Monday, July 29, 2013

Fort Abraham Lincoln

Today we checked out the attractions Fort Abraham Lincoln Park.  The Mandan Indians lived on this site before the fort was built in earth lodges at the On-a-Slant Village.

 Inside the lodge

This fawn came out of the woods and we thought he was going to join the tour.

Next we visited Gen. George Custer's home at Ft. Abraham Lincoln. 

He was stationed  at the fort when the 7th Cavalry was ordered to pursue the Indians and eventually ended up at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana.

The blockhouses offered a good view of the Missouri River.

View from the top of the blockhouse.  We are camped in the trees by the river.

The Post Cemetery was an interesting part of the site.  Some things don't change. 
I still spend a lot of time in cemeteries.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Enchanted Highway

We left Medora today and headed east to Bismarck, ND.  Along the way we took a little side trip on the "Enchanted Highway".  When the interstate highway diverted much of the traffic away from  the town of Regent, ND, a local artist devised the idea of giant scrap metal artwork to lure travelers off the interstate and to the small town.  Stretching 32 miles south of interstate 94 to Regent are several extremely large pieces of artwork several stories tall. The road takes you through rolling hills and lots of grassland.  The only break to this rural scenery is a giant sculpture every few miles.  Check out the artwork below.  That very small figure standing in front of the grasshopper is Dave.

On the right side of this photo of a fishing scene is a field of corn about 5 feet tall.

To give you an idea of size, I am standing on the feet of one of the pheasants and there is an RV parked on the road.

The Tin Family

Friday, July 26, 2013

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

It was much cooler today (we had to wear long pants).  Our travels took us to the nearby national park.

As we drove along the road in the park, we saw large piles of manure on the road every few yards.

Obviously the animals used the road as a Porta Potti.

I don't mind washing the truck, but I draw the line at scraping manure out of the tread on the tires.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Medora, ND

Medora is a quaint little town in North Dakota just south of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Only about 100 people live in the town but there is a lot to see.  Beautiful flowers are everywhere and seven museums  and a golf course provide entertainment.  President Theodore Roosevelt had a ranch here and his presence is everywhere.  We thoroughly enjoyed an actor and Teddy Roosevelt scholar present a one man show.

One evening we went to the most famous local attraction - the Medora Musical.

It is held outdoors in a natural amphitheater.  Parking is on a bluff and the audience travels down two excelators to seating built into the side of the hill.

Only 100 people live in the town, but the amphitheater has over 2,000 seats.

 Two elk were hanging around on the hill behind the stage before the show started.

A cowboy rode up to shoo them away before the show started.
The male performers all wore holsters, but without guns.  I thought that was strange until I realized that was for their microphones when they were dancing.

The buildings in the back of the stage were built on a railroad track and slid back and forth as needed.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Badlands National Park

We couldn't go through South Dakota without seeing the Badlands and Wall Drug (we forgot to take photos of Wall Drug).

I wonder why it is called Badlands?  It looks pretty fertile to me.

At least the wildlife was a little different.

They are really serious about prairie dogs in South Dakota.

Wind Cave National Park

While we were in the area, we decided to visit Wind Cave. It was a  warm day so I was dressed in shorts and sandals, not your normal cave attire.  After Dave bought the tickets we noticed that the temperature in the cave was 47 - 53.  I quickly went to the gift shop to buy the only thing available - a blue sweatshirt.  Dave decided he would rather be cold than wear fashionable matching outfits.

This is the only natural entrance to this cave.  It's about the size of a beach ball.  Thank goodness the Park Department saw fit to add a revolving door.

This cave was very deep and narrow - nothing like the other caves we have visited.  My toes were almost frost bitten by the end of the tour but the biggest surprise was the elevator to the top.


 Something different in the wildlife department - donkeys.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mammoth Site

This interesting place is located in Hot Springs just south of Rapid City. The fossils were originally discovered by a bulldozer while preparing the site for a housing subdivision.  Development was halted and the area was transformed into a scientific center.

Originally, a watery sinkhole trapped mammoths until they perished.  The bones are piled on top of one another for an estimated 70 feet or more. A bottomless large building was built over the site and scholars and volunteers continue to uncover new specimens.

Wouldn't this be a fun volunteer job?