Sunday, July 17, 2011

Black Hills of South Dakota-Part III

Friday we drove into Rapid City to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. We visited the Museum of Geology.  We learned about the thousands of different minerals and what they look like.  So many have brilliant colors.  We also saw different stones and a wide variety of bones.  There are several dinosaur skeletons there that have been put back together.  They also have a large collection of fossils.  They even had fossils of fish that were completely intact, and they held there form all these years. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring one of our cameras in with us.
We ate lunch at Botticelli's Italian restaurant, Debbie had the ravioli and I had a seafood pasta.  One thing for sure, there ain't real Italian stores or restaurants out here west of the Mississippi.  At least we haven't found it yet.  We then went to a Norwegian church, (The Chapel in the Hills) made by hand in Norway and assembled in Rapid City.  It is a beautiful wooden structure that is a replica of the 850 year old Borgund Stavkirke.  The church can hold up to 75 worshipers.  There was also a museum and and information center/gift shop, and it had the traditional sod roof.  Debbie took a walk on the Prayer Trail while I relaxed in the shade.  It got up to 99 degrees on Friday.  Friday night we went to the auto races at Black Hills Speedway. They have 3 classes, modifieds, super stock, and late model.  The races were great and we had fun.
Saturday we slept in and then went into the tourist town of Keystone, close to Mt. Rushmore.  We did a little shopping (I bought a new wallet) and we had lunch at Ruby's Restaurant and Saloon.  I had my first Indian Taco, using Indian fry bread, and Debbie had a delicious salad made of lettuce, chicken, cranberries, walnuts, mozzarella cheese and a wild huckleberry vinaigrette.  Debbie raved about it. We went to every souvenir store and black hills gold stores.  Everything was 50-70% off, but still too high of a price to buy.  I guess they think vacationers here are stupid enough to buy at their prices.
We then headed home and watched 2 videos, Vengeance Valley with Burt Lancaster and Antoine Fisher with Denzel Washington.  We cooked our hot dogs over the campfire and went to a ranger talk at  9 p.m.  We learned about the pine beetle epidemic here that is killing off thousands of pine trees here in South Dakota and Wyoming, and what they are trying to do to eradicate them.

Our site at Custer State Park
Norwegian sod roofed house

Chapel in the Hills

Bell Tower behind the church


Deb at our campfire




Black Hills Speedway
We love racing!

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