I have to say it was one of my better vacations. A friend of mine and I decided to go visit it a few weeks back, mostly because we'd driven past it on our way to Rapid City last year, and decided to come back someday to check things out.
This is why Sioux Falls is called "Sioux Falls".
Yesterday, on our way home (well, not really on the way home, since we had to go the opposite direction to get there) we drove into Minnesota and went to a place called "Pipestone". It's a small town, not too far from the South Dakota/Minnesota state lines. We went there to see the Pipestone National Monument. Which is where a type of stone called "pipestone" is quarried.
Pipestone is a stone that American Indians all over North America have carved their ceremonial pipes out of. The American Indians have quarried it for several hundred years. It's a beautiful red color stone, it's a soft stone. I watched one of the craftsmen carving on one of the pipes he was making. (I didnt take pictures of that...didnt want to disturb or annoy the guy)
He was making some really beautiful stuff with it. He had one pipe that a really intricate carving of a bear on it.
The gift shop at the monument had a good number of pipes for sale, and I think the least expensive one I saw was about $60 or $75, and it was just a plain design, but still very pretty. Some of the other pipes were over $2000! It was all amazing work too.
We walked thru the quarry/park grounds on the trail. The trail was about 3/4 of a mile long, and it was hot and extremely windy. We saw the old quarries that they no longer use (or dont use very often) and all sorts of flowers, prairie grasses, a couple of deer, and a big patch of *achoo!!* Ragweed. *achoo!!!*.
I dont have those pictures uploaded yet, so I'll do another blog post later, and add those pictures.