It's almost Epiphany, almost time to leave the holidays behind and get on with regular business. But permit me one more brief retrospective on 2014.

I've listed the most-read and most commented stories of the year on this blog. I've also named the man of the year in terms of South Dakota political news, Richard Benda. But I'd like to take a moment to point out some of my best work on the Madville Times in 2014.

As you know, I spent much of 2014 on the road. My best blogging came from two trips around South Dakota.

In April, I crossed the state and interviewed Gordon Howie and Mike Myers and covered a speech by Joe Lowe. The Howie interview spawned a series of video conversations that I like to think exemplify the sort of spirited yet civil engagement (not to be confused with civil union) that South Dakota conservatives and liberals can and should enjoy.

Charlie in the distance, four-wheeling across the prairie, Hoffman farm, 2014.08.19

The prairie makes us all look small—photo from Charlie Hoffman's farm, northeast of Eureka, August 19, 2014 (click to enlarge).

Then in August came the tour de force... or the Tour de Blog! For eight days I toured South Dakota, talked to all sorts of people, and wrote 23 articles capturing a diverse album of South Dakota snapshots. I spoke with Lilias Jarding about the dangers of letting Powertech (now Azarga) dig for uranium in the southern Black Hills, then spent an entire afternoon with three Powertech honchos touring the proposed uranium mining area and talking about the company's plans. I visited Pine Ridge and Rosebud to learn about housing, voting rights, and Teach for America on the reservation. I attended two of the three Dakotafest debates and wrote five posts about them. I found an SDSU professor and a Republican legislator saying the same things about restoring prairie grass. And I got Republican Charlie Hoffman to say he'd like to expand Medicaid, raise teacher pay, and elect a Democratic governor.

I wrote plenty of articles that I'm proud of in 2014, but my articles from the road are my favorites. Feel free to note your favorites in the comment section below... and look forward to new favorites from around South Dakota in 2015!