Ah, South Dakota, home of my cowboy dreams. Also home of the Sioux Nation, Sitting Bull, Wild Bill Hickock, Annie Oakley, and the Sturgis Harley Davidson Rally. The Badlands are amazing, though considerably less bad-looking in the height of summer when I was there than they must be in winter with temperatures in the minuses and covered in snow. In December 1890, Big Foot led his people to seek refuge in the Badlands. Three days later the Hotchkiss guns opened fire at Wounded Knee.
Our drive through the Badlands took a long time with endless stops to take pictures, and when we reached the end, we decided to turn around and travel through it again, heading West into the setting sun.
Mount Rushmore for 4th July fireworks was everything you might expect of American razzamatazz...except that it was held on the 3rd to allow folks to be back home to celebrate with their families on the 4th. We were lucky enough to get parking at the summit, thus saving a long walk uphill in the heat of the day. There was music and dancing all afternoon, the whole show culminating in the an aircraft flyover and most spectacular firework display I have ever witnessed.