Sunday, October 26, 2014


Not only busy, but unable to post due to our various locations with not enough internet signal to publish individual posts.

Our next destination was Hot Springs, SD where the Mammoth Museum is located.  What a great learning experience we had.
This museum and a palentologoligal site is completely indoors.  The site was discovered in 1972 as a subdivision developer was having the site cleared in order to build homes.  The machinery unearthed a tusk and progress was stopped.  Eventually, the developer donated the land which became the dig site.

The size of this site  is  yet to be determined. Cores were drilled to determine the footprint and depth.  After drilling a core, they were able to go thirty feet and still find signs of needed exploration! 

How did this site begin?  About twenty-six thousand years ago a cavern collapsed and created a sinkhole where warm springs flowed into the depressed earth creating a site that mammoths, bears, members of the Camelid family and other creatures went for hydration.

Many  would slip into the depression.  The walls were too steep and slippery to climb out and the animals died.  Sediment covered the remains, bones were preserved.  More wildlife would migrate to the site and the process repeated itself until the land became moderately level with the surrounding area.

In the photo below, you get an idea of the depth of the dig, thus far.

Another Mammoth being carefully uncovered.
More bones at a deeper level

We find the remains of a baby Wooly Mammoth.  It is believed that at one month of age, she fell through the ice in a Siberian Lake and froze.   This is believed to have happened 26,000 years ago. 
Here is an artist’s rendition of an adult Wooly Mammoth.  The baby is believed to have had grown to this size,if she had survived.
The woolly mammoth was probably wiped out by rapid climate change caused by a meteor striking the Earth, not by overhunting as previously believed
Then we also have another animal of the era: a  Giant Short Faced Bear
Columbian Wooly Mammoth….without the wooly. 
We leave the museum and are off to the Wildlife Look in the nearby IMG_0556Custer State Park.  Look who greeted us at the beginning of the loop!  His side itched and the only thing he had to help was the post of the stop sign.
Still scratching, he takes a peek at us. 
Antelope on the range.  They are not as social as the Bison.  The boy here wanted to get up close and personal.  Actually, wanted to see inside the Miata! 
This wild burro was seeking handouts of carrots. 
This gal is really put off that we have no treats for her and her friends.
The Antelope are not too eager to be very close.  I have known that to spot a Big Horn Sheep is to look for the white butt.  But, that works only when there are no Antelope or Pronghorn Sheep around.  White butts abound in the wild! 


After three years of searching, we finally spot Big Horns!  We are pleased even if they are juveniles.  Can you find the one with the GPS tracker on it’s neck?
More white Butts! 
The next day, we find ourselves on the Needles Highway.  Absolutely breathtaking! 


The width of this passage is nine feet eight inches!  Sure glad we are in the Miata!  






Even though the day was cloudy and raining, at times, the views were great. 

We find ourselves on the road the next day.  We are traveling south through Wyoming, Colorado and finally Utah, our next destination.  After driving through flat lands, we find rolling roads and the foothills of mountains to come! 


Hills and mountains grow higher and higher showing distinct personalities.
Finally, our destination……MOAB, UT!  A totally new experience!
We climbed the foothills, admired the distant mountains, admired the local plants


Moonrise over the desert. 

Sunset is beautiful filling the sky with pinks, yellows, blues and lavenders.

IMG_0716The next morning Olivia, Oliver and I take an early morning walk.  The “kids” lead the way.  They do not like walking on the desert floor.  Either one or the other had been stuck with mighty sticky needle-like spines.

The big rocks were growing closer.

Olivia does not like to stand and wait, so she lies in the dusty road.

IMG_0719Sometimes the kids get so far  ahead that they come back to hurry me.  “Hey, I just don’t run like you two!”

I do not like them to get too far ahead of me.  They are, sometimes, very curious and do not sense danger. 

OK, now which way do I go?  Do I go left or right? 

I choose right not knowing that I am going to have a real treat ahead.


IMG_0737Again, I enjoy the colors and structure of the desert flowers.

Then there is the sand art created by water run-off or the wind.

Little did I know that at the horizon at the top of the curving road  was going to provide a wonderful discovery.

Footprints in the rock.  There were numerous petrified, about one hundred sixty five million years old, three toed tracks of human sized dinosaurs  from the Jurassic Period.
These tracks can be found throughout the Arches National Park.  To me, this was more intriguing than all the arches.

The  reddish darker depressions  progressing at an angle in  the photo below  are the footprints of the Dinosaurs. 

I wish that I knew how to use the red arrows that some of you use to point out the points of interest.  

I carefully placed my foot in two of the footprints. 

IMG_0763The prints are just a bit larger than my foot with hiking show.  People are not allowed to make plaster casts.  The casts break down the footprint.


What a thrill it was to place my feet in the depressions made by dinosaurs thousands of years ago.
The next morning, it was time to change locations.  The colors were just astounding. 

As we drove toward Utah 119, I was intrigued by the mountain ahead.  I have a lot of research ahead.  Why the color in this mountain?  What is it? 
Thanks so much for joining me today.  I hope that you have enjoyed our experiences.  Any and all comments are so appreciated. 

And thanks for shopping Amazon through our Blog.  It costs you nothing, but puts a bit of change into our account. 

May God Bless you in this month of Thanksgiving.  I, for one, am thankful for each of you. 


  1. Love the Mammoth Museum, all the wildlife, fall foliage, and rocks!!! Sounds like you have been having a wonderful time:) Safe travels!

  2. I really enjoyed our visit to the Mammoth site in Hot Springs. It has been nice to experience the Black Hills again through your blog and pictures.

  3. Me too!! Loved mammoth and Custer. You really saw the wildlife there. where did you stay in Moab?? Looks like we missed that great tracks trail. darn! How have the crowds and temperatures been in those places?

  4. Great post. We will be going to some of those places next year. Today we will leave the beautiful autumn colr and start south. Mixed feelings about Florida.

  5. We always remember to take treats for those burros. We sort of look at it as paying a toll. Needles Hwy is a challenge. One tunnel is 8'4". Our dually is 8". SLOOOOOWWWW driving through.

    You have certainly covered some miles.

  6. You folks sure have covered a lot of great territory. So much to see, do, & experience here in the southwest. My favorite is always the hiking, rock scrambles, & overall beautiful scenery..

  7. So glad you're having a great time, and seeing so many fabulous sites. That bison really got up close and personal - and he's twice the size of the Miata! Our vet suggested we get Tessa used to the booties for her paws before we head out next year - she says that paw injuries take a long time to heal and you don't know where they might come across a piece of broken glass. Thought it was good advice.
    Will definitely have to find those dinosaur tracks - I love stuff like that!

  8. What a very cool museum!
    Now wait a minute...Are you still in Moab? You didn't just fly through that area did you. It is one of our most favorite places ever.

  9. goodness. . .I hope this covered quite a time span. . .'cause you guys have been some miles. . .wow!


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