Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mount Rushmore - Trip 4 Two

Thanks to Nama Cathy and Papa Royce, Joe and I were able to take a long weekend vacation. With a bit of a slow start...Just call us the "go backers" as Joe puts it. First time out the door and around the block back in the house for the cell phone charger, that's not so bad; right? The Second time we were already to Sioux Falls an hour from home, and I remembered that I forgot something very important (lets just say I'm not ready to have #4 yet), so turn around back to the house. Now finally we are on our way, what was a 6 hour drive turned into a 9 hour drive, not only because we had to go back, but because we were chatting and then missed our exit. We went 30 mins out of our way before we realized it (lol), so again we backtrack. This time for sure we're on our way, going in the right direction; One long road and lots of conversation. We found our way to Rapid City, then a bit farther on to the quaint B&B we were staying at, the Holly House. (I didn't get my own picture of the B&B this is one from a website.)Then a beautiful sight where the sun actually touches the road and we're driving right toward it, I grab the camera took aim to shoot, just for the thing to say, "no memory card." Yep, I forgot it in the computer; ugh. Well, thankfully I brought the other camera too, which was low on batteries, but a quick fix of switching out the double A's. So I still got my shot, of the sun on the road. Just about to our destination the Holly House we saw this beautiful wood bridge, I didn't really recognizing it 'til the next day when we stopped to get a quick photo of it. (Some of you may recognize it too.) When I was younger we took this family trip, and I recall my dad having to stop for the same photo. And my mom saying, "Hurry up, Donald, there are cars coming." Our next stop was Bear Country USA where we dove through to look at the bears and other animals. Although we
enjoy going to zoo and such, we always say the same thing "Poor animals, pinned up in little cages with no freedom." The cages were a bit bigger here for the most part, but still most of them seemed kinda sad, or paced back and forth in front of the gates like they were looking for a way out; that is if they weren't mating. (Which make me wonder why we even really like going to zoos, or places like that.) After the drive through part, there was a part to walk through as well which is even more like a small zoo. However,
the bear cubs seemed quite happy to play and run about with each other. That was so cute. Reptile Gardens was next on the list for the day, and for some reason, I just don't feel as bad seeing those things behind glass windows, or cages. This was a bit more fun, with a little animal/people interaction. We hit all 3 shows. The alligator show where a guy actually wrestled an alligator in front of us. After the show he brought out a baby

alligator for people to pet. It felt really neat to touch; it's skin kind of felt like cool bumpy enamel, but you'll have to ask Joe how it felt to kiss an alligator.

Before we made our way to the bird show we thought it'd be a good idea to take a little potty break. The bird show was different then I expected, but still informational as well as fun to see. At the end a rook bird would take money donations out of your hand, and we were able to get a picture with a bald eagle. Did you know that Bald Eagles are now off the endangered species list?

The lest of my favorite of shows was the final show we seen that day which was the snake show. Joe bribed me to touch the snake at the end. The last time I touched a snake to raise my grades in a college class by one letter. I didn't even touch the pet snake that lived at my sister Holly's house for years. I'm almost as terrified of snakes as I am moths, but here I am touching a snake. I feels very soft and silkily; see even their looks are deceiving. ;)(Actually I did it twice, Joe didn't get the picture the first time and I wanted to show Giovonnie that I wasn't a chicken.) Before we left we had to visit the Giant Tortoises and pet them. The shell of the tortoise was rough, and the skin felt very dry as if they needed to be hosed down with lotion. We headed out for a late lunch before going on an hour cave tour at the Black Hills Caverns. I didn't take any photos here, but this is a map of the
tour that we took. They use to do Spelunking tours here, but they don't anymore - so no Spelunking for us. It was cool down in the cave and Joe kept saying, "see we should live like hobbits, we wouldn't have to pay to heat, or cooling our home. It's stays the same tempter all year long." I personally would prefer not to live in a cave. We finally headed back to the B&B with a quick stop at the Winery that was just down the road. The sign that got our attention said: Stop in for some Red Ass Rhubarb. (FYI: Red Ass Rhubarb is a name of one of their wines). We stood in front of a counter for 5 free pours of our wine tasting as the lady described each wine we chose to taste. Joe and I both agreed this was the best Wine experience we ever had. After having a few pours of whine it was about 8pm and we thought we should garb a bite to eat. So we stopped in Hill City at Tana's Mangy Moose, apparently the local bar hang out, and were seated in the dinning room area. There wasn't much choice on the menu, but the food was excellent! Finally we get to the B&B for a good nights rest, before another fun filled action day. Up a little before 8am the next morning we enjoyed another tasty breakfast, like every morning while we were there. I do have to say the food was OH, SO GOOD. Then off to Mount Rushmore.
This was really neat. I super enjoyed the hike with the different views and
educational signs of jib-jab about each president. We also stopped at the studio then climb back up the steps toward where we started. We thought
that this rock formation looked like a lion head, so I persuaded Joe to brake the rules (not that he needs much persuading to brake the rules) and go off the trial so I could get a quick photo. Back at the top we went down another set of stairs to the museum. Wow, lots going on in there.
We finally headed out about 11:30am and there was a beautiful sun shower, so I had to get a snap shot of the presidents heads in the rain.
The rain stopped just as we got to Key City for a bit of excitement. The Alpine Slides - one slow ride up in the chairlift,
a photo both where we purchased this photo (for way to much money), a
great view of Mount Rushmore at the top (wishing I had remembered to grab that camera card for better pictures at this point.), and a very quick ridedown. (Thanks to Joe slowing down I got this picture.) It was worth the trip, at least once. From here we headed back to Hill City to take a quick look at the dinosaur museum before meeting up with Joe's college friend, Carl, and his wife for lunch. The museum was small, but it was so awesome to see the castings of monstrous animals that once roamed these lands. Check out the size of

Joe's head next to this Triceratops head that came out of the Bad Lands in South Dakota. (lol)
Here I pretend to shake to claw of a T-Rex. (I can't wait for Giovonnie and Royce to see these for themselves.) They also had some rocking fossils there. If you look close you maybe able to see the bird print be hide Joe's
hand; it was huge, with a number of little bird prints around it. About 1:30pm we met up with Joe's friend Carl and his wife for the rest of the day. We ate at a shabby cafe, where we joked about who would pay and cards not working, and then our debt/credit card wouldn't work so Carl footed the bill. Joe later payed him back after using an ATM. We went back to Key Stone and bought salt water taffy, hung out some more then got dinner at this great sandwich place called Teddy's. (Yummy.) Late in the evening we went back to our B&B. In the morning it was time to start home, but I needed to have just one more I talked Joe into following these "off the beaten trail" (a term we herd a lot there) directions that I found on the Internet to got rock hounding, or in terms of Wisconsinites and maybe a few others Rock Picking. Joe said, "if we must. Wait until I tell my dad you made me pick rocks out of a field." So out in the National Grass Lands we went, with few people around for miles, to pick geodes for the

boys to break open. Well, we found gypsum, and rose quarts, and a few other rocks, but no geodes. We were unable to go the last mile out where the geodes were to be because of the soft dirt trail,plus the Magnum wasn't really built for "off roading". (Boy it would have been great to have our 4-

wheeler for this.) Every time our poor car bottomed out, or going up and down the hills I was freaking out. I really wanted to get home to my boys and not be stranded out in the middle of no where. Joe drove us safely out of the grass lands. One last stop at Wall, SD before heading home just so I could get some geodes. We settled for buying them.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a great time - it is so nice that you two got away for some alone time.



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