September 27, 2014
Saturday brought us another busy day. We had a lot on our plate. So much to see and do in a relatively short time. We were out the door and on our way to Hot Springs, South Dakota, where an Ice Age museum, the Mammoth Site is located.
Finding the entrance was a bit of a challenge. They are adding to the museum. Barricades and yellow tapes strewn about were everywhere, therefore, the entrance was not where it was “supposed” to be. We persevered and finally made our way to the rear of the building. With the help of good signage, we made our way to the entrance to the gift shop, purchased our tickets for the next tour and were on our way to a very informative history lesson.
The museum is located over a sinkhole. Columbian and Wooly Mammoths, members of the Camelid family, wolves and giant bears roamed the area and became trapped in what they thought was a location to obtain a drink and to keep warm in the hot springs during cooler weather. The only problem was the sides were steep and slippery. The animals were trapped! Left behind were thousands of fossil remains.
This indoor excavation site features fossils of at least 59 Columbian and Wooly Mammoths.
How is this for big teeth?
Those teeth belonged to a “big fella” just like this one!
Researchers continue to excavate the site.
Leaving the Mammoth Site, I just pick a road and go. Sometimes, that is just what we do. We have called that kind of travel our Hobbit adventures for at least 14 years.
Somehow, we end up at another end of Custer State Park on the Wildlife Loop Road. Our “official” greeter was this “gentleman.” But he was too busy taking care of an itchy spot on his side.
Not to worry, all photos are taken from the safety of my Miata. Let’s see, what could a Buffalo do to a Miata if he wanted? But they are so accustomed to automobile traffic that it is not a threat. But…..fair warning……stay in our vehicle to take your pictures.
We encountered enough wildlife on the Loop to satisfy our desire for animals for at least twenty four hours.
Where’s the carrots?
OK, we are outta here! Come on gang, let’s try the next thing on wheels….
But then we come across our greeter’s uncle. He wants an up close and personal interview. This conversation is eye to eye….
We were surprised at how close these Bison came to the car. We loved every minute of our times up close and personal. Check out the photo below and read what the mirror has to say.
They day was passing quickly and we needed to head to the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway that would to take us to Mount Rushmore. As we drove along the byway, we notices a sweet perfume in the air. That was the Ponderosa Pines welcoming us. Ninety percent of the trees in the area are Ponderosa Pine.
There were tunnels carved out of mountains.
And S curves. Then there were the Pig Tail curves with bridges.
The road you see actually wound around until you crossed over the road below. Thus the term, “Pigtail.”
Eventually, we arrived at our final destination, Mount Rushmore. To see much better photos of the four presidents and a great tour of Mount Rushmore, visit Al’s blog over at the Bayfield Bunch.
Our photos were taken just before sunset. We had read the ceremony at the end of the day was magnificent, at it was! I left there so proud to be a citizen of the United States.
The four men on the mountain helped shape the United States. They laid the foundation of freedom, gave us a constitution, a Declaration of Independence, Founded the National Park system and fought for the freedom of slaves and kept our country as one.
Be sure to visit Al’s blog for much better photographs!
The night was cool. We were not prepared for the drop in temperature! Our only protection was our hats and each other.
One of the very few photos we have together. I love his smile!
When the ceremony was complete, we made our way back to the car through the Avenue of Flags representing each of the fifty United States of America.
We found the Indiana state flag and remembered all the great times we had living there and most of all, our family and friends that are still there.
Thanks for visiting today. God bless.
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