Yesterday I was notified that I was the winner of the Great Getaways Photo Contest sponsored by Cincinnati Magazine and Madison Indiana. I have to tell you that when I had submitted the now winning photo, I never thought in a million years that I would actually win.
The now winning photo was taken at the Crazy Horse Memorial in October of 2010. My sister, Kathy Witt, is a travel writer and was traveling to Rapid City South Dakota with the Midwest Travel Writer’s Association of which she is a member and invited me along. The trip was absolutely amazing! We toured Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, Custer State Park, Deadwood, the Crazy Horse Memorial, the Minutemen Missile Silo (very cool), Dahl Arts Center… the attractions in and around the city go on and on.
While at Mt. Rushmore, I met the last of the living legends that had help to carve the awesome monument and had a great time at the reception dinner for all of the writers. How often in life do you meet someone who has actually carved one or our monuments? I’d say that would be a Bucket List item, it was quite a night!
I also had the pleasure of touring the Badlands, gorgeous! Which I must say, if you haven’t seen them in person, you don’t know what you’re missing. The landscape is outstanding!
Just for fun, I got my picture taken with our late great 40th president, Ronald Reagan. Rapid City has bronze life-size statues of all of our presidents erected throughout the downtown area. Very cool.
Something I thought that was very interesting in the city was Art Alley. The alley is in the middle of Rapid City South Dakota and is an open platform for all artists to share their artwork. The artwork in the alley is continually being painted over by local artists, but as you can see from the photo below, the artwork is very captivating.
One day we took a jeep ride through Custer State Park and it was absolutely stunning! The buffalo, three thousand head or so, roam around the park as they did during the 1800’s. If you’re a fan of western movies, as I am, this was quite a sight. The city also has the set from the movie Dances with Wolves as one of the attractions. Filming for much of the movie took place in and around the Badlands and Custer State Park. And after seeing the movie, I can’t imagine any other film location!
There is so much to see, do and experience in Rapid City South Dakota and the surrounding area I can now understand why my photo won. If you ever get the chance to head out west, try to make Rapid City South Dakota a stop and of course the Crazy Horse Memorial. After all it’s a Winner!
Thanks again to the staff, judges, participants and of course the voters of the Cincinnati Magazine for selecting my photo as the winner. Oh and one more note. As the winner, I will receive round trip airfare for four aboard Ultimate Air Shuttle to New York City!! I can’t wait to hop in that plane and head to the Big Apple along with my sister, of course, and check off another Bucket List Item.