I left Hastings around 6a.m. and arrived in Murdo, SD at noon(my first time in SD).Very scenic drive and turtles everywhere. Scott Olson showed up 10 minutes later. After waiting and analyzing for a couple hours we moved to Pierre. The cap finally broke and the chase was on. There were a few decent storm features and a lot of lightning. There were reports from the public of golfball hail not far from where we were. Awesome view of the sunset through rain shafts. I'll let Scott tell the deer story. I rolled into O'neill, Ne at 2 a.m. and slept in my car until 7a.m. Got back into Hastings at 10a.m. showered and went to church. Always good to Chase with Scott.
Pete pretty much got it all, we intercepted the storms intiating N of Highmore, SD. It was never in doubt that high bases (LCLS >2400m) were going to be the name of the game. The first cell we witnessed had little in the way of rain (most likely being evaporated as it came down) but it had a near constant rumble of thunder. Over the next hour the whole line geared up and started dropping copious amounts of rain and quite impressive lightning. One such bolt hit in the field next to us and flashed 5-6 times. Few of the cells exhibited the forecasted storm motion with most of them moving NE and some of them moving any direction. Even some cells who were stationairy (Flash Flood warning was issued for one we were one due to the lack of movement and strong downpour).

As we were heading north on a dirt road some guy didn't think we were going fast enough and decided to pass me, as he was doing this (slowly passing) I saw a deer making a mad dash across the road and hit the brakes. The deer appeared to jump as it meet the front bumper of my car sending it about 10 feet into the air, landing on the ground and scurrying away apparently unscathed. It's not to often that a deer and a car have an encounter like this and both come away fine. Well after that we went south to intercept a new line of storms forming. We interepted a high-based but active storm near Gettysburg, SD. The combination of the intense lightning, the sunsetting and the winds/high rain curtains. made it my favorite cell of the day. Glad your first impression of South Dakota wasn't a negative one Pete!