Yeah, those fella's up there, that's what most people think makes South Dakota unique. That is, of course, if they know those rock stars are even in South Dakota.

But you and I, the folks that live in South Dakota? Oh, we know there's a lot more things and places that make South Dakota the greatest place to live in the United States. One of those things is what I call the 'open roads'.

I remember back in the 1970's when I first moved to this great state. I had a job in Winner and I began motoring out from Minnesota. And motored. And motored. And motored. One of the first things I learned about the Sunshine State is...there's plenty of room to roam! Driving across the state, you can take roads and highways that give you plenty of peace and quiet. I recall back in the early 80's when I was doing play-by-play for South Dakota State University, there was an east coast team came to Brookings for a basketball game. About 3 hours or so before tip-off, one of their players asked if we could 'drive over and see Mt. Rushmore before the game'.

Uh, no.

When I lived in Rapid City is when I experienced what many call 'west river'. The most 'wide open' part of our great state, I remember driving up to Lemmon (think northwest....no, more northwest than that!). There is some of the most beautiful parts of the state on that drive, and not only is miles and miles between towns, it's miles and miles between ranches! I'd leave Lemmon and make my way east, getting over to Mobridge and over even further to Aberdeen. By the way, if you're fortunate enough to find yourself in Mobridge, be prepared to meet some of the friendliest folks you'll ever run into...oh, and they'll probably be talking about fishing.

So if you've lived in South Dakota a long time like I have, you know about the open roads. And if you're planning a first visit to our state, sure, visit Mt. Rushmore, it's awesome! But do yourself a favor and give yourself an extra day or two. Let your car take you wherever it wants to go in our state. You'll discover why it is that over 800,00 of us call South Dakota home.


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