Friday, July 15, 2011

Black Hills of South Dakota-Part II

The past two days have been filled with stuff to do.  We went to Ellsworth Air Force base in Rapid City to see the original Minute Man Missile training site and we took an hour guided tour of the base.  We got to go down into the missile silo and see a missile. We also got to see their museum and several dozen war planes on exhibit including a B1B bomber.
In the evening we drove in a car caravan, led by a park ranger, for 2.5 hours,  on what is called the Wildlife Loop.  This is a road in Custer State park where much of the wildlife can be seen.  We got to see a lot of wildlife, including the largest buffalo herd in the park. The ranger estimate this group we saw at around 650.  Some of them blocked the road for about 15 minutes, as they moved from a meadow to the high country.
The next morning we slept in and then went to the Crazy Horse Memorial.  This memorial, when finished, will be 20 times bigger than Mt. Rushmore.  At the rate they are going, it will take another century to finish it.
We also visited an underground waterfall.  A group that was mining for gold had cut a shaft using only jackhammers, 600 feet into a mountain.  No dynamite was used to carve through the thick granite.  At the 600 foot mark they hit a spring, which gushed out a torrential waterfall.  We walked the 600 feet into the cave to see the waterfall. It was 95 outside and 58 degrees inside the mine.

B1 Bomber
Minuteman Missile

Buffalo blocking the road
Buffalo Mom & calf

part of the herd
Buffalo coming to Deb's window

Wild Burrows
Young brown bear

Mule deer

Young Bighorn

Crazy Horse (as close as we could get)
Carvers Model of finished work

Debbie in gold mine heading to falls
Underground falls

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