Posts Tagged ‘South Dakota’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up


Looking up at a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Looking up at a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

“It is easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top.” Henry Ward Beecher

Hot air balloons up above the Serengeti Desert. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Hot air balloons up above the Serengeti Desert. — Photo by Pat Bean

“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s the way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope … and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” Dr. Seuss.

Looking up at a bit of nonsense in Custer, South Dakota. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Looking up at a bit of nonsense in Custer, South Dakota. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Never, never, never give up..” Winston Churchill.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Five things to do today http://tinyurl.com/c5njbav I’m all for anything that gets today’s kids out from in front of a TV or endless computer games. How about you?

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Driving through the tunnel -- Photo by Pat Bean

Custer State Park, South Dakota
“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!” — Bob Marley
Bean’s Pat:  Kindness Kronicles  http://tinyurl.com/82zz9tm  The world needs more people like this blogger, who believes the world truly can be a kinder place in which to live. .

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A landscape with more appeal to nature lovers than farmers. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Note: Since I have taken the pledge to blog daily, this is the first of 365 blogs for 2011. Maggie, my 13-year-old cocker spaniel co-pilot, and I are now in our seventh year of traveling across America. We live and roll down the road in Gypsy Lee, a 22-foot RV that now has 115,000 miles on her. I hope you join us for the ride.

Travels With Maggie

The Badlands “are so fantastically broken in form and so bizarre in color as to seem hardly properly to belong to this earth.” Theodore Roosevelt

 My RV rocked and rolled for three days in up to 45 mph wind gusts that blew sand down through my air conditioner and into my tiny RV home as I sat out a South Dakota September wind storm just outside of Badlands National Park.

Once an ocean, then a jungle, now bad lands. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 Finally the wind broke – thankfully before my sanity – and I took the opportunity to go exploring. Why, I soon wanted to know was this land called bad. I found its steeples and ripples of striated red and white rocks that reeked with fossil evidence of an ocean, and even a jungle, in its past fascinating. Seeing it for the first time as a I drove through the park was awesome.

 Probably because it was a week day and also because the wind was still haughtily showing off its power in occasional bursts, it seemed as if Maggie and I, and the prairie dogs and rattlesnakes, had the park all to ourselves. Later that night, with the wind still jiggling my RV, I researched the origin of the land’s naming. It was, I discovered, a Sioux thing.


Watch where you step. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 The Indians had called it bad land because its formidable terrain was difficult to travel through and because the land was no good for growing things, As one who had traveled the awesome ground on pavement and who didn’t have to grow her own food, I realized my way of loving a land merely for the pleasure it gave me might be considered selfish.

 The thought brought me back to my days as an environmental reporter and my efforts to fairly cover the polarized issues of conservation and economic survival. I had realized back then that neither side was wrong and that compromise was usually the only answer.

 Thankfully, the act turning the Badlands into a national park was a win-win situation for both sides. The land is protected for nature lovers like me while our tourist dollars help keep food on the table for South Dakotans.

The wind was still blowing the next morning when Maggie and I continued our journey down the road. I wondered why someone hadn’t called this place Windyland

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Two artistic horse sculptures stand in front of the Custer County Candy Company -- Photo by Pat Bean

  Come journey with me through South Dakota for awhile as I relive my explorations of the state during the fall of 2008.

“Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate.” — Sandra Boynton

Travels With Maggie

It calls itself the sweetest spot in the Black Hills. I’m talking about the Custer County Candy Company. While I won’t go so far as to agree, I will tell you I’m glad I visited them during my visit to this small town.

I recommend the hand dipped chocolates.

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Not all beauty lies in the open air. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie   


The walls of Jewel Cave flow with images created by dripping water. -- Photo by Pat Bean


“Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”  James Allen

While Maggie and I spend the next couple of months visiting with loved ones in Texas, I thought I’d share with readers and fellow travelers a few places that have enchanted, delighted, amused or awed me during my past six years of being on the road.

Jewel Cave National Monument

Located in South Dakota’s Black Hills near Custer, Jewel Cave is the second known largest in the world. Only Kentucky’s  Mammoth Cave is larger.  Calcite deposits in the wet part of the cave and gypsun deposits in the drier areas over a 60 million period are responsible for the cave’s fanciful formations.

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