The Journey Museum

Ok, be honest: we’ve all been to museums that seem like dusty collections of forgettable old stuff. The Journey Museum is altogether different. It skillfully illustrates the Black Hills region’s 2.5 billion years of geographic history in an interesting indoor journey (the place is well-named) that shows how yesterday affects us today. There’s a special emphasis on the last few hundred years and the changes made by human hands. That sounds heavy, but it’s accomplished in lively ways. A dark-as-night Star Room begins the story, chronicling the beginnings 2.5 billion years ago from both a scientific perspective and Native American creation stories. There’s a hologram of an actual Lakota elder framed in a real tipi. Activities for youth are scattered throughout, including an opportunity to jump into an archaeological dig pit. If the Journey Museum were anywhere else, it would be the most talked-about attraction in town. In Rapid City — surrounded by renowned monuments, breathtaking forest scenery, history and outdoor activities — it admittedly gets lost and that’s a shame because it puts all the above into proper perspective.

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