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Things to do in Rapid City

  • Museum of Geology Museum of Geology Rapid City, South Dakota
    The museum is found in the Black Hills of South Dakota, in the city of Rapid City on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where world class exhibits of rare fossils and minerals can be viewed freely by the public. It is an educational museum with numerous family events that will educate, inform and thrill you with wonderful examples of ancient discoveries made in the state and region. The museum is 125 years old this year, and was begun in 1885, when construction of the prep building of the school of mines and technology was started. The same day as the construction, Mr. G. E. Bailey offered the Board of Trustees his collection of magnificent fossils and minerals containing over 5000 specimens. Of course the offer was enthusiastically accepted and the cabinet, as they were called back then, was shipped to the school from Cheyenne. After that, there were many exciting additions added to the collection, and over the years, various labeling and mixing techniques soon covered the basic collection. In 1899, Cleophas C. O'Hara went into the Badlands and soon the School of Mines Canyon was discovered and named with a marvelous alligator snout becoming the first collectible found for the school and is still shown today. The entire collection was moved to the main building in 1903 so as to better preserve and maintain this awesome collection. In 1923, Glenn L. Jepsen, a geology student that was very interested in fossils went to a dig for the summer with the American Museum of Natural History in western Nebraska; looking for fossils and whatever else could be found. Glenn brought back the Agate Springs rhino slab that is on exhibit in the museum and it was the first time the museum was opened to the public. Over the years, more fabulous specimens were added to the collection, some from the White River Badlands, Hot Springs, the Hell Creek Formation by Camp Crook, Nebraska, and the Big Pig Dig in the Badlands.

  • Bear Country USA
    This spectacular attraction, 8 miles south of Rapid City, South Dakota, was started in 1972, by Pauline and Doc Dennis Casey with 11 black bears, a big bull elk, 3 buffalo and a wolf. Pauline and 5 of their 7 children still operate the park, but it has grown to include so many more animals. It is set on 250 acres of magnificent Dakota grasslands, where visitors can drive around a three mile track and experience these fantastic animals up close and oh so personal. They now have the biggest collection of black bears in the entire universe and you will so these lovable bears doing so many funny things that you will want to come back again and again. The Casey's have made incredible habitats for their animals, so that you will have a better chance to see their play and antics, while also giving the animals a natural place to live, breed and enjoy their lives. The 200 plus black bears are thrilling to see and to watch, as well as the young cubs and pups that are born here. The bear cubs arrive in late January, with their mothers still in hibernation, and stay with them eight weeks before being taken away sometime in March, so that the cubs will have a better chance of living, they can be managed and marketed. Out in the wild, only 40% of these adorable little creatures will survive, while here in the park it is raised to 98%. Their "human imprinting" at an early age helps them when the bears are grown and need vaccinations, or moving them around. By doing this humane thing, zoos, wildlife parks and movie studios come here looking for animals for their use. Since the size of the animal population has grown, and not the area where they are kept, enclosures are renovated and landscaped often, keeping the animals natural habitats as close to the wild as possible. Their new Wildlife Center is the perfect place for showcasing the beautiful animals, and gives those visiting a much better opportunity to see them close and enjoy their special ways of having fun and playing around. The center houses young bobcats, skunks, foxes, badgers, wolf pups, black bear cubs, mountain lions and coyotes. The park practices its own schedule of conservation by rotating the grazing areas of the animals and a special mix of grasses that include crested wheat grass, buffalo grass and brome. Native shrubs and trees have been planted to add aesthetic value, as well as act as buffers from the harsh winter winds, and water is irrigated by the numerous ponds and watering holes that is also used by the animals. Waterfowl and chickens run free and the eggs from the chickens are used in the animal enrichment food in their babyland. They also have timber wolves, arctic wolves, bighorn sheep, striped skunk, beaver, Rock Mountain goat, badgers, reindeer, grizzly bears, porcupine, bobcats, black bear, buffalo, raccoon, red fox, river otter, mountain lion, Canadian lynx, coyote and elk.

  • Chapel in the Hills
    Chapel in the Hills is a stave church that was built in 1969, in Rapid City, South Dakota, and is an exact copy of the Borgund stave church in Norway. Stave churches are medieval wooden churches that were constructed using the post and beam method of construction that was an older type of timber framing. The wall frames are made with vertical boards, and the load-bearing posts, are called stafr in Old Norse, and have been the reason that these fashioned buildings were called staves. The only remaining stave churches are found in Norway, except one, but they were quite common during the medieval times. The only church not in Norway is in Sweden, at Hedared, built in the 15th century; with another that was down in Norway and relocated and rebuilt in Germany. The Chapel in the Hills was built for the radio ministry of the Lutheran Vespers; and has a special ministry that belongs to the South Dakota Synod that is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Also at the site, you will see a log cabin that was built by a gold prospector from Norway, and is now a museum; and a stabbur or grass-roofed house that is both the gift shop and visitor center. The chapel was the dream of Dr. Harry R. Gregerson, preacher and originator of the Lutheran Vespers radio hour, who wanted a place to put his ministry so that it would grow and affect as many listeners as possible. This was in the 1960s, when so many disgruntled people were protesting all over the country about anything that could affect them. He soon realized that the perfect place to build such a dream house would be in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, but as to what kind of structure it should be took more thought and meditation. Many of the residents of South Dakota were from Norway, so a suggestion as to the type of building was settled as a stave church, making those from around the state and elsewhere would feel at home in this marvelous building. The Borgund stave church in Norway was built around 1150, and is the most complete and preserved example of a stave church in the world and would make the chapel have a better cultural history with the community. The funding was to come from Mr. Arndt E. Dahl, a Rapid City resident, who only wanted to glorify God, and some memorial to his parents, his father being the Rev. Anton A. Dahl, a pioneering pastor himself. All the land, the buildings and even the landscaping was donated by Arndt and it is a place that must be visited and enjoyed, if only for the serenity and peace that emanates from the awesome forests and grasslands around the chapel. The chapel was dedicated in 1969, and became the home of the Vespers radio program until 1975, when it was moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and has since undergone a name change; although still praising God in over 200 stations around the world every week.

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  • Journey MuseumJourney Museum Rapid City, South Dakota
    The museum and 7 acres of gardens is located in Rapid City, South Dakota, and is named so because it depicts the journey one would take traveling through the history of the Black Hills, beginning with the Indian creation stories, and then into the 2.5 billion years of history in the rocks records that include the Native American peoples, paleontology, archaeology, geology and finishing with the settlers who traversed west. The geology exhibit has a wall that tells of the 2.5 billion year rock record of the Black Hills area, with the museum of geology in the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology having the magnificent artifacts and information so that visitors here can further understand the timeline and the stratas of rocks. Also here in the geology area is a paleontology section which contains many fossils, most on loan from the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research that is located in Hill City, South Dakota; and a great example of a dig and tent that gives visitors an idea of the field work that takes place at these locations. Often, visitors will be lucky enough to have a retired paleontologist there who is more than happy to answer any questions you might have. A T-rex model and stegosaurus model are complemented by a roaring soundtrack in the gallery. Next is the archaeology collection that is divided into five areas of various times that are the Paleo-Indian era around 7500 BC, Archaic plains from 7500 BC to 1500 BC, woodland plains from 1500 BC to 900 BC, village plains from 900 to 250 BC and historic from 250 to 50 BC. The Sioux Indian museum is next, with over 5500 relics that are controlled by the US Dept. of the Interior's Indian arts and crafts board. The majority of the items in this collection is from the Rosebud Indian Reservation, by an art collector of Native American artifacts owning a trading post, from the 1890s until the 1930s; that includes; saddles and tipis, children's items like toys and dolls, beaded items, instruments, items made from animals, ceremonial pieces and a holographic Native American elder that tells stories of the folklore. The last gallery is the Minnilusa Pioneer Gallery and contains a trapper's cabin, board walk, hardware store, story boards with info and relics of the pioneer times, and saddles you can try out. These story boards tell many tales of legends, and other folklore; with the likes of General George Custer, Wild Bill Hickok, Jim Bridger, Red Cloud, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. It tells of the exchanges between early settlers and the Native Americans that were living here when they came to homestead, from their earliest encounters to modern times. The Adelstein Gallery is for the temporary exhibits that come to the museum, and will relate to things going on in the area, or to the time of the year. There are smaller displays that are in side rooms or along the walls, and these include; the Star Room which is a stellar area that tries to depict the time when the universe was formed and the rock record in the Black Hills. Custer's Black Hills Expedition of 1874 has photos, and many unique artifacts like a gun, canteen, stirrup, stopper and knife that have come here from that area and from the remains of that terrible massacre. The journal of Newton Winchell, the expedition's geologist is here with other information and relics from that trip. The Aviary Room has over a 100 stuffed birds and 8 stuffed animals that have lived in the Black Hills, and collected by Henry Behren from 1888 to 1911, and all 25 miles or closer to Rapid City. The Flood Exhibit tells about the horrific flood of 1972, that destroyed much of the city of Rapid City and the Black Hills leaving thousands homeless, dead or injured. It is more of a memorial of that event having maps, images, news stories and survivor testimonies, with a lot of info about the recovery of that infamous day.

  •  Cosmos of the Black HillsCosmos of the Black Hills Rapid City, South Dakota
    This most unusual phenomenon was found in 1952, when two college kids were exploring the woods trying to find a place to build a summer cabin and upon entering this particular area, they experienced something so different, so unique that they had to explore further and entered an old cottage there. They were so intrigued that they stayed and camped here so they could discover as much as possible about the place. Believing that it would be of great interest to people, they started repairing the old building making it safer and then created the many demonstrations that are there today. The cosmos has been in many newspapers and magazines, including; Omni Magazine, Midwest Living, Kansas City Press Dispatch, Fox after Breakfast, Minneapolis Star Tribune, CBS This Morning, True Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens and Kiplinger Changing Times. The tour runs about 30 minutes and could be cancelled if the weather is bad. Here you can see people standing on level platforms and being the same height, yet by changing you can see one is taller than the other. Water will flow uphill, you can sit on the wall and in other places being standing straight as an arrow, but when pictured, you will be standing on a plane that is tilting you either to the right or to the left. It is mystifying and unbelievable, fun for the whole family and well worth the visit. If you want to see and feel the most unusual sights or feelings you ever had, then you must stop by the cosmos for your own enjoyment. Watch as a ball rolls uphill, and all the places that you can look like you have grown taller or shorter, just by standing in a certain spot.

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Local Restaurants in Rapid City
  • Minervas Restaurant Rapid City
    Minervas is a great place to enjoy your evening meal, and a great atmosphere helps you relax and enjoy it all. The appetizers include; crab & artichoke is real crab mixed with cream cheese, artichoke, lemon & three pepper blend broiled with jack and cheddar cheeses served with crackers and focaccia bread; buffalo short ribs is locally raised buffalo short ribs braised, served with roma tomatoes, bold BBQ sauce and onion straws; coconut shrimp is served with teriyaki sauce laced with wasabi; Thai lettuce wraps is Satay chicken strips, carrots, bell pepper, water chestnuts, peanuts and rice noodles with lettuce leaves, Thai peanut and sweet red chili sauce; bruschetta is focaccia bread with olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, marinated roma tomatoes and mozzarella; blackened chicken quesadilla is pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, green onions with red pepper sauce, corn and black bean salsa; spicy calamari is calamari lightly breaded and fried, then tossed with garlic, lemon, banana peppers and roasted red peppers; Dungeness crab cakes is pan-seared crab cakes with chipotle avocado aioli; spinach dip is fresh spinach, artichoke heart, roasted garlic, cream cheese, asiago, Swiss, fresh herbs and toasted breads; gourmet cheese & fruit platter is assortment of top quality cheeses paired with fresh seasonal fruit and crackers. Pastas are served with Italian house salad and bread; nine layer meat lasagna is housemade classic nine layer lasagna with roasted veggies, blend of cheeses, Italian sausage, ground beef and veal with marinara sauce; shrimp & asparagus fettuccine is creamy Alfredo sauce made with Italian cheese, garlic and white wine tossed with shrimp, dill and asparagus; triple mac & cheese is penne, farfale, cavatoppi, aged white cheddar, fontina, gorgonzola, crisp pancetta, fresh herbs and breadcrumbs; Cajun chicken linguine is Cajun seasoned and pan-seared chicken, fresh veggies and few other secrets; toasted ravioli is jumbo cheese-filled ravioli toasted with bread crumbs and white cheddar served with rosa sauce with andouille sausage and shrimp; cavatappi chicken & shrimp chardonnay is pan-seared chicken and shrimp tossed with roma tomatoes, prosciutto ham, cavatappi noodles and chardonnay wine lemon sauce, Cajun seafood tortellini is Cajun seasoned and pan-seared Gulf shrimp, sea scallops and fresh Atlantic salmon, peppers, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese filled tortellini finished in oregano and thyme cream sauce. Chicken, ribs & pork menu; manicotti & Italian chicken breast is manicotti with Alfredo and tomato basil garlic sauce and sautéed chicken breasts topped with prosciutto, parmesan, mozzarella cheese with roasted garlic white wine butter sauce; pear & balsamic pork chop is pesto crusted pork loin chop with roasted red pepper and pear chutney and balsamic reduction served with garlic mashed potatoes; chicken veggie stir fry is pan-seared chicken, mushrooms peppers, carrots, broccoli and cashews, finished in sesame-garlic stir fry sauce with basmati rice; Tuscan pork chop is Tuscan style sauté of spinach, onion, garlic and soy au jus topped with charbroiled pork loin chop, served with garlic mashed potatoes; rotisserie chicken if fresh chicken half-slow rotisserie roasted with garlic, lemon and fresh herbs, served with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh veggie; loin back ribs is BBQ spiced slow roasted loin back ribs, charbroiled with bold BBQ sauce, served with haystack onions and parmesan wedge fries; chicken breast marsala is sautéed chicken breast, wild mushrooms and marsala wine sauce, served with garlic mashed potatoes. Filet mignons are hand cut tenderloins and slowly aged for maximum tenderness and flavor, served with Italian house salad, bread and one side; filet mignon is bacon wrapped 8 ounce filet charbroiled; bleu cheese crusted filet is bacon wrapped 8 ounce filet, charbroiled and finished with broiled bleu cheese crust; filet tournedos is two filets, one with crab, asparagus and hollandaise, one with wild mushroom; buffalo filet mignon is bacon wrapped 7 ounce filet with wild mushrooms and red wine demi. Steaks include; steak Michael is peppered NY strip encrusted with horseradish, bleu cheese and parmesan, finished in light cognac demi glaze and sautéed mushrooms; buffalo sirloin steak is 12 ounce buffalo ribeye steak charbroiled with house char-rub seasoning; strip steak au poivre is charbroiled crusted NY strip with cognac cream and shallot strings; Minervas black angus hunters ribeye is charbroiled with Montreal steak seasoning, burgundy au jus and grilled onion slab; ribeye steak is either 9,12 or 16 ounces; top sirloin steak is aged 10 ounce charbroiled with fresh veggie.

  • The Millstone
    The Millstone Restaurant is a family style eating establishment that opened in 1977 and has been serving excellent stick to your ribs cuisine. The menu entrees are served with all you can eat soups and salad bar, and choice of potato, baked, fries, hashbrowns, mashed or Millstone chips. The beef & steak options; South Dakota Pride is 10 ounces of tender cut sirloin steak, prepared your way, with garlic bread and onion ring garnish; buffalo chopped steak is 8 ounces of lean buffalo, prepared to order and served with grilled garlic toast and onion ring garnish; junior steak is 6 ounces of tender cut sirloin steak with grilled garlic toast and onion ring garnish; junior steak and shrimp is tender 6 ounce sirloin steak with 3 jumbo shrimp and onion ring garnish; steak & salad bar is 6 sirloin steak and all you can salad bar, with grilled garlic toast and onion ring garnish; hamburger steak is 8 ounce chopped beef steak prepared your way and with grilled garlic toast and onion ring garnish; supreme dinner is half pound of chopped beef prepared your way and with crisp bacon and American cheese, topped with tangy BBQ sauce and grilled garlic toast. Chicken entrees; chicken fried chicken steak is large chicken breast made with special breading, fried to order and served with country gravy poured on top, mashed potatoes and veggies; chicken strip dinner is four large chicken tenderloin strips fried and served on toast; two piece chicken dinner is special recipe include salad bar, choice of potato; three piece two piece chicken dinner is special recipe include salad bar, choice of potato; four piece chicken dinner is special recipe include salad bar, choice of potato. Favorites include; spaghetti and meatball dinner with garlic toast; shrimp dinner is 6 jumbo Gulf shrimp fried and served with special sauce and choice of potato; liver and onions is tender grilled beef liver smothered with sautéed onions and choice of potato; chicken parmigiana is breaded chicken breast tenderloin with cheese and Italian tomato sauce on bed of steaming spaghetti with garlic toast; grilled ham with pineapple is two slices of country smoked ham, grilled and garnished with grilled pineapple slice and choice of potato.

 

 

Nine layer lasagna Minervas Rapid City, South Dakota

 

Cajun Chicken Linguine Minervas Rapid City, South Dakota

 

Cavataippi Chicken Minervas Rapid City, South Dakota

 

Pear & Balsamic Pork Chops Minervas Rapid City, South Dakota

 

Chicken Marsala Minervas Rapid City, South Dakota

 

Crusted NY Strip steak Minervas Rapid City, South Dakota

 

 

 

 10 Ounce Sirloin Millstone Rapid City, South Dakota



Spaghetti & meatballs Millstone Rapid City, South Dakota



Liver & onions Millstone Rapid City, South Dakota

 

 

 

 

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  • South Dakota Air and Space Museum South Dakota Air and Space Museum Box Elder, South Dakota
    This museum is one of many of the National Museum System of the US Air Force, and in found in Box Elder, South Dakota; right outside the gate of the Ellsworth AFB. The museum was started to educate and inform the public about the history of the US Air Force, and the South Dakota aviation history. In the summer, visitors can board a bus and take the base's tour for a small fee, which does include going into a Minuteman missile training launch site plus seeing many other interesting places that you wouldn't ordinarily see. The museum has many inside and outside displays that include; a showcase of the Stratosphere Balloon Launch that was in the 1930s, 25 aircraft that include a WWII bomber and transport to the B-1B Lancer, a B-1B cockpit and offensive/defensive system operators simulator, 4 missiles including a Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile, an F-106 interactive aircraft cockpit, the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame and a missile procedures training exhibit. It is open to the public every day and doesn't cost a penny. They have a great gift shop, with numerous educational, unique and fun items. They also have a B-25 Mitchell, Nike Ajax missile, B-26 Invader, B-29 Superfortress, B-52D Stratofortress, EB-57B Canberra, BT-13 Valiant, C-45 Expeditor, C-47 Gooney Bird, F100A Thunder Chief, C-54 Skymaster, UH-1 Iroquois, C-131 Samaritan, U-8 Seminole, F-84 Thunderstreak, U-3 Blue Canoe, F-86 Saber, T-38 Talon, F-101 Voodoo, T-33 Shooting Star, F-102 Delta Dagger, O-2A Forward Air Control Aircraft, F-105 Thud, L-5 Sentinel, H-13 helicopter, and FB-111 Aardvark.

  • Thunderhead FallsThunderhead Falls South Dakota
    Blasting out of the rocks at over 8 cubic feet a second this thunderous waterfalls is one of the most amazing falls in the country. Gushing inside the Black Hills oldest public gold mine, this magnificent scene awaits you as you meander through the cavern on your way to view the falls. Listen to the rumbling thunder as you gingerly step along a path with illumination showing you all the spectacular sights that will simply astound you. Hidden deep inside the mountain, some 600 feet below the rocky tops, this unbelievable stream falls vertically for over 30 feet and is only 10 miles outside of Rapid City, South Dakota. It goes back to the Custer expedition era and was one of the first operating mines in the Black Hills. The original claimants filed in 1881, using the name Ft. Meade Hydraulic Gold Mining Company in Deadwood, Dakota territory listed under the 88th entry that stated it was lot #244 of the public domain. It was surmised that it had been developed somewhat because a rough map had been drawn up that showed the course of the Rapid Creek and it may have been 3 or 4 years before the official claim was filed. The hydraulic mining company kept it in operation until 1900 and all 600 feet going to the falls was hand drilled and blasted with gun powder. No one knows how the waterfall came to be here, although those folks that live here locally guess that someone had blasted the creek's bed in hopes of finding the mother lode of the mine, thus causing the incredible falls to be created; and after it was closed, it wasn't heard of again until 1949. A traveler on the old Crouch railroad line was on a sightseeing trip when she noticed a strange stream of water flowing out the side of a mountain, and she convinced her husband to stop and look around. They were quickly excited and enthralled when they traversed the vertical shaft and found a fabulous waterfall blowing like a gusher inside the mountains. Vera and Albert Eklund bought the land and put a road going to the mine, starting a new kind of gold mine; tourism, which was opened to the public in 1950. Today, they are owned and run by the Harold Johnson family, who are keeping it just the way it is, without any extra trappings including gift shops or other distractions. You can see the gold bearing quartz veins and the living stalactites in the tunnel, as well as in the picture to the right. Drill marks can still be seen by visitors today, 125 years later. There are hundreds of gold mines and caverns in the Black Hills, but this special waterfall is the only one of its kind.

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  • Black Hills CavernsBlack Hills Caverns Rapid City, South Dakota
    These beautiful caverns were found by gold prospectors in 1882, although the Lakota tribe thought more of the powers of the calcite crystals that had been inside the cave for many centuries. Come and explore this magnificent cave with its gorgeous columns, logomites, nailhead spar crystal, rare frost crystals, stalactites, flowstone, popcorn crystal, boxwork, cave flower, soda straws, dogtooth spar crystal, stalagmites, draperies and helicites. Spend some time panning for exotic gems, minerals, crystals and even fossils. The cavern walls are made of two types of limestone, the coeymans and manillus, that were formed from various periods of the earth's history and another rock that has been called rondout waterred. There isn't much life inside these caverns, other than the few bats that wander in, and much care is given to preserve the natural wonders that exist here. Scientists believe the Black Hills were formed over 6 million years ago, and the many exciting wonders and discoveries that are there have yet to be all uncovered. It is a place of mystery, legends, caves, hills, mountains, gold and many other valuable discoveries.

  • Dinosaur Park
    The Ogden, Utah dinosaur park is a wonderful place for you and your family to learn about dinosaurs and how they looked millions of years ago as they trekked across the vast tundra. This magnificent collection of sculptured dinos sits on eight acres of natural environments like the ones these monstrosities actually lived in and hunted. Over 100 beautiful sculptures are showcased here so that all visitors can get an idea of what the world was like so many millennia ago, and learn all there is to know about this exciting creatures. The dinos have been sculpted based on fossil remains and some are automated by robotics, and a sound system brings them to life as you wander around wondering what it may have been like way back then. Numerous indigenous species to Utah have been sculpted, including the 45 foot long, 20 foot high tyrannosaurus, the 25 foot ceratorsaurus, a large triceratops, parasaurolophus and Utahraptor. Inside the park, they have included an education center and the Elizabeth Dee Shaw Stewart Museum. Here in the museum you will explore all the latest finds that have been discovered in the state and around the world. There is a special place for digging, as well as a laboratory where many scientists are studying the newest items and you can watch them work as they discover more about these amazing creatures. It is an exciting place to visit and especially an extraordinary one for the children.  Always striving to create a new generations of paleonlogists, there is a lot of educational opportunities at the park. It is one of their main focuses, and there are many unique exhibits, that do include full sized dinosaur skeletons, real bones and robotic dinos. The kid's quarry has a stegosaurus skeleton that the children get to dig for and learn about the dinosaur, as well as trying their hand at being a real paleontologist for the day. The education center is the real place to learn about all these incredible dinos with art, books, displays and lessons. It is a wonderful place for school children to come for the day to include in their science classes.

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  • Sitting Bull Crystal CavernsSitting Bull Crystal Caverns Black Hills, South Dakota
    The Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns in the Black Hills of South Dakota have a spectacular secret that has been discovered and shared since 1929, when the Duhamels; Mamie, Alex and sons Pete and Bud started exploring the cave that was found on their property in Rockerville Gulch. This magnificent red rock canyon is east of the old gold town of Rockerville, and they decided to develop it for the benefit of others. This geological treasure was developed with the help of family friend and Lakota medicine man Black Elk, who also helped them start a Sioux Indian Pageant to bring attention to the cavern. It was a beautiful entrance into the Lakota culture and customs as Indians from the Pine Ridge Reservation were asked to come to the cavern for the pageant, and as a commemoration for the great Sitting Bull, who had camped by the caverns in the late 19th century. It was Black Elk who thought the name should be Sitting Bull who was to be honored since he was one of the greatest medicine men of the Hunkpapa. Black Elk himself had been at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and was one of the survivors. The Duhamels friendship developed greatly and their trading post was where the Indians could come and trade for goods with their beautiful crafts. These in turn would be sold by the trading post to visitors to the cave and they were thrilled to be able to get the exotic Native American creations. Bud Duhamel was given the Ben Black Elk award for promoting Native American culture in 1992, and retired at 93, some years later, leaving the running of the business to his grandson, Peter Haffron. It is one of the best and most famous attractions in the Black Hills, and Pete is always here to welcome those coming to learn more about this magnificent and spectacular cave. Claiming to have the world's biggest dog-tooth spar crystals, the cave does have some fantastic crystals, some of which measure up to 16 inches in length. The Diamond Lake reflects the wonderful crystal ceiling above it, and the rooms like the French Chandelier, Rainbow Arch and Crystal Palace are sure to amaze you with their beauty. It is a different and unique world in the cave and you will certainly enjoy its wonders. About 10 minutes north of Rapid City, South Dakota, this exciting adventure awaits you and your family. 

  • Rapid City Sports
    The Rapid City Rush hockey team dominates the city in the season, playing in the northwest division of the Central Hockey League. The city has many venues for the rodeo sports enthusiast, with the Central States Fair and Rodeo in August, and the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo in January. Their Post 22 Rapid City American Legion team in baseball has won many state titles, as well as being in the AL World Series, and winning it in 1993. The local high school has some great teams in basketball, soccer and motor cross that will keep you going whatever your favorite might be. So, when you come to Rapid City, South Dakota, you will have many opportunities to enjoy that sports fix and not go crazy trying to find a place and catch a game. There are always plenty of sports bar in the city that will cater to whatever team you want to watch on their big flat screens; but there is nothing like the thrill of the real live game happening in front of you, with the excitement and camaraderie of being in a stadium seat and rooting for your favorite team.

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May 11, 2011