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  • Frank DeArmas

The Black Hills, Custer State Park, the Badlands, and Deadwood South Dakota

Picture by Jan

The Black Hills as seen from the Needles Highway

Rapid City, SD

Rapid City KOA site 77


September 8th.

The Lakota people, also known as the Sioux, have lived on these lands for centuries. They hold the belief that these hills are sacred and that all within, the stone, the trees, the water, has a spirit. As we stand and observe the beauty of it all, it does feel as if I’m standing in a cathedral of natural stone arches, carved by the very spirits that inhabit these lands.

I’m afraid my words will not be sufficient to convey the overpowering feelings it produced, but I’ll try.



We started our visit at Custer State Park. This is a great park loaded with wildlife. We ended up coming back here everyday. It’s hard to describe just how big these Bison are. This picture Jan took gives you a little taste of size.

Picture by Jan

We then drove up the Needles highway on the way to Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument, both of which were impressive.


Mt. Rushmore lived up to its hype,

Picture by Jan

I was very proud to take part in retiring the colors at end of day.

At the crazy horse monument we had a chance to really get to know more about the Lakota people. We also got a chance to do our spot light on local food. As you can see this monument is a work in progress.


Spot light on local food

SD is known for many Lakota dishes. At the Laughing Water restaurant at the Crazy Horse Monument, we got to try Gabubu bread, Indian Tacos and Tatanka stew. Sooooo good

Ops sorry. Menu came out sideways lol


The Badlands National Park

As you can see, the area we stayed in is very diverse. Just an hour away are the Badlands. We just could not get over how different and beautiful in their own way it was.

Photo by Jan



And finally, you guys may know I’m a western history buff. So you know I won’t pass up a chance to visit Deadwood and see the final resting place of Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, and others. And an added bonus was being able to meet up with Gary and Kathy Brooks. As is always the case, we had a great time.


As much as we hated to go, it was time to move on. Tonight we will be in Sheridan WY and will keep you all posted on what we find there. Then Monday it’s off to Cody WY and Yellowstone.

See you all in Cody!

Frank and Jan


Tourist trap alert lol

Oh wait. Tourist trap alert. I remember when I was a kid we would drive from NY to Miami. All along the way there were these signs for South of the Boarder. You guys know what I’m talking about? We would stop every time lol. Well SD has something very much like that. Its called Wall Drugs in Wall SD. All along the way there are these signs. It turns out it’s right outside of an entrance to the Badlands. We stopped lol. Of course we did…



1 Comment

Jean Parker
Jean Parker
Sep 12, 2021

Love your pictures and stories ... makes you feel like you are right with you on your vacations!!

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