We chose South Dakota.
Seeing as how we made a wrong turns, we're not 100% sure how long of a drive it is, but it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 hours. We had to travel west across almost the entire state of Iowa. We arrived in the wee hours of Saturday morning and weren't able to truly assess our surroundings till the next morning.
Keystone, South Dakota is a quirky tourist town that we both loved instantly.
This part was especially nice for two Deep South natives...noon in July, and not even 80 degrees!
We headed straight for Mount Rushmore.
The carvings were so much more impressive in person than I ever imagined. We were also surprised yet pleased to learn at the museum that Georgia's beloved Stone Mountain actually preceeded Rushmore, which was carved in response to the southern wonder.
The walkway up to the monument contains a tribute to all the states and territories of the U.S.
Next stop: Custer, South Dakota. A great place to get that "western" feel, a history lesson, and a cold drink.
Leaving Custer, we were on to the Black Hills.
South Dakota made me want to saddle up a horse, and sleep under the open sky. Till we meet again....