South Dakota


 Show Notes Dr Mary Travelbest Episode on South Dakota



In this episode: FAQ is “How to keep clothes clean while traveling?” The Destination is the state of South Dakota.  My lesson learned is trouble with Uber/Lyft apps and The Tip is how to deal with people who approach you that you’d rather not know.


FAQ: How do you keep clothes clean when traveling? How often should I plan to do a wash of my clothes?


Everyone has their own definition of clean, and with clothes that is not any different. My definition of clean is fresh and non-stained clothing, and what really matters is your undergarments. Keeping the things close to your skin clean will keep you on the road longer. So be sure that you have enough underwear for your trip, even if you need to wash them often. Usually, these will dry quickly, too.

Here are three tips for clean clothes:


  1. Bring bags to keep clean away from dirty
  2. Carry detergent with you so you can wash on the road
  3. Consider wearing some clothes inside out, for an extra day’s wear.
  4. Wash at night before you sleep, so you can wake up and they are dry.


Today’s Destination is parts of South Dakota, especially National and State Parks other than Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse.


I recently spent a week in South Dakota and this part is mostly about the areas around Sturgis, Custer State Park, Wind Cave and Badlands National Parks, and Hot Springs.


Stay away from buffalo, because they run faster than I want to know.

I stayed in Hot Springs, South Dakota, which was almost like a ghost town during the pandemic. I visited Wind Cave National Park, met Mallory, the guide outside the Visitor’s Center, since it’s temporarily closed. And will be a while.

I went on a 5-mile trek loop, Lookout Point to Centennial Trail. Nearly alone. Saw a family and a couple at the very end of the hike

Check out Custer State Park, along the Needles Highway. These rocks are grey, pointy, and the road can be steep. There is a tunnel, one lane only traffic, so cars alternate. Drive from the south for the best views. This was like Yosemite or Yellowstone, only smaller, much smaller. Campgrounds, trains, RV’s, reptile gardens, museum of woodcarving.  Here I saw a lot of buffalo, other wildlife. There’s hardly any traffic. I’d come back here and do a lot more hiking, including the full Centennial Trail, which is 100 miles. This trail goes from Deadwood all the way south to Edgemont and follows the train tracks. Most people bike the trail. You will run into animals and you need a trail pass.


Visit Moccasin Springs Natural Mineral Spa in Hot Springs, and that was great for relaxing and renewing. I spent hours soaking in the 88-degree pool, talking with two gals on a road trip and a couple from Deadwood, basically locals or from nearby.

These springs have been bubbling for over 129 years. Filtered through earth, flowing into a natural red rock formation.

I got a sunburn, not too bad.

Hot springs natural water goes right into the pool.


Things still to do next time in this area: Jewel Cave, Freedom Trail, Cascade Falls, Michelson Trail, Mammoth Cave and dig, Pioneer Museum. Hikes, fishing at Custer State Park. I did not go to the Mammoth Site, but maybe next time. It’s an active working excavation site has the fossils of over 60 mammoths.



Have you seen Wall Drug? It’s in Wall, SD. Since 1931 Free ice water was how they attracted tourists at first and it’s grown from here. You can find Black Hills Gold, the art gallery, dining hall, cafĂ©, saloon, rock and fossil shops, and plenty of western wear like boots and hats. It’s like 20 shopping malls in the middle of nowhere.


Driving across South Dakota you may also stop in Mitchell, SD to see the Corn Palace. This is an exhibition space in downtown, which is an excuse to buy a souvenir. Small town feel, and it’s worth your stop



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