The Black Hills


I found the Black Hills intriguing mostly for its historical imprint and its natural beauty. The name Black comes from the dark Ponderosa pine-covered slopes, which have been always considered sacred, spiritual and an ancestral home.


We spent a chunk of time exploring the mountainous region through back-road drives, visits to caves, a hike in the Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments.

Mt. Rushmore was what I expected – large and spectacular but also overcrowded with numerous overweight Americans eating ice cream cones.

The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt stood 60 feet high. Carved in the granite of a Black Hills outcrop, the effort was completed by sculptor Gutzon Borglum in 1941, taking 14 years to complete all four faces.


You have to pass through the Wild Western-like town of Keystone, which was once a mining town. Touted as the world’s largest monument, Crazy Horse Memorial is not far from Mt. Rushmore, a mere four miles north of the town of Custer. Still in progress, the monument of the Sioux leader astride his horse sits 563 feet high, pointing to the horizon saying “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”


We didn’t spend much time in Custer since I wanted to get back into the land of the barren roads and wide open spaces where there was not a soul in sight for miles and the only thing on the horizon was a run down petrol station, a kitsch motel or diner…..the land where WalMart and McDonalds signs would hopefully never be found and cell phone coverage always unavailable.


Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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