmental eye your way because they see you’re alone (and trust me I got the looks) – send them a look back of ‘I’m a strong independent person and you wish you could do things on your own’.  And if you can muster that with a look of the eye you should also be impressed with yourself that you can communicate that much with just a look of the eye!

Below is a photo recap of our trip from Idaho to South Dakota.

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South Dakota Travels with Boomer USA Mid-West Travels

Day 6 A Cold War lesson at Minuteman Missile Silo, South Dakota

Minuteman Missile Silo, South Dakota
Minuteman Missile Silo, South Dakota

Our time in South Dakota was coming to an end as we would start our way back home on this day. Before leaving South Dakota I made one last stop at the Minuteman Missile Silo just outside of Wall. Who doesn’t need a little cold war education on their road trip? And with missiles buried in South Dakota that is just what you’ll find.

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South Dakota Travels with Boomer USA Mid-West Travels

Day 6 Visiting Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Pinnacles Entrance at the Badlands National Park
Pinnacles Entrance at the Badlands National Park

Prior to leaving for the Badlands National Park I took Boomer out to the hotel’s approved patch of pet grass for his morning potty break and witness something strange. There was a man also with his dog. The dog relieved it’s self and the man and dog went back into their hotel room. Shortly there after the man appeared again with the dog, took it over to the grass and again the dog relieved it’s self. He went back into the hotel and appeared again with the dog, back to the grass, it relieved it’s self and they went back into the hotel room.  I was totally confused and frustrated that this dog had gone to the bathroom three times and mine still had not gone.

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Day 5 – Rapid City Firehouse Brewing / Wall Drug / Badlands National Park at Sunset, South Dakota

I finished up at Mount Rushmore and Boomer and I were headed off to Wall South Dakota for the night. I briefly stopped in Rapid City at a local brew pub, Firehouse Brewing Co. The brew pub was housed in a awesome brick building that was the original firehouse for the city.

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South Dakota Travels with Boomer USA Mid-West Travels

Day 5 – Visiting Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

visiting Mount Rushmore South Dakota
Mount Rushmore Avenue of the Flags

The next stop on my road trip around South Dakota was Mount Rushmore. As I walked towards the monument through the avenue of flags I was excited to finally be there. I quickly checked the state flags to make sure Idaho, my home state, was represented! I am not sure why I always think that Idaho will be excluded, it is a state after all, but I always feel compelled to check.

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Day 5 – The Museum at Black Hills Institute, Hill City and Goodtyme Photos, Keystone South Dakota

museum at black hills institute
Hill City South Dakota

Boomer and I slept in a bit on Day 5. The Museum at Black Hills Institute, in Hill City that I wanted to go to did not open until 9am.  The later opening time gave us a good opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep. I did end up walking Boomer around the town a few times to burn some time before I could go into the museum. The town is an adorable old westernized looking town.  After I put Boomer back in the truck I stopped in at a store and the shopkeeper said “where’s your puppy dog?”. That dog sure does attract attention!

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South Dakota Travels with Boomer USA Mid-West Travels

Day 4 – Driving Scenic Needles Highway, South Dakota

needles highway scenic drive south dakota
Needles Highway in South Dakota

Although planned for the next day, I had a few extra hours of daylight left and felt that taking the Needles Highway Scenic Drive in South Dakota would fit in perfectly before the laser show started at Crazy Horse Monument. I was pleased with my decision as it was near sunset and the golden colors of fall were even more vibrant with the setting sun.

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South Dakota Travels with Boomer USA Mid-West Travels

Day 4 -Crazy Horse Monument, South Dakota

crazy horse monument south dakota
Crazy Horse Monument South Dakota

My next stop was Crazy Horse Monument. I had heard a little about Crazy Horse, a Lakota Warrior, prior to my visit, like he was this bad ass warrior who had a vision that no white man’s bullet would kill him and he always rode fearlessly into battle. Well the vision was right, he was not killed by a bullet but by some looser who stabbed him in the back.

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South Dakota USA Mid-West Travels

Day 4 – Wine Tasting in Hill City, South Dakota

Wine Tasting in Hill City, South Dakota
My wine loot from the Hill City SD Wineries

After gaining some unexpected time by getting out of the bison round up early I decided to do a little wine tasting before picking up Boomer. But first I stopped in at Hill City to check into our hotel. I was starting to realize that traveling with a dog was cumbersome.