Do you know what day is coming up this week? The summer solstice! (Summer is my favorite season in South Dakota.) I met a couple of interns at the Governor’s picnic that asked me what kind of things there is to do in Pierre during the summer. I started thinking about the summer activities that South Dakota has to offer for those interns who are new to South Dakota and to South Dakotan interns who wonder what is out there for them to do. I wrote up a list of 10 fun activities to do in South Dakota during the summer.
First, a few quick facts about the summer solstice:
• The solstice is when the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator, and it signifies the longest day of the year.
• Why isn’t the summer solstice the hottest day of the year? Earth’s atmosphere, land, and oceans absorb part of the incoming energy from the sun and store it then release it back as heat at various rates. Water is slower to heat (or cool) than air or land. At the time of the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives the most energy (highest intensity) from the sun due to the angle of sunlight and day length; however, the land and oceans are still relatively cool, due to spring’s temperatures, so the maximum heating effect on air temperature is not felt just yet. Eventually, the land as well as oceans will release stored heat from the summer solstice back into the atmosphere; this usually results in the year’s hottest temperatures appearing in late July, August, or later, depending on latitude and other factors. This effect is called seasonal temperature lag.
• Solstice comes from Latin roots: (sol) meaning sun and (stitium) meaning stop because the sun seems to stop at this time.
• This year the solstice happens on June 20 at 11:04 p.m. for Mountain Time Zone and on June 21 at 12:04 a.m. for Central Time Zone.
• In temperate regions, the sun is higher in the sky throughout the day with its rays striking Earth at a more direct angle during the solstice.
• The Southern Hemisphere’s winter solstice happens during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer solstice.
Now, my list of 10 fun activities to do in South Dakota during the summer with URL links:
1. Have some fun camping and fishing at one of the state parks in South Dakota: http://gfp.sd.gov
2. Attend Oahe Days in Pierre on June 21-23: http://www.oahedays.com
3. Walk through Storybook Land in Aberdeen: http://www.visitaberdeensd.com
4. See the historic Mount Rushmore: http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm
5. Go swimming in Wild Water West in Sioux Falls: http://www.wildwaterwest.com
6. Visit the historic Deadwood: http://www.deadwood.com
7. Tour through Cosmo’s Mystery Area in Rapid City: http://www.cosmosmysteryarea.com
8. Watch a hydroplane racing event in Chamberlain/Oacoma: http://www.rivercityracin.org
9. Drive your car through Bear Country in Rapid City: http://www.bearcountryusa.com
10. Experience the scenery in Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City: http://www.prairieberry.com
Explore the unexpected, South Dakota interns, with South Dakota summer activities!
Thank you for reading!