You may find it difficult to believe but a cemetery was never on our list of places we ‘must see’ in our travels.  However, we passed Black Hills Veterans Cemetery on our way to Rapid City and knew in an instant that we would return. It’s hard to describe the feelings you experience when you visit a military cemetery. There is a mix of humbleness, pride, gratefulness, sadness, and awe. We’re pretty sure it was the slight breeze that was causing our eyes to water.


A trip through South Dakota isn’t complete without stopping by the world famous Sturgis.  After driving through the little town it’s hard to comprehend what it would be like with over half a million motorcyclists rumbling through. Thankfully it was long past bike week so we had a nice quiet dinner at The Knuckle Saloon.


While still beautiful in its own right, the Badlands left little to be desired compared to some of the other visits to national parks.  We weren’t left with awestruck wonder or the thought that this is a place we would love to bring the grand kids back to.  We visited the park on a dark, very chilly, breezy day and were so grateful for our heated seats. The sun finally made it’s appearance at the very end of the day leaving us with a stunning beautiful sunset.


If you are wondering just how “bad” the Badlands are we were able to snap a picture of the “Eye of Sauron” hiding out there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauron


Mount Rushmore was created to increase tourism to the region and was completed in 1941. Without this national monument it’s unlikely many people would know how beautiful this part of the country is. Our journey through the area took us through Wind Cave National Park, parts of Custer’s State Park and concluded at Mount Rushmore. The road connecting Custer’s and Mount Rushmore is called Iron Mountain Road.  It’s a window down and enjoy the journey type of road full of roaming wildlife, countless turns and a ‘pig tail’ or three. The behavior of the wildlife makes it evident that they are well fed in exchange for candid portrait moments.  Where else are you greeted by a smiling goat, or welcomed into the park by a Bison standing in perfect form, or perhaps a field of Prairie Dogs that leave you with visions of ‘whack a mole’ is more your style.  If that isn’t enough maybe a herd of Antelope or a Coyote would do the trick.


From a distance it’s really hard to gauge the scale of the tower but when you are standing at the base of it and see pieces of column that are the size of a car it puts things into perspective. The top of the tower is 1.5 acres and it stands 867 feet high from base to summit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devils_Tower


  1. Mom

    The words you used to describe the veterans cemetery would be the same dad and I used when we visited Gettysburg. The sacrifice of our military people and their families is beyond understanding for me. I respect them and I honor them.

  2. Bob and Joy

    I found your business card on my desk yesterday and decided to look at your blog to see how you were doing. It is great to see you are enjoying your travels. We enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your beautiful photos! We are enjoying your former Jeep Wrangler (we named it “Travis”). It followed us to Florida and back earlier this year. Are you really in Carthage MO? My sister moved there a few months ago.

    1. tecbuilt

      Yes, we are in Carthage visiting our son who lives in Springfield until Good Friday and then we’ll take about a week to travel to Yuma where we will spend the winter. I’m glad you are enjoying the Wrangler, we miss it until we find ourselves driving for 5 hours and the creature comforts of the Grand Cherokee outweigh the fun factor of the Wrangler.

      1. Bob and Joy

        We understand about those creature comforts but we enjoy the back roads too. We are hoping to go to AZ for a couple of months this winter but not sure yet if we will make it.

        If you are looking for a church in Carthage, Jim and Kathy are on staff at Grace Pointe Assembly of God.

        1. tecbuilt

          Oops, I meant we are in Carthage until Black Friday not Good Friday, not much good about Black Friday. We’ll check out Grace Pointe this Sunday. If you make it to the Yuma area this winter let us know and we’ll do lunch or dinner.

          1. Bob and Joy

            We agree that there isn’t much good about Black Friday.

            We will let you know if we get to the Yuma area. Look up Jim & Kathy when you are at Grace Pointe. I told them to look for you but they might miss you since they work with the children.

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