A Travellerspoint blog

Chief Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt. Rushmore at Night

June 10

Going to Chief Crazy Horse Memorial and the Native American Museum is always interesting because it is a work in progress. We went the first time in 1984 when there were only outlines on the mountain, but no features at all. Now there is Chief Crazy Horse's face, and work on the horse's face is in progress now. The work is much slower than Mt. Rushmore because they do not take government money. It is literally a family-run business that pays homage to the Native Americans in our land. The museum is awesome with contributions from most of the tribes in the United States and some outside the United States. I did not take as many photos as I did two years ago, but it is well worth visiting.
We ate supper there at their restaurant. Phil and I had the Native American Taco. It was delicious! It is regular taco stuff served on flat Indian bread. Hayden had chicken strips and french fries. He ate every bite.
Then we went to Mt. Rushmore to see the evening program. One of the rangers, Ranger Deb, had a fantastic patriotic presentation and ended that portion singing a patriotic song. Ranger Deb can sing! We saw a video of the making of Mt. Rushmore made by the Discovery Channel. Then the lights came on. Beautiful!
It was late when we got home, and we raced each other to sleep. I think Hayden won. Another wonderful day!

Posted by KayHorton 09:20 Comments (0)

Mammoth Site in Hot Springs and Wind Cave

June 9

A beautiful day awaited our journey to Hot Springs. We had never visited the Mammoth Site and thoroughly enjoyed it. We stopped by Wind Cave National Park on the way and picked up three tickets for the easiest cave tour at 3:40. We later found out Hayden could not go because he wore flipflops.
Mammoth Site is enclosed in a building...surprise, surprise! They have only dug 22 feet, and the layer that will hold the fossils is 67 feet deep. They think it will take at least 30 more years to get down through all the layers. The amazing thing is that all the mammoth bones and tusks are exactly where they were found. It was also interesting that there were two types of mammoths found there. Columbian Mammoths were from the more temperate climate and the Wooly was from the colder age. They also found the skull of an extinct bear that was much larger than our polar bears.
Hayden and I stayed in the car while Phil did the Wind Cave tour. He was glad he went and hated Hayden and I did not get to go. I am not a huge cave fan, so I was fine staying in the car. I tried to get Hayden to wear my shoes and go with PopPop. He did put them on and walked to the visitors' center, but decided he would not go. I guess wearing geezer tennis shoes was too much for him. hahaha!
Good day! We are praying to escape the severe weather tonight. We are in the red zone for severe weather, but we pray God will let it go around us or calm the storms! The hail storm of the other day was enough for us!!!

Posted by KayHorton 17:31 Comments (2)

Jr. Ranger Badge for Hayden, Burros, and Gold Panning

June 8

Beautiful day! High of 78, low humidity - I like it! We took our lunch and ate it in Custer State Park. Then we went to the gold panning session and panned for gold. We did not find any, but if we had, we would have had to give it to Custer State Park. Like national parks, you cannot take or remove anything in the park. Still, it was fun! I'd love to pan where there might actually be gold! I have the hang of panning down pat!
Next we rode the entire Wildlife Loop Road and ran into the entire herd of panhandling burros. I wished I had taken some carrots for them! Hayden was happy to see them at last! He also spotted a turkey, a rare sight here. There were also bison a plenty in the road and right beside it, along with several pronghorn antelope.
When we got back, Phil got his ladder out and checked the awnings and roof. The bed slide awning has multiple small holes and a max-air vent has damage. The main awning, although taken in, had holes on the top of the fold. Phil took photos and will e-mailing them to our State Farm agent back home to see if we can get the damage repaired or replaced. Every camper around here that did not have the max-air vent covered has to have their vents replaced.
I am thinking that tomorrow we will go see Chief Crazy Horse Memorial and Sunday or Monday go to Hot Springs to the Mammoth Dig Site. We have made reservations now through July 10. Hayden has decided he does not want to go all the way to Washington to go whale watching. It would be another couple of six hour riding days from Glacier. He is over the long days of riding and had a little wave of missing his family today. He rebounded and had a good day.

Posted by KayHorton 15:28 Comments (0)

Custer State Park Scary Weather Day

June 7

After a night of gentle rain, the day dawned with some sunshine. We did laundry, ate, and headed for Custer State Park. We wanted to visit the Peter Norbeck Visitors' Center, look around the Coolidge Gift Shop, and ride on the Wildlife Loop Rd. We did not see the burros the other night, so Hayden wanted to see if we could see them today.
While at the Norbeck Center, Hayden participated in the Jr. Ranger program on creepy, crawly things. We are going back tomorrow morning for the gold panning session for Hayden to earn his Jr. Ranger patch.
After looking around the gift shop and getting a pin for Hayden's hat, we started around the loop. We had stopped at a small herd of buffalo and were just watching them a while when Phil's phone alarm for bad weather alerted us. There was a tornado warning, and the Game Lodge in Custer State Park was named in its path. We decided to do a U-turn and go back to the Norbeck Center because it is made of thick stone and has a basement (which we learned while waiting out the storm). Unfortunately, it is within a half mile of the Game Lodge!
We were there about an hour while the hail and rain pounded the building. After a while the tornado warning was cancelled. We were thankful, but a lady who works there and lives very close to the campground got a call from her husband who told her that her garden was gone from the golfball size hail. He said it was inches thick.
Finally the lightening let up enough, and the hail stopped. We made a run for it and headed back to the camper. When we pulled in the neighbor was on top of his motorhome. He did not have vent covers, and there were holes in his vents. Phil walked around the camper and could see a tiny hole in the awning over the bed slide. We thanked God that it was no worse than it is and hope there is no more. Also, we left in shorts with the temperature around 70. When we returned, the temperature was 45.
We decided to get a Subway sub for supper, which made the cook very happy! Now we are watching Swamp People and are happy!

Posted by KayHorton 16:54 Comments (1)

Custer - Day 1

June 5

Driving through a different section of the Badlands to Custer was beautiful on Hwy. 44, instead of I-90. One cute thing Hayden said about the Badlands was that he felt like he was in Egypt. It did look a lot like what I think Egypt would look like!
Just two hours later, we were in Custer at our campground. We had reservations in Custer State Park in the Game Lodge Campground, but had to cancel them when Hayden decided he wanted to spend his birthday going to school for the last day and see his buddies one more time (worked out fine). We are staying at a nice campground, Ft. Welikit in a lodge pole pine forest with good cable tv and wifi and plenty of deer. It is much cooler here than in the Badlands. We have not had to have on the air conditioning.
This evening we rode about half way around the wildlife loop in Custer State Park. We will probably do that at least three or four evenings. Hayden got to see buffalo REAL close as they grazed right beside the road. Also grazing close to the road were several male pronghorn antelopes. We will spend a week here and aim for Mt. Rushmore, Chief Crazy Horse Memorial, the mammoth dig in Hot Springs, and Custer State Park.
It was a beautiful day that the Lord made, and we rejoiced and were glad!

Posted by KayHorton 20:43 Comments (0)

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