Why I Love South Dakota

Home on the Range

I love South Dakota. The smell, the stark beauty, and the solitude reminds me of what a special state this is.  For a place that many people have never been to and confuse with North Dakota (which, to be clear, is North of South Dakota), some find my adoration surprising. But if you go there, particularly the western part, you’ll know what I mean.  I’m probably a little biased though. My relatives are cattle ranchers out there and many of my childhood summers were spent on the prairie riding horses, going to rodeos, and playing with some of my 25 first cousins. It’s a place I want Fia to experience, which is why we’ve visited each of the past two years.

This time around she was 21 months, and every morning she would run out in the living room, press her hands and face up to my aunt’s big bay window (which overlooks a beautiful pasture and pond with no other house in site) and say, “outside, outside.” Until this trip, I had never heard her say that word before. Makes me realize some of the sacrifices of New York City living. Don’t get me wrong: there are a lot of advantages to living here, but being outside constantly isn’t one of them. Plus, our loft apartment has windows 20 feet up, so she can’t really see outside. We go out everyday, but I think the visual is important too.

Anyway, I decided to post a few of my favorite pictures of her from this trip. That’s all.

Fia's First Horse Ride

The Badlands of South Dakota

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  1. by Kendra

    On September 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Can so relate! My family is from the same area. Doesn’t feel right if we miss a summer of wall drug donuts, trips to the badlands and bike riding in the Hills. So lucky to share my childhood experiences with my kids.

  2. by Berit Thorkelson

    On September 14, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Fun! I’m jealous. I live in MN, right next to both Dakotas, and I’ve been to neither. Shameful, right? Definitely a future family road trip destination.

  3. [...] grandmother lived until she was 97 years old. She raised 7 kids on a cattle ranch in rural South Dakota. By rural, I mean the closest town was 30 miles away and [...]