In the article Black Hills offer drive from eerie to kitschy, USA Today Travel writer Gene Sloan invites readers to take a trip on I-90 and to really get an idea of what South Dakota has to offer its visitors.
“The 50-mile stretch of road between mile marker 143 and mile marker 93, which passes right down the middle of scenic Buffalo Gap National Grassland, long has offered a glimpse of the Great Plains at its best — from the majesty of its wide-open prairie to the goofiness of its kitchy roadside attractions.
This is where the endless fields of Middle America begin to give way to the rugged West. Around mile marker 109 motorists heading westbound drop down into the breathtakingly beautiful Cheyenne River Valley, and a few miles later the rough-and-tumble Black Hills of South Dakota, refuge to Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and other 19th-century rascals, comes into view on the horizon.
‘It’s hard to get your head around this area,’ says vacationer Neil McMahon, 38, of Tadley, England, who pauses with wife Alison, 35, to talk at a desolate turn-off near the highway. The silence that takes hold between the arrival of passing cars is overwhelming. ‘It’s just so big and empty. The landscape seems to go on forever.'”