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Wild, Wild West – Black Hills and Badlands
August 2 - August 8
Buckle up and join your fellow +55 travelers as we visit South Dakota, a land of multi-terrain, endless skies, and windswept prairies rich in history and artifacts.
This trip will start with a trek across Iowa and on to the Great Plains with many amazing sights and experiences. The first is an overnight stay in Mitchell, South Dakota and a visit to the infamous Corn Palace, with its murals made of natural corn, grain and native grasses.
The next stop will be at the Missouri River overlook and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center where murals and interactive exhibits help explain the Lewis and Clark expedition as they ventured through South Dakota. Then, on to the Prairie Homestead of 1909 where you will see one of the last remaining original sod homes still intact today.
Next, we will take in the natural beauty and awe-inspiring scenic landscapes and geological formations of Badlands National Park as we drive the loop trail. You may even catch a glimpse of the diverse wildlife that inhabit the park such as black-tailed prairie dogs, marmots, mule deer, antelope, bison, coyotes, and bighorn sheep.
No trip to South Dakota is complete without a stop at Wall drug – once known as the “geographical center of nowhere.” Wall Drug has become a must-see attraction.
Look forward to being immersed in the history and culture of the Black Hills as we move on to a three-night stay in Rapid City. We will see sights such as Street Square/City of Presidents, where you will be greeted by life-size bronze statues of our nation’s past presidents. There is much to see and do at our next stop, the Journey Museum. You will learn through the combination of history, archeology, Native American and pioneer exhibits showing the evolution of South Dakota.
A drive through Custer State Park, one of the world’s top-ten wildlife destinations, will have you up close and personal with the largest publicly owned herd of wild buffalo, as well as a multitude of wildlife on this vast expanse of prairie.
We then go on to the Crazy Horse Memorial to see the sculpture that has been in progress for over 60 years. We will learn how and why this tremendous memorial is being built. Next, we head for Keystone and a two-hour narrated ride on an authentic 1880 train powered by a steam engine to Hill City Onward to Ft. Hayes Old West Town and Dinner Show, where you will have the chance to visit the set of the Dances with Wolves film set prior to a chuckwagon dinner and entertainment.
Our next destination is the rich and colorful gold camp of Deadwood including Wild Bill Hickok & Calamity Jane’s final resting place. The Adams Museum is where you will learn of Deadwood’s rowdy past. Enjoy some free time to roam and enjoy this historic town before departing for Chapel in the Hills. This amazing Stave Kirk Church is an exact reproduction of the famous Borgund Stavkirke of Laerdal, Norway and an impressive example of architecture.
Next you will step back in history at The Founding Fathers exhibit where you can actually shoot a flintlock rifle and see a life-size diorama of John Trumbull’s famous painting “Declaration of Independence.” Watch 1776 come alive.
We will end this day with the inspiring Lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore. Learn the history of the immense sculpture, our nation’s presidents, hear and sing a patriotic song and watch the lowering of the flag, a very patriotic and stirring moment for all.
The next day we encounter the Mammoth Site, a large sinkhole exhibit that boasts the largest concentration of Columbian mammoths in the world. You can tour this indoor active dig site and view Ice Age fossils.
You will feel inspired at the Wild Horse Sanctuary, an 11,000 acre privately held wilderness area dedicated to giving America’s unwanted wild horses a life of freedom. See over 600 wild mustangs roaming free across the wind-swept prairie.
Our final destination of the day is the Scottsbluff National Monument. These impressive natural landmark formations tower 800 feet above the North Platte River and have served as a landmark for people from Native Americans to emigrants on the Oregon Trail.
On our way back to our starting point we will stop at Omaha and experience a City Tour, including Pioneer Courage Park where we will see larger than life bronze statues depicting life on a wagon train heading across the prairie to new life in the west.
In this seven-day adventure you will be entertained and well-fed. You will see and experience the history and natural rugged beauty of South Dakota. See wildlife you may never had encountered. You will feel the power of the native Indian culture. The struggle of pioneer life and the rough and rowdy history of this state. See firsthand the man-made sculptures. Be ready for an action-packed adventure in one of the richest parts of the Wild West all within the borders of South Dakota.
This is a Tri-State Travel Event.
Visit www.tristatetravel.com/plus-55-club for full trip descriptions.
For reservations and/or additional information, please call Cindy at Tri-State Travel’s office toll-free at 1-800-779-4869, ext. 105 during their business hours of 8 AM – 5 PM on workdays Monday through Friday.
Please note: Sell Outs are common so book early!