American History Throughout South Dakota

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Meghan Sharma writes, If you’re a history fanatic…

If you’re a history fanatic, you’d probably love to visit Boston and see the land full of Revolutionary War impressions. Maybe even Virginia to see the site of the last Civil War battle. Even if the East Coast might have a lot of history, you don’t have to go there for all of it. You can go to South Dakota where the land is rich with historical landmarks.This summer, my family and I took a road trip to South Dakota. When, we arrived we stopped by the world-famous national landmark of Mount Rushmore. Designed by Gutzon Borglum, this grand rock carving started its construction in 1927 and was completed in 1941. On it, tourists can find four large faces of inspirational presidents of America-George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Each one contributed much to the United States.Mount Rushmore isn’t the biggest rock carving; in fact, an even larger one is currently in progress to become the largest one in the world. It’s called the Crazy Horse Memorial located a few miles away from Mount Rushmore. This is a privately owned carving that is dedicated to the Lakota Indian, Crazy Horse. Crazy Horse was a major warrior for his tribe during the Battle of Little Bighorn against General Custer’s American troops. As of now, the face is completed.The Badlands, about two hours away from Mount Rushmore by car, are sedimentary rock formations made of volcanic ash that traveled from distant volcanoes to the site. To me, it looked like it combined several parts of Colorado’s nature into one formation. For example, there were tall, pointy structures that looked similar to the mountains. There were large, circular, and iridescent hills that looked like the Sand Dunes in Alamosa and even cliffs that looked like Mesa Verde located near Durango (but without the Native American’s settlement.Even animal lovers can find something to do in South Dakota. Bear Country, USA is a place where animals can roam around freely. You can find black bears, elk, reindeer, Arctic wolves, buffalo, and much more. Of course, they aren’t all in the same area. You can travel to different sections of the park to see different animals. When we visited Bear Country, a few large black bears started walking towards our car-probably just a few feet away. It was amazing seeing the bears up close, yet it could also be somewhat scary. For more information, go to http://www.bearcountryusa.com/index.phpSouth Dakota is a stunning place to be. Whether it’s the man-made structures of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, the natural formation of the Badlands, or the wildlife at Bear Country, all ages will enjoy this state. If you’re looking for a destination where history and outdoor life combine, South Dakota is just the place for you.

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