Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Badlands and Bear Country USA

             The Badlands were a highlight of the trip. Absolutely fascinating formations and colors. 


Bear Country USA, although essentially a zoo, was surprisingly interesting. Although we did see a grizzly  bear and a few black bears in the wild, Bear County USA gave us the chance to view many animals indigenous to the area.


Wall Drug and the Crazy Horse Memorial

                                         We rode the historic 1880 train from the Hill City Depot

No visit to the area is complete without a trip to the famous Wall Drug, which famously attracted folks years ago when it began giving away ice cold water. The rest, as they say, is history. One that gives meaning to the phrase "tourist trap."

The famed jackalope had been recently painted and we were unable to leap into the saddle. Highly disappointing, of course.

The Crazy Horse Memorial, under construction since 1948 and obviously far from completion.

                                                 A model of the sculpture in the foreground.

Scenic, South Dakota, and Mt. Rushmore National Park

                                  The abandoned town of Scenic. Doesn't quite live up to the name. 

                                   Mt. Rushmore was a highlight. Photos truly do not do it justice. 

                                                               Beautiful under the lights. 

                                                                     We modeled first...


                                                               And then....immortalized!!!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Buffalo Bill Center for the West, Custer State Park, and on to Deadwood, South Dakota

Actually five museums under one roof, there were many interesting exhibits about the legendary days of the Wild West.

                              The largest concentration of bison we witnessed was in Custer State Park

Deadwood is a fascinating little tourist trap of a town--a place made for bar-hopping and wandering from one souvenir shop to the next, but always something of interest nearby and well preserved facades. 

                                                                     The sign says it all. 


                                                                      Interior of the bar

                                                                       The circle closes!

The famed Bullock hotel. Like many other properties, the interior has been preserved, but now houses a casino. 

                                                       The sign installer has a sense of humor.

                                                  Calamity Jane's final resting place at Boot Hill. 

                                                       And the nearby grave site of Wild Bill.

The eastern entrance to the park became the most popular when Wild Bill built his now historic lodge there in 1904.


Yellowstone II

                                                          Bison abound throughout the park.

                                                                           Upper Falls

                                                           Old Faithful did not disappoint!! 

                                              Mammoth stone fireplace at the Old Faithful Inn

                                The Old Faithful Inn, constructed from lodge pole pines in 1903

Yellowstone National Park

The Travertine Terraces are beautiful, layered, limestone rock formations. The various colors are due to differences in the carbonate minerals that seep through the limestone.

                                                            Ms. Elk surveying her kingdom. 

         Northern entrance at Gardiner, Montana, only days before it was closed due to severe flooding. 

Famed Roosevelt arch, dedicated to the late Teddy Roosevelt, for his role in the park's expansion and preservation. He attended the dedication ceremony, but was never able to return to view the completed arch.



                                                                 A bison at the Tower Falls

                                 Largest concentration of geysers in the world, surpassing even Iceland