Welcome to our new SouthDakota.com blog
I grew up in South Dakota and got my bachelor’s degree in journalism here, but while I was in college I worked outside of the state every summer. When I returned each fall, I always ended up re-entering to the state via Interstate 29 from the south.
Being away from South Dakota all of those summers made me appreciate my home state more, and those return trips helped solidify the feeling. I remember distinctly the sense of belonging that welled up in me as I got past Sioux City, where the trees begin to thin and the prairie begins to flatten and a wider panorama of land and sky opens up. As I got closer and closer to that sign welcoming me to South Dakota’s "great faces" and "great places," my foot always began to weigh heavier on the gas pedal.
Then, as I crossed the state line, my foot seemed to bear down automatically until my car reached 75 mph. One of the first signs past the state line establishes that as the speed limit, but also warns that the limit is "strictly enforced."
What I began to understand as I crossed back into the state each of those four falls was that South Dakota remains, in many ways, a frontier to be explored. For those of us who know the state and appreciate it, crossing over the state line on a return trip evokes a sense of restorative personal freedom. That sense is augmented quite powerfully by those 10 mph that you’re allowed to add to your car’s speed, but it also arises from the knowledge that you’ve left the huge urban centers behind and have come to a place where grass and cattle and sky are more common roadside sights, and where rugged individuality is the ideal.
For me, crossing back into my home state always makes me breathe easier. Glancing around at South Dakota’s huge horizon, I always feel like I have room to roam and explore.
And that’s exactly the feeling I hope you’ll get as you read both my travel stories on SouthDakota.com and my posts on this new blog. I hope the information you learn here will inspire and guide your own explorations of our great state.
So, before embarking on that journey, I invite you to imagine yourself crossing that state line, seeing the view expand, pressing your foot down on the gas pedal, and accelerating into a great adventure. To help you visualize it, here’s an image from the state line, with the welcome sign toward the right of your view: