For its family shops and stunning views, Remmie Gavle has a special place in her heart for South Dakota


Mike Gavle

Remmie Gavle (right) visiting South Dakota with her friend, junior Kenzie Davis (left).

For as long as she could remember, junior Remmie Gavle has traversed by car through the Great Plains region to reach her dream destination: South Dakota.

Though it is not the most popular state to visit, Remmie couldn’t think of any other place she would rather travel to.

Seeing that it is an 18-hour drive to her location of choice, Remmie has managed to block out the events that transpire during the road trip with plenty of semi-trucks and dull landscapes. Driving through the Great Plains isn’t the biggest thrill, but it was not a sacrifice for her. There is more in store for Remmie in South Dakota than there is on the roads.

Remmie’s maternal grandparents own a gift/boutique shop in Deadwood, South Dakota. While she is visiting in the summer, Remmie and her family help her grandparents run their store. Remmie’s primary roles are to work the cash register and to bring out inventory. 

Remmie spends all of her time in Deadwood with her family, so she hasn’t really become close with anyone while there. However, she did have one friendly encounter with a girl who works at an ice cream shop across the street from where Remmie works.

“The girl came into our store [and said], ‘Hi, do you have a girl that works here? She has brown hair [and] freckles.’” Remmie said. “My grandparents pointed over to me and she’s like, ‘Hi, I’m Maya.’ [That’s the only] time I’ve ever made a friend. The rest of the time is just about [being] with my family.”

Even though working a cash register and stocking inventory are generally labeled as monotonous and tedious jobs, Remmie has a different outlook on it. She is constantly meeting new people who, without fail, always spark her interests. 

I really enjoy being able to see the rest of the world through a different lens and being able to see it close up and frequently without the outsiders touch on it.

— Remmie Gavle


“I mean, there [are] so many interesting people that come in [to the store], like Australians,” Remmie said. “A lot of Australians for some reason.”

Working at her grandparent’s boutique/gift shop is not Remmie’s sole source of entertainment when she is in South Dakota. Remmie treasures the hiking trails that she adventures during her stay. She has been to the Black Hills.

“It is unmatched to anything that I’ve ever seen in Michigan,” said Remmie, describing the Black Hills.

South Dakota is a state washed with the love of Mother Nature. The location where Remmie enjoys the act of soaking up its beauty the most is at Custer State Park.

There is a multitude of hiking trails to hike at Custer, but the one Remmie loves the most is Lover’s Leap.

“At the end, you can basically see everything, and it’s the Black Hills,” Remmie said. “It’s so pretty. That is my favorite part of the view. I can picture it in my head right now. I’ve been there twice, three times, maybe. It’s the most beautiful spot that I’ve been to.”

In South Dakota, Remmie is able to explore and see the world from a completely different perspective. She can see its natural beauty, and for that, she is eternally grateful.

“I feel like growing up in Forest Hills, you’re kind of closed off to what you see every day going to school,” Remmie said. “Seeing your friends, going to the beach–things that we’re used to growing up in Michigan. I really enjoy being able to see the rest of the world through a different lens and being able to see it close up and frequently without the outsider’s touch on it because, in South Dakota, nobody really goes there. No one thinks of it as an exciting place to be. So, it just makes it much more special to be there and [to have] that connection with it.”