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Martha’s Not Showing Enough LOVE for SOUTH DAKOTA!!!


If you haven’t gotten, or read the July* issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, I’m sorry you’ll have no clue what I’m talking about…bare with me.

The issue is all about America, the land I love. Celebrating all 50 states! So, I was rather excited to see what she had to say about South Dakota, my home, my birthplace, the state I love, even thought I grew up in Nevada, and now live in Colorado.

So, I saw SD was featured on page 24, I flipped through the pages to get to page 24, and went right past it, not seeing anything about SD, so I thought either I’m blind (which is pretty much the case) or there was a misprint on the proper page number. I went back to page 24 and this is what I saw:

What, where’s South Dakota on this page, I’m not seeing anything…oh wait, Raelynn, look almost to the binding of the magazine, there, there it is, that tiny picture and 1 complete sentence.

Now, I’m not complaining about that the fact that the Corn Palace was what represented SD, but I would have thought for something about our state that’s listed as a “National Treasure” that Mount Rushmore is what I would have seen, I mean, after all, it is a National Treasure, right?  And I must say, I do love Martha, but was a bit disappointed about this….

I mean California for a 2 page spread, what’s up with that? (Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Cali)

Well, if Martha’s not going to show you what South Dakota’s about I will.  And if you’d like more information on the GREAT state go check out South Dakota Tourism website for many more fun family activities.

Our state “motto”

First we have Mount Rushmore National Memorial  The carving from sculptor Gutzon Borglum, which he started in 1927, and over the year cost about 1 million dollars to complete.  Mount Rushmore pays tribute to President Washington, President Jefferson, President Roosevelt, and President Lincoln.   The Avenue of Flags is beautiful, each state flag with the states name and year it entered into the Union carved into the granite.  And from May to Sept. if you’re their at 9pm you’ll see the lighting ceremony of the mountain.  Simply a beautiful place you must see.  Oh and one more thing, if your going to go, and you must, take Iron Mountain Road, it’s a longer drive but WELL WORTH IT.  You’ll take the “Pigtail Bridges” and get some of the greatest views of the Presidents without even being in the park yet.

Then we have Crazy Horse

“My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too.” -Chief Henry Standing Bear

Crazy Horse was started by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski in 1939; they take NO government funding, everything is paid for by donations, and the admissions into the park, and sales of gift shop items, ect. The story behind Crazy Horse with his left hand thrown out pointing in answer to the question asked by a white man, “Where are your lands now?” Crazy Horse replied, “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”

Falls Park, in Sioux Falls, you’ll enjoy the beauty of the Big Sioux River, that gave the city it’s name. There’s a 5 story observation tower that you can intake the views of the falls and river. And make sure you stop but the visitor center and get yourself some pink quartzite that is seen throughout the park.

Deadwood an entire city that is a National History Landmark.  A city that was the setting of the HBO hit properly titled “Deadwood”.  The city was established in 1876 during the Black Hills gold rush, many outlaws such as Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok came in, but Wild Bill didn’t leave alive, you can go to the No. 10 Saloon on Main Street and right above the entrance is the chair he was sitting in as he played poker and was shot in the back of the head by Jack McCall in Aug of 1876.  (if my PC wasn’t dead, I’d have a picture to show you).  A great place to visit, to really feel that old sense of town, and learn about the gold rush history.

Laura Ingalls Wilder home in De Smet, where you can discover what Laura talked about in the Little House books.   And what most people know too, of the TV show Little House on the Prairie.  For those of you who are book worms this is a great place to visit and experience in real time, what you read.  For me, this would be like going to Forks, WA, and living the life of Bella, in the Twilight Saga (just a little comparison for ya).

Isn’t this baby buffalo just too cute for words….yeah, I think so.  You can get a look at them at Custer State Park, 71,000 acres of pure beauty, one of the only places in the country where buffalo roam free about 1,300 of them, and don’t be in a rush driving though the wildlife loop, they may stop traffic as the cross the highways, so bring your patience, and if your there in late September, early October you can witness the buffalo roundup.

Sturgis…enough said, right?  I mean who hasn’t heard of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally…if you’ve ever seen a biker, you’ve probably seen a Rally shirt…there are a few hangin’ in my closet.  It’s one wild good time, with everything biker involved.   If you go, its usually the first to second week in Aug, this years it’s the 9th-15th….you’ll take in food, souvenirs, tattoos, concerts, and see the sights, and defiantly the sound of the “hog” on the main drag.  And please don’t say I didn’t warn you: this isn’t really a “kid friendly” party….just sayin’….

Now, I’ve got a few more things to talk about and if you’ve EVER (well since the late 1930’s) drivin’ on Highway 90 in South Dakota, you’ve seen the signs for FREE ICE WATER at:

Wall Drug, if you haven’t seen the signs, then you’ve been asleep along the road, and shame on you for that.  I mean you really cant miss the signs….no joke!  What was once just a small drug store has turned into a 76,000 sq ft drug store, with free attractions, and shopping galore, and one of the best places in South Dakota to get Black Hills Gold (my fav), and another requirement on mine is, you have to go back to the kitchen and get a Carmel Pecan Roll, THE BEST!!!   The last time I was their, there was about 6 of us, and I think we had to share ONE, the other had to go to my grandma (if I remember correctly), and that was what they had left of that batch, the rest were in the oven, and we needed to get back on the road…man, that was torture to not get one of my own, one PAN of my own that is.  Here’s a map of Wall Drug now:

And my last bit for South Dakota:

Black Hills Gold, I think every time I’ve gone to SD I’ve gotten something new, Black Hills Gold will always consist of leafs, one pink and one a light green, and a cluster of 3 gold “grapes”, because when the young French goldsmith, Henri LaBeau came to the Black Hills to find gold he got lost, and nearly died, when he came upon wild grapes that basically saved his life, once he found gold, he created what was then names Black Hills Gold which they though was good luck, and to honor LeBeau they now use the pink and green leafs with a cluster of gold grapes to signify what saved his life.

WAIT I actually have two more….I’ve actually save the BEST FOR LAST….

 The South Dakota State Fair 

Every September, in the one and only HURON, SD!!!  (my birth place)….my daddy always told me, that a long time ago, people came to Huron and asked the townspeople if they wanted to be the states capitol, or host the state fair…and that we, Huronites, choose to take the state fair!!  Now, this is probably just something pop’s told me for shits and giggles, but when I was young, it was a cool story, so I’m stickin’ to it.  With a carnival, concerts, stock car racing, SD State Fair Pageant, BBQ Cook-Off, ect….You can never go wrong with a state fair, well, I guess you can go wrong if your on a diet, because we all know, fair/carnival food is anything but healthy!

And last, but not least: The World’s Largest Pheasant

He’s located in Huron, so while your there for the state fair, go check him out.  You’ll find him at what was once the Huron Liquor Store on the east side of town on Highway 14, he’s 20 feet tall, and 40 feet long, so go and take your picture with him, as it’s on of South Dakotas best roadside attractions.  Also, further in town on Hwy 14 is a White Buffalo at Prostrollo Car Dealership, that’s 12 foot tall and 20 foot long.  He’s white because it was believed by the Plains Indians that the white buffalo was the child of the Sun God.

Well there ya go, South Dakota in my nut shell.  Please don’t be deterred from ever visiting South Dakota, it’s a great place, and family friendly (except that one week in Sturgis).

*This post was writen 2 years ago, so it’s from Martha Stewart’s July 2010 mag…..I was telling a co-worker/friend (Hi Sean) about SD since he is takin the family up there this 4tho of July weekend, places he should visit and thought I would update….



Author: Raelynn

Born in small town South Dakota, raised in Sin City Las Vegas, now living in Mile High is my adventure and I'm sharing it here, one project, one recipe, one day at a time.

2 thoughts on “Martha’s Not Showing Enough LOVE for SOUTH DAKOTA!!!

  1. I read last year that the SD State Fair was closed forever, and Huron had sold the fairgrounds. Is that not the case? My father had the first Pronto Pup stand at the SD State Fair, back in about 1958-60.

    • Mary, not that I know of…my dad still lives there, and he doesn’t know anything about the fairgrounds being sold, and so far form what we’ve heard the fair is still happening…I guess we’ll see come August.

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