Post by forebearance on Sept 5, 2011 20:54:45 GMT -5
Aberdeen: 5 Excellent I was there for three days in May 2011
Brookings: 2 Poor There was a cloud of stingy mold toxin right where the freeway exits were and a group of hotels are. I only stayed five minutes. I never got to check out the actual town.
Mitchell: 5 Excellent I was there several times for 4-5 days each visit in the spring of 2011.
Sioux Falls: 4 Good or 5 Excellent I've been there for weeks at a time from March to August 2011. The main problem is that in July we got the first plume of stingy toxin that seemed to blow up from the south. Note that the Missouri River valley is flooded to the south. Since then, several more plumes of this toxin have blown in during August.
Vermillion: 3 Fair Yankton: 3 Fair I drove through these towns in the spring of 2011. They are located right next to the Missouri River, without a big bluff to separate them from the river valley. The Missouri River valley tends to collect toxins, so I wouldn't stay in these towns.
Watertown: It was a 5 Excellent, from March until June of 2011. Then the stingy toxin blew in and I haven't been back since.
Post by Lisa Petrison on Oct 30, 2011 11:58:02 GMT -5
In September 2011, I spent about 10 days in the Black Hills and Badlands areas. Then I drove east across the state on I-90.
In late October 2011, I spent the night in Sioux Falls and then drove south on I-29 to Iowa.
BLACK HILLS AREA: 5 (EXCELLENT), with exceptions.
I was camping for most of my time in the Black Hills in the KOA in Hot Springs, which was pleasant and felt good to me. Hot Springs has an interesting archaeological dig site (open to the public) for wooly mammoths as well as a "cool springs" pool (something like 90 degrees). Both of these were indoor attractions but felt good to me. The outdoor air was great. (5-EXCELLENT)
Nearby Wind Cave National Park was pleasant and felt great. I toured the caves at Wind Cave and Jewel Cave, and felt great in both of them. (5-EXCELLENT)
(Interestingly, Jewel Cave had some trees burned down on its property but they felt fine. My understanding from talking to the rangers is that they don't use chemicals for fires there because they're afraid it will have a negative impact on the cave!)
Keystone (near Mt. Rushmore) felt great as well. (5-EXCELLENT)
Rapid City is a fairly nice town and felt fine. (4-GOOD)
The one place here that I felt bad was in Custer State Park. They periodically do planned burns and apparently use fire retardants during them. (There even was a photo of someone carrying a fire retardant tank for one of these burns in the photos in the exhibit in the visitors' center.) This seemed to be a particularly heavy concentration of the toxin that I'd found in certain other places associated with fire retardants (Santa Fe, Tucson, Glacier National Park, Big Sur). It wasn't the "worst toxin for me," but it was concentrated enough that it was a real problem anyway. Both my husband (a moderate Moldie) and I got quite sick, and the car continued to bother me for a few more days. (Unfortunately, Custer is a very large park and it was difficult to make a quick escape.) (1-AWFUL)
REST OF SOUTHWESTERN SOUTH DAKOTA: 3 (FAIR)
I spent a couple of days in the other parts of SW South Dakota, much of which is Sioux (Lakota) Indian Reservation territory. This included a night at the campground at Badlands National Park, a night at a KOA on I-90, and a visit to the kitschy-touristy Wall Drugs.
There's something weird about this area. Neither my husband nor I felt good there. He felt anxious and unhappy, and we both were pretty irritable. Our sense was that the people who lived in the area were irritable as well.
I'm not sure whether this "weirdness" had anything to do with toxins. My husband, who is less convinced than I that toxic exposures are the only cause of his emotional reactions, made a case that the land was "haunted" as a result of the unhappy events of Wounded Knee and other slaughters of Indians. And even before the late 1880s, the Badlands had a reputation as being, well, "bad." The Sioux were a particularly violent tribe, and there's a passage in one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books about a group of pioneers reporting a particularly emotionally discomfiting experience passing through.
So I'm not sure what to say. I still suspect fire retardants used in Badlands National Park were the cause of my own negative emotions. (The ranger said that they are sometimes used there.) But maybe there's something metaphysical going on too. I'm not eager to go back to this area in general, regardless.
SOUTHEASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA: 5 (EXCELLENT)
Going east, I-90 from about Murdo (south of Pierre) felt good to me. I spent the night in a campground near Mitchell, which felt perfectly good to me. (5-EXCELLENT)
I detoured to visit De Smet, which is where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived during her adolescent and early adult years. I visited the houses in town where Laura lived and spent the night in my RV on their homestead just outside of town. The air was absolutely terrific, and as a tourist attraction it was a good stop. Highly recommended. (5-EXCELLENT)
From De Smet, I drove east to I-29 and then south to Sioux Falls. This part of the drive did not feel as good as De Smet, but I didn't stay long enough to be able to give it any sort of accurate rating.
SIOUX FALLS: 3 (FAIR)
I spent a couple of nights in Sioux Falls in mid September and then one more night in late October. Even in mid September, I could feel a tinge of "the worst toxin for me" in the air on overcast days. In late October, it didn't feel great even on a sunny day, and felt pretty worrisome when the skies got overcast. I did better in Chicago than there. "Fair" may be being generous. So I'm not particularly eager to go back.
Driving south on I-29, the air felt good to me starting at about 10 miles south of the city until close to the Iowa border (approaching Sioux City). (4-GOOD)
Post by forebearance on Nov 3, 2011 17:34:46 GMT -5
I had better revise my rating of Sioux Falls, since the outside air there has gone downhill between July and October 2011. Sigh. It's not a 4 or 5 any more. I guess I would say that it is around a 3 (FAIR) to me now.
Somehow it is still better for me than Omaha, Nebraska though. Objects and buildings still bother me less in Sioux Falls.
Post by forebearance on May 2, 2012 16:32:46 GMT -5
Sioux Falls: 2 POOR April 2012. I stopped in Sioux Falls, thinking that it might have recovered from the plumes of ick toxin that had blown in last fall. After all, even Sioux City IA was a little better than usual in the spring. But no, the outside air in Sioux Falls and for about 15 miles south of town was worse than ever. It feels like the town has been sitting and marinating in a cloud of toxins all winter.
I could just cry. To see such a wonderful town, with so many good buildings, go bad is heart breaking. I can't figure out where the cloud of toxins is coming from. I was in town for a total of an hour and it felt like too long. I think driving by on I-90 may be okay, but I think I might try going around the outskirts of town rather than drive though on I-29 again.
Omaha is definitely better for me than Siox Falls now.
Post by forebearance on Oct 10, 2012 21:50:50 GMT -5
Summer and Fall of 2012 - clouds of wildfire smoke have been wafting over western South Dakota, apparently from large wildfires in Washington State and Idaho. It is unpleasant smoke, worse than the smoke from local wildfires.
The local small wildfires are fought with water. They produce regular old smoke. The smoke from far out west seems to have toxins in it as well as particulates.
Post by forebearance on Feb 7, 2013 18:22:31 GMT -5
RAPID CITY I spent most of January 2013 in Rapid City. It was consistently good there. It never felt worse than a 3 (FAIR) and usually was at least a 4 (GOOD). I'm not an expert, but I think there were days when it was probably a 5 (EXCELLENT).
There was one puddle of ick toxin on the north side of town, and the Hilton Garden Inn was sitting in the middle of it. I was unable to tell if the hotel was an unfortunate victim because it was built in a low spot, or if the hotel was the source of the toxins. It was unbearable to stay there. There were traces of ick toxins wafting from some of the inexpensive hotels on the north side of town.
But overall, Rapid City would be an excellent place to live, if you didn't mind the occasional brief cold snap, and if you could find housing. Good quality housing is challenging to find.
CENTRAL BLACK HILLS Up by Hill City this January there were signs by the highway that said "Prescribed Burn". The signs moved around from day to day. I don't know who was doing the burns, but there is a lot of national forest land around there. The burning was generating a toxin-laden smoke that hung in the valleys.
The problem was that most of the civilization is in the valleys. So for a while the area was a 2 (POOR) or worse. I wonder if the toxic smoke will have a lasting effect on the cabins in the Hill City area.
Strange you should mention the reservation. We bought a large piece of land in Bennett County. It is not reservation land, but surrounded by it. The area really is depressed, and a lot of people are very ill from diabetes due to the bad government food. The Lakota are starting to raise bison to help change that.
There is also a mold problem in many homes, due to- once again- government run housing. It seems everything the government touches with welfare just plain rots. This includes the spirit of the people. They have Wounded Knee, yes, but for all these years since FDR initiated a Fabian Socialist style government for the reservations, their initiative and pride have been destroyed. It is like being in an oppressed Third World country, or a Communist country. There are many programs in place now trying to change this. We hope to be part of the solution with our pastured poultry farming, to help provide food that feeds the body and soul.
At least the outdoor air quality is good, from the sound of it, and will be an improvement over South Carolina. We plan to build our own house with our own hands, making sure we use materials that do not rot around us. Down here it is super humid and so many homes are made with such poor quality materials, one has to keep the indoor humidity low. It is very costly to keep good air quality under those conditions, and the peanut, corn, and cotton farming here make for lots of mold in the air in the fall, so we look forward to not having to deal with those crops.
Thank you for your posts on South Dakota. My family is talking about driving from WA state to SD this summer to visit my husband's family's former homestead in SD, which is near Rapid City. We'd be camping along the way to test out detoxing in fresh air and the way it sounds, the Rapid City area seems pretty clean. I have no idea what it will be like between Seattle and SD in terms of toxins, but I hope it won't be worse than where we live. I don't know if we'll make it as far as De Smet, but I've been a Laura Ingalls fan nearly all my life - might have to go the extra distance!
Post by Lisa Petrison on Feb 10, 2014 23:39:41 GMT -5
Thanks, Gail. That sounds like a good trip to me!
Note though that these threads in the upper section of the board are not for discussions but just for reports. Discussions go in the lower part of the board, such as in the "Locations Experiences" or "Member Questions" sections.
So I will leave this comment here for a while and then move it to that section.