Gearing, gearing, gone!
Our adventure-loving contributors gear up and fan out to experience the West on wheels: wildlife spotting and sightseeing on steroids in the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, motorcycling through the desert of California to Arizona and Las Vegas, stealth driving and stargazing in the Dark Sky Reserve of Idaho, and side-by-siding and Million Dollar Highwaying in the mountains of Colorado.
With a long list of destination's to choose from, we give you a a quick look at our Badlands National Park adventure, Finding Face Time In Rushmore Country.
Rapid Look: Rapid City
It can be kind of hard to get noticed if you’ve got the Black Hills for a backdrop, Badlands National Park for your backyard, and parks, monuments, and natural sites like Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Custer State Park for your day-trip itinerary.
But don’t overlook Rapid City, South Dakota. The main gateway for the Black Hills/Badlands and the leaping-off point for all those tinier towns with much bigger names — Deadwood, Custer, Sturgis, Keystone — the state’s second most populous city is a pleasant place to spend some time, complete with light- and pattern-programmed fountains on Main Street Square and trolleys to take you around.
A big attraction downtown is the City of Presidents walk; wander among its rows of life-size bronzes of all the U.S. presidents (currently from Washington to George W. Bush — Barack Obama is due this summer). The browsing- and shopping-inclined will enjoy the Native American art and trading post flair (books, crafts, clothing, jewelry) of Prairie Edge Trading Co. In other words, there are plenty of reasons to give the city some time before making a beeline to Mount Rushmore. And Wall Drug’s about an hour away. visitrapidcity.com
The West on Wheels
From the April 2019 issue.