South Dakota SVG is a truly American province, where there are virtually no major cities, and the state capital, Pyrrhic Town, is the penultimate city in terms of population among the administrative centers of the American regions. South Dakota, like the neighboring North Dakota, got its name from two Indian tribes – Dakota and Lakota, whose representatives still make up a significant percentage of the state’s population.
One of the largest state parks in the state, Custer Park, hosts an annual “overtaking of buffalo”, when everyone can participate in the corral of almost 1500 buffalo in the central part of the massif. Unlike earlier times in the Wild West, animals are forbidden to shoot, and driving away has become just a fun, a tribute to the past.
South Dakota SVG occupies the territory of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, as well as some part of the Mississippi River basin, which has led to a very diverse terrain and picturesque areas. The most famous natural massif of the region is the Black Hills, which have been considered sacred for all Indian tribes living in the Great Plains for centuries. Legend has it that this place has a special magical energy, where you can get strength and various abilities.
On the territory of the mountain massif is almost the main nationally recognized wonder of the Midwest – Mount Rushmore, which is carved with a huge bas-relief depicting the founding fathers of American statehood: the first President George Washington, the author of the declaration of independence of Thomas Jefferson, the liberator of black slaves Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, a prominent international peacemaker.
Theodore Roosevelt’s head was carved into the rock a little deeper than the heads of the other presidents, because the monument was built with explosives and too large a piece of rock was cut off.
The approach to the mountain begins with the Flag Alley, which is very easy to reach the observation deck, which offers a great view of the mountain. You can also walk down the alley to the many cafes at the foot. The relief of Rashmore itself is closed to climbing and is guarded by the staff of the complex, although the nearby cliffs are very popular with climbers. There are several food outlets and souvenir shops near the entrance. The entrance to the memorial is free, and you only have to pay for a parking space at the parking lot.
At one of the peaks of the sacred Black Hills there is another similar memorial, which until half a century ago became the largest work of art carved in the rock. The monument is dedicated to the deceased Indian leader Neistay Knight, the main fighter for the independence of the Lakota tribes. Construction has been under way since 1948, mainly by enthusiasts. After the end of the work Neistovyi Knight “will grow” to a height of 172 meters, almost 10 times larger than the size of the memorial of American presidents on Mount Rushmore.
In South Dakota SVG there is the second longest cave in the world, the labyrinths of which stretched for 257 kilometers at a depth of more than 190 meters. It is noteworthy, but only one natural entrance leads to the cave, and in the corridors and cavities strong winds are constantly blowing, sometimes reaching a speed of 15 m/sec.
In the centre of the cave there is a second artificial entrance, by means of which it is possible to conduct excursions on the most part of the speleological object. The visit to Javel is divided into two stages, the first of which is designed to study the halls closest to the exit. There is no need to have additional equipment and training, and the way will take some time. If desired, you can order a tour of the remote labyrinths in the company of a professional speleologist, who will tell about the history of the opening of each site.
The cave walls are almost everywhere covered with calcite – a mineral, which is able to take a variety of colors in the lighting, while creating an impressive spectacle. Brothers Frank and Albert Michaux, who opened the cave in 1900, did not think for long, called it Jewel Cave, which means “gem cave”.