Things have been rather quiet around the blog lately as I’ve been trying to catch up on life! It’s hard to believe it was almost a month ago already, but at the end of April my cousin Kari and I set out on an adventure through North Dakota and South Dakota. With a week off for spring break we had tossed around some ideas about where we might go, originally planning the trip to only include North Dakota. It was eventually expanded to include South Dakota because we are insane and thought that crazier trips have been planned in much less time. We covered over 3200km in just four days. Let me share the details of the first (very long) part of our journey. Be prepared for a photo intensive post!
We woke up at 3am on Easter Monday, made a quick stop at Tim Horton’s and were on the road by 3:45am, destination Mount Rushmore. We wanted to be on the road early enough to ensure that we could be at the border crossing by 8am when it opened. With an approximately 13 hour drive ahead of us we wanted to make sure we made it to Mount Rushmore before closing time because we had a strict schedule to follow!
North Dakota is rather….open. Free of trees, a few big rock outcrops here and there, but more the most part it’s fairly wide open. Kari thought it was an interesting drive, but the majority of the drive through North Dakota felt painful to me. Every hill we came over revealed more of the same highway stretching out before us in unimaginable distances going straight. I often have a hard time sleeping in a car on a road trip when I feel there is a lot to see, but I had no trouble at all catching a few zzz’s on this trip!
Our first major stop was in Deadwood, SD. We got out at the visitor center to stretch our legs and take a little stroll around. Our time was limited as we were still on a tight schedule to get to Mount Rushmore before closing, but after 12 hours cramped in my Escape, we really needed to get out of the car for awhile.
We picked up a map of the Mount Moriah Cemetery then drove up, up, up the hill until we arrived at what seemed like the top of Deadwood.
The Mount Moriah Cemetery was on our list of places to see thanks to this guy. Kari had found out that both “Wild Bill” and “Calamity Jane” had graves in this cemetery, so we walked around in search of them. The cemetery contained grave sites for other famous people, though a lot of them were specific to South Dakota, and these were the two names we were most familiar with.
I’m not wild over hanging out in cemeteries though I do find that they often provide some interesting things to photograph, like this fence that surrounded “Wild Bill’s” grave stone, or this figure on top of a grave stone. Although I should admit that this figure? Totally creeped me out. I thought it was a midget on top of the gravestone until I got home and looked at my pictures and realized it was someone kneeling and praying. Oh.
Opposite to the cemetery entrance was a nice look out point on the town of Deadwood. It really is a city that’s nestled in a valley. Years ago when I was still in university my grandparents came on a bus trip to Deadwood to check out the casinos. We didn’t have time for casinos. We spent less than an hour walking around the cemetery before loading ourselves back into the car, destination Mount Rushmore!
Stay tuned for more!