McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Breaking News

Opinion

October 25, 2012

Black Hills of South Dakota

McALESTER — I have never been on a drive more beautiful than Needles Highway on the southern edge of the Black Hills of South Dakota.

One of several scenic roadways leading through the Black Hills, Needles Highway, along with Wildlife Loop Road and Iron Mountain Road, winds through pine-spruce forests, meadows, mountains and pinnacles of granite. The land is populated by bison, pronghorn deer and prairie dogs. It is simply stunning, mesmerizing, and not to be missed.

There is one thing to beware of on these scenic highways, the tunnels are as small as 10’’8” high and 8’7” wide. They are not built for large motor coaches or motorhomes.

Sylvan Lake located along Needles Highway is gorgeous. Our group stopped for a quick walk and photo op and was amazed by the pristine beauty of our surroundings. There were fishermen, joggers, hikers, old and young alike love Sylvan Lake and you will too.

Custer State Park is home to one of the largest bison herds in America. This 71,000 acre park features fabulous scenery, fishing, swimming hiking, camping and four outstanding resorts in must-see settings.

Custer City is a must see. They say the popular refrain “Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day,” could have been written about Custer, South Dakota.  

Surrounded by millions of acres of the Black Hills National Forest, Custer has three parks, balls fields, horseshoe pits, volleyball and tennis courts, a community swimming pool, a public nine-hole golf course, a disc golf course, a skateboard park and is mere minutes away from the above mentioned Sylvan Lake. With a population of just over 2,000, Custer is a little piece of paradise.

Custer is home to many nice hotels, and even has a new 550 seat theater featuring a magic show that is quite entertaining.

Jewel Cave National Monument is the second longest cave in the world with over 160 miles of charted and mapped passages. Access is available only by ranger guided tours, where guests visit underground chambers decorated with calcite, nailhead and dogtooth spar crystals and other speleothems such as draperies, flowstone and stalactites.

Deadwood. What can I say about Deadwood, a place steeped in history and trying desperately to hang on to its authenticity? The Days of ’76 Museum is dedicated to retaining the historical story of Deadwood, and is certainly worth an hour or two of your time during your visit. The Adams House Museum is another must see, as is the Mount Moriah Cemetery, where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried next to each other.

We opted for a street trolley tour that was driven by one of the most knowledgeable and entertaining men I ever met. If all of the streetcar drivers in Deadwood are anything like him, you are sure to learn a lot of interesting facts about Deadwood and have a jolly good time in the process.

Don’t’ miss Saloon #10 in Deadwood, where Hickok was shot and killed. Actually-he was killed in the old Saloon #10 just down the street, the one that is now open to the public is the new and improved Saloon #10 completed with a wide array of antiques, Old West memorabilia, and the chair Wild Bill was sitting in when he was murdered.

There are casinos at every turn in Deadwood, and several very nice hotels and restaurants as well. It’s a great place for at least one night during your trip.

For rugged natural beauty, nothing compares to Spearfish Lodge. Deep in the heart of one of the most breathtaking, beautiful canyons in the world, nestled alongside lofty pines and spectacular cliffs, you will find Spearfish Canyon Lodge. Built in the style of old world lodges, this lodge provides luxury accommodations along with both winter and summer activities sure to please any family. We can’t wait to return to Spearfish Canyon Lodge during the winter months and ride snowmobiles on over 300 miles of trails.

The Black Hills of South Dakota are beautiful, pristine, and worth several days of your time during your South Dakota vacation, coming up soon I hope.

Joy Gawf-Crutchfield is the owner of The Joy of Travel travel agency. For more information visit www.thejoyoftravel.us or contact her at joy@joyoftravel.us or 918-339-4805. See her pictures of South Dakota at www.thejoyoftravel.us.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Saundra Kaye Offill

    Saundra Kaye Offill, 67, lost her 7 year battle with Alzhiemer’s on Thursday, July 10, 2014. She was born in McAlester, Oklahoma on March 11, 1947, to Louis and the late Melba Vanlandingham.

    July 16, 2014

  • Square logo.jpg ‘Is anything sacred anymore?’

    Editor:
    What do we know about the “The Star Spangled Banner” ?

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg Any hope in new MPD facility?

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donald Sterling needs to go away

    Whether it happens due to a quick settlement or a likely longer trial, Clippers owner Donald Sterling just needs to go away.

    June 19, 2014

  • CHRIS-MORRIS-2.jpg Prescription drug abuse

    Tip of the Week
    You can be arrested for driving under the influence of prescription medication, so follow your recommended dosage or don’t get behind the wheel.

    June 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kevin Durant Kevin Durant’s grace period will end soon

    After his 7th season ended Saturday with the Thunder’s Game 6 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, the grace period for Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant may soon be drawing to a close.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Billy Guy Ferrell

    Billy Guy Ferrell, died Saturday, May 24, 2014, at a nursing home in McAlester.

    May 30, 2014

  • Square logo.jpg Congress faces risky decision on National Security, local aerospace jobs

    When you’re in the middle of errands and your fuel gauge hits the red zone, what do you do? Skip the gas station and try to make it back home on ‘E’? Even if you make it home, what will you do the next time you need to drive your car? It’s not worth the ten minutes saved. Who wants to be stranded on the side of the road, forced to walk to the nearest filling station or wait for a tow?

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Lamb From the Capitol: Staycation in Oklahoma

    With the summer travel season quickly approaching, many Oklahomans are making plans for their summer vacations. I would encourage Oklahomans to look in our own backyard and explore all that Oklahoma has to offer this summer. All ages and all travel enthusiasts can find something of interest here at home.

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.