Sunday, June 19, 2022

The Charm of Northwest South Dakota

"... only the ground and sun and sky were left, and if one went a little farther there would only be sun and sky, and one would float off into them, like the tawny hawks which sailed over our heads making slow shadows on the grass." Willa Cather, My Antonia
Given today's industrial-scale tourism, it's wonderful to end up somewhere with just a few people and much of interest. A good example is the northwest corner of South Dakota, as I discovered recently. It's definitely not a #vanlife destination.

Most of South Dakota is assumed to be monotonous and devoted to agriculture, and many visitors make a beeline straight for the Black Hills. Unfortunately the Black Hills are overrun with tourists, and have been since long before the advent of the Web. Even the people whose livelihoods depend on tourism become resentful. You can see it in their wandering eyes, and hear it in their weary voices.

However if you venture into other parts of the state, you likely will find the locals welcoming and ready to help. That was my experience in Harding County, as you can see here ...

Those who serve the public are not weary. They're wide awake, paying close attention to our safety and happiness.

It's safe to laugh, just don't shake the potty seat.
Generosity and trust can be found in surprising places.
Charging my power station (ok, ok ... #sortofvanlife).

My first destination was the ridge barely visible on the horizon in the photo below—a scenic and puzzling geosite, with lots of plants in bloom. Stay tuned.

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