Iowa and South Dakota

The big vacation this year was to South Dakota. It was like being young again—hanging out in the backseat while Dad drove and Mom navigated, trying to amuse myself while I waited for lunch and the hamburger therein.

Oh, and credit where it’s due: David took almost all of these photos. The only exceptions are the ones he’s in (obviously). I took b&w photos while he was in charge of digital. I’m pretty impressed by the results. He’s doing rather well, don’t you think?

We started by meeting in Iowa. I flew into Kansas City and my aunts and uncle picked me up. David was at Boy Scout camp, so Mom and Dad scooped him and headed over. David and I enjoyed a walk down the lane the first evening.

David took a picture of me taking a picture. He’s sneaky that way.

David didn’t manage to get a photo of my Grandma, but he did get Grandpa.

We headed to the Page County Fair that evening, and examined all the livestock.

There was an antique tractor pull that night, so we checked out all the entries.

There were quite a lot, actually.

And, of course, lots of rides for the kiddies.

A lot of major league players started out on Clarinda’s baseball team.


Dad was thrilled by everything, as you can see.

This is Molly, Grandma’s dog.

Grandpa recently bought an old Farmall, like the kind he had when he first started farming.

The next morning, we set out for Rapid City. Along the way, we saw unusual things… Like this, the biggest steer head in the world (so says a sign).

We stopped off at David’s favorite store, Cabela’s.

The next morning, we headed to the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs.

Then to Custer State Park to check out the bison. That’s right, New England folk. These are bison, not moose. Sheesh. You know… Some kind of land cow?

Then to Mt Rushmore, where David has his picture taken.

Then Dad posed while trying to figure out what makes something a memorial versus a monument versus just a good old park.

Then Mom took her turn.

And finally me.

That work complete, we headed away from the crowd. Well, after we stopped to get a final shot of David in the hall of flags.

Next day, up early and off to Devils Tower in Wyoming.

Educate yourself!

It’s eroding, and you can see all the chunks at the bottom.

Some because of the weather, and some because of plants.

It looks rather different from each side.

Not sure what I thought I was doing here, but David caught me.

Next day the weather was bad, so we hung around Rapid City. Of course we had to visit the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

After that, we went out to Ellsworth Air Force Base. David tested a few things.

We went down in a Minuteman II silo.

Don’t you just love ICBMs?

We checked out their collection of aircraft.

Is this one a B-52, or am I loopy?

I think this is a B-1. Someone will tell me if I’m wrong. No doubt.

David’s showing the scale here.

Really a nice little collection.

That day we ended up at Custer again for a little while. We found a little spot off the beaten path. Very nice.

David liked how many “nos” were on this sign.

Burros roam pretty freely throughout the park accepting helpful gifts like Cheetos. This was Jenny’s favorite part of South Dakota when she was little.

David got quite a few nice photos of the area.

Next day, out to the Badlands.

The humidity was low, but it was still rather hazy.

David was getting pretty worn out by then.

We stopped off at Wall Drug to enjoy some lunch and to visit their “backyard.”

They have a fake Mt Rushmore.

I posed in front of the T-Rex.

Before we left, David got a shot of the pink truck across the street from my aunt’s house.

And then back to Iowa for a day before I headed home.