If you are in Yellowstone National Park and want to travel to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, I suggest an overnight stop in Cody, Wyoming. Buffalo Bill’s hometown has everything you could wish for in an authentic Western town including American Indians, cowboys, horses, and rodeos. Cody was my hands-down favorite stop outside the National Parks on a 14 day trip from Seattle to South Dakota.
To drive from East Yellowstone to Cody take the Scenic Byway of Highway 20 through the Wapiti Valley. President Theodore Roosevelt called this stretch of highway the “fifty most beautiful miles in America” and I concur.
We drove this route a few years ago and the views and sights never end. At one point we saw about 50 wild horses running as a pack in a field about 20 feet from our vehicle. This drive is definitely a white knuckles type of journey because you are way up on a mountain pass and the drop down to the river is very deep. I would not do it again but am forever grateful that we experienced this special place.
As a mom and lover of all things National Parks, I am happy to say that I took my child and parents to Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota. I guess we will be heading back there soon because I want to see the Dignity statue as soon as possible.
South Dakota has 6 National Parks but is so vast it can take all day to drive across. We only visited a few places in the Rapid City area which I will write about in future blogs.
The purpose of this current blog is two-fold:
1. I just wanted to congratulate Dale Lamphere for designing and constructing the incredible statue named Dignityin Chamberlain, South Dakota. The 50-foot stainless steel statue depicts a native American woman dressed in pioneer clothing and holding a quilt over her shoulders. The quilt contains a star, an important symbol to the Lakota and Dakota cultures which is equated with honor. This statue honors the Native Americans who hail from that area of South Dakota. This beautiful statue symbolizes pride, strength, and durability of the native cultures. It was dedicated to all the people of South Dakota in 2016. I definitely want to visit Dignity someday.
2. I started a National Park Planning and Logistics Group on Facebook and I would love if you could join in. This small group is being formed so members can post suggestions on how to plan a trip to our majestic National Parks and how to save money while doing it. The group is comprised of people who share a passion for travel to our parks and those who are in the planning stages and want to ask questions or voice concerns.
Here is the link and I hope you will join in if you are on Facebook: