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Old 05-16-2010, 08:56 AM   #1
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Mass. to South Dakota

First trip out west for two weeks! New Camper too! So, we're headed with a goal of Mount Rushmore and Hot Springs, SD. We and the kids are going to start thinking of places to visit, routes to go, campgrounds to stay in, walmarts too- we are into military history, gem mining, fossils (hence hot springs and the mammoth site) and just seeing the country. Any and all suggestions recommendations greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:18 AM   #2
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Do not miss Custard State Park. It should be a National park. Needles Hwy Needles Highway, South Dakota - ALLBlackHills.com

We stayed here for ten days last summer. Rafter J Bar Ranch - Home

The kids may like the train ride from Hill City to Keystone.. 1880 Train - Welcome to the Black Hills Central Railroad in beautiful South Dakota

And of course Deadwood. Attractions & Tours in Deadwood, South Dakota

Have a fun trip. BTW, we were there in late June and it does get cool at night so make sure you take appropriate clothes.
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:47 PM   #3
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Also of interest along I-90 on the way to Rapid City is the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD; Wall Drug and Minuteman Missile Nat'l Historic Site.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Just east of Wall, SD is Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park - Plan Your Visit (U.S. National Park Service)

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Old 05-16-2010, 06:27 PM   #5
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Hi Purplefans & Harvey,
In addition to the corn palace in Mitchell, SD there is also a prehistoric Native American site, along with a museum and guided tour.

Just a bit farther than you have decided to go is Devil's Tower National Monument. It is in the very north eastern corner of Wyoming.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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MASS to SD

Recommended to us.. passing along..

HI..hope this helps... It's fun planning a big trip, isn't it?!

In Rapid City friends recommend Hart Ranch Resort (RPI).

If you are spending a few days in the Black Hills, relocate to the Custer area. Some places don't take club rates in summer. I'd try Broken Arrow in Custer (PA). Spokane Creek in Keystone is less $$, more remote. Check out RVParkReviews.com on all for details. There is also lots of camping in Custer State Park and Blk Hills Natl Forest.
Custer SP Camping Park Maps and Camping Information

Attractions:
N of Sioux Falls is DeSmet, where Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up. (Little House on the Prairie) In town you can tour several sites while docents entertain you with stories from the life of early prairie settlers. On the edge of town is a hands-on history site. Highly recommend these for learning a bit about our prairie heritage. Guests usually love 'em. Plan a day, worth the side trip.

From Sioux Falls-Rapid City: Have heard the Akta Lakota Museum in Chamberlain is very interesting, and you'll have a good look at the Missouri River Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center - Comments from those who have visited the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center 1 hour
also try Badlands National Park if it's not too windy.

Rapid City: Journey Museum, Bear Country(kinda touristy, but we like)

Must do's in Hills: Custer State Park- including the Needles Hwy (Natl Scenic Byway), Sylvan Lake, the Wildlife Loop, and take toad on Iron Mtn Road; Rushmore Cave; the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs is world-renowned; Wind Cave Natl Park. Lots of scenery just driving around.
If you have an extra day, Devil's Tower Natl Mon in WY is just cool. See Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon or Jewel Cave NP en route.

Early June weather in SD is springlike and changes from day to day. You may be in shorts/Ts one day and in jackets/gloves the next. The Black Hills are often 10-15 cooler than Rapid City, and temps drop 20-degrees at night.
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:46 PM   #7
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Thanks!

What fantastic ideas! Thank you! We will be all sitting around the table planning different stops, points of interest, things we each want to do - we will each pick one thing in each state - at least!

So exciting! And knowing that the weather will be changing is good - we did a vacation in February to Florida for warmth and it was horrible cold! We didn't plan that at all!
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:02 AM   #8
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Purplefans & Harvey:

Do really consider taking a day trip from the Hills over to Devil's Tower. It's a very easy and enjoyable drive from the Hills, can very comfortably be done in a day, and, then on your return, drive S. from Spearfish through Spearfish Canyon, stopping for pie at Cheyenne Crossing and back to your camper.

OH!...also, if ya do run up to Deadwood, ya might really enjoy a stop to see Kevin Costner's "Buffalo Jump" sculptures atop the hill on the N. end of Deadwood. It's impressive!! Also, take the "Wildlife Loop" drive through Custer Park, and don't miss a short drive to the top of Mt. Cleveland (I think. It's either Cleveland or Coolidge...some president) located on the NW quadrant of that Loop. The vista is fabulous...Ya can see Crazy Horse to the West, Rushmore to the North, and the Bad Lands to the East. Try to have binoculars with ya.

Have fun....it'll be a GREAT trip!!

Steve & Lynette
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:17 AM   #9
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You guys are killing me. This is bringing back so many fun memories of last summer. South Dakota may be one of the best kept secrets in America.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:30 PM   #10
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This was timely. I received this in an e mail today from the tourism department in SD.

http://view.exacttarget.com/?j=fe5b1...0279771671&r=0
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:30 PM   #11
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Smile ideas

not much time, do think abt at least a day in the bad lands there is a cg right at the visitor ctr. we based at custer sp very nice and and an easy drive to most of the areas you will want to visit including wind cave we stayed about a week in that area just before bike week. what a wonderful trip with kids

john

ps if you like south of the border in sc yo may like wall drug and the corn place
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:37 AM   #12
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If you're coming through Wisconsin stop by the Dells. Tommy Bartletts Water Show is very good. There are tons of water parks and go-kart tracks. Minnesota doesn't have much (life long resident here so I can say that). Ohio has the best amusement parks! Take the kids on every rollercoaster. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is great for us old people, don't think a 7 and 10 year old would get much out of that tho. How about the motorhome museum in Indiana? I've never gone there but I will one of these days. Would the kids like that?
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:15 PM   #13
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Great ideas! Thanks so much! Can't wait! Just picked up the new RV today!
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:20 PM   #14
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There's a great little public campground (Sunnybrook) in Wadena, MN if you're passing that way. It's operated by the town and is located in their municipal park. Nice place to relax for a couple of days and walk around the park.
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