A Trip to South Dakota

Hey, all!

Last week we managed to squeeze in some time for a family vacation so I have some new and exciting things to blog about! Finally! 😉 This vacation was a welcome respite from all the work and activities summer brings. But, because we have horses and still have more hay to put up, plus our county fair is right around the corner, we couldn’t be gone for long. So, we decided to venture north to our neighboring state, South Dakota. The hubby and I have been up to the Black Hills several times, but our kids had yet to experience the wonder and beauty the area has to offer.

My daughter marveling at the sculpture.

We visited the most often visited spots like Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, but we also took a day to venture up to Deadwood. We’d been there several times but it had been quite a few years, and so we wanted to check out a site that was newer and hadn’t been there on our last trip about 12 – 15 years ago.  That site was Kevin Costner’s TaTanka. Yes, I said Kevin Costner! If you love Dances With Wolves, you’ll love and appreciate TaTanka.

I have some pictures to share with you here, but unfortunately they aren’t as good as I’d hoped. We were there at the wrong time of day for the lighting to be conducive to getting the shots I wanted. But I have to tell you, these larger-than-life bronze sculptures depicting a buffalo jump are magnificent. They just took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. Visit TaTanka and you’ll see 14 bison being pursued by three Native American riders and urging them over a cliff in a natural setting. Add in the background of the Black Hills and you’ve got a site to behold. Costner commissioned the sculptures with a local South Dakota artist and she did an amazing job of capturing the moment. It certainly inspired me and I’ve been dying to get back to writing.

During the time of filming Dances With Wolves, Costner fell in love with South Dakota and came to realize the injustices against the Native Americans. It was his goal to heal at least a bit of the bruised land and honor the Native Americans and the majestic Bison by showing the relationship they had. I feel he has accomplished that with both the sculpture and the beautiful educational center. Not only do you learn about the Lakota life from a true Lakota guide, but you have a chance to meet Stanley, a Bison Bull who graces the inside of the center. You’ll also see Native American artifacts, and get to see costumes from Dances With Wolves. On the grounds are also several of the TiPis used in the film.

So, if you are Costner fan, they say he visits a couple times each season, a fan of Dances With Wolves, love Native American Culture, or are just looking for some place new to travel, check out TaTanka. The center is open from mid-May through September. Check out their web site, www.storyofthebison.com for more info.

Okay, now it’s back to the grind! See you at the end of the month.

About sherryjames

When Sherry James isn't writing, she's busy wrangling two kids, six horses, two dogs, and an assortment of barn cats. She's knows if horse manure was money, she'd be rich, rich, rich! During the summer she spends romantic hours with her husband in the hay fields laboring to feed those six horses. Currently, she writes for three publishing houses, Prairie Muse Publishing, Ellora's Cave, and The Wild Rose Press. She's a founding member and past president of her local RWA chapter, The Prairieland Romance Writers. Check out her web site at www.sherryjames.com
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7 Responses to A Trip to South Dakota

  1. Maria D. says:

    Great pictures Sherry! I’ve never been to South Dakota, though my parents have been to Mt. Rushmore and Crazyhorse both. They didn’t go to see TaTanka though – I’ll have to let them know and maybe the three of us can take a trip together to see it:)

  2. Penny says:

    I love your pictures. Thank you for sharing them.

  3. tiss81 says:

    Wish I’d have known you were in the area, LOL. Kevin’s parents also live in the Hills, I think around Spearfish. Seems like when your from the State, you don’t do as much sight seeing. On Hwy 12 just across the state line in ND, there is a Historic stop along the road, with a tipi and information on the last buffalo jump. If you look south you can see the hill that was used. Last year someone stole the tipi. This spring a new one was erected. I’m hoping it stays. There are alot of interesting information in all our states. Thanks for the pictures Sherry.


  4. Love the Buffalo pictures, i’m obsessed with em 😉

  5. Nancy S says:

    I think it’s be a long time since I visited ND, maybe it’s time for another trip. Thanks for the pictorial encouragement.

  6. Eileen says:

    beautiful pictures. I was there visiting Tiss last year and I can’t get over how wide everything is out there. I’m from the east so it was a big change for me.

  7. Clare O'Beara says:

    Wow, what a visit! Thank you for letting us know about this place as it is certainly somewhere I would like to visit too.

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